The team at PlayStation and Nissan have just announced the arrival of the GT (Gran Turismo) Academy in New Zealand. The prize — a professional racing contract in Europe! It wasn’t a well known fact, but throughout 2009, the GT Academy was responsible for taking Gran Turismo gamer, Lucas OrdoÃ±ez, and putting him behind the wheel of a real-world Nissan 350Z in the full European GT4 Cup season. With the vision of taking the virtual and turning it into a reality, the GT Academy is yet again on the search in 2010. This time, though, it’s broadened its reach — and it includes New Zealand!
To get involved, all you need to do is start the process with the online time trial version of Gran Turismo 5 — available from December 17, 2009. Competitors will record flying laps, time trial style, via the PlayStation Network accessed through the PS3. Once the 20 fastest online lap times from NZ have been found, a national final will be held where a New Zealand representative will be chosen to head to the Silverstone circuit in England for a five-day race boot camp. Once there, 20 international finalists will play off against each other, developing driving skills in an array of Nissans and other hardware, while being judged on fitness and mental attitude. Win or lose, all Academy drivers will walk away full licenced drivers.
For the two drivers who show the most talent, these two will be staged off against one another via an intensive driving and racing programme to prepare them for an international racing licence, with one place available for the driver with the most potential to compete on the international stage — a full season in the European GT4 Cup in a Nissan 370Z, beginning May 2010.
The online section of the game — in which you’ll be able to qualify — will run from 17 December, 2009 until January 24, 2010, with national finals following soon after.
Updates can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GTAcademy