Nissan and Gran Turismo launch GT Academy 2012

NISSAN AND GRAN Turismo are launching the fourth year of their highly successful “gamer to racer” competition.

At 5pm today (1st May) the 2012 Nissan GT Academy competition will be available to download for free on Playstation 3 consoles, giving millions of gamers across Europe the chance to become a real-life professional racing driver. Something over 1.5million people have done since the inaugural competition in 2008.

Many will scoff at the idea of putting gamers in real racing cars but 2008 winner Lucas Ordonez (below, right) has been racing ever since his win, finishing 2nd at the 2011 Le Mans 24 in LMP2. He will race in the Le Mans series again this year, teaming up with Martin and Alex Brundle for the 24 hour event. Meanwhile, 2010 winner Jordan Tresson (below, left) will race a Nissan LMP2 car in the world endurance championship and 2011 winner Jan Mardenborough (below, centre) will race a Nissan GT-R GT3 in the Blancpain Endurance series.

Darren Cox, General Manager of Nissan Europe said, “Being able to use our GT Academy graduates in our ever-growing range of top-level motor sport activities is another example of Nissan’s innovative approach to everything we do. If we didn’t believe in the drivers they wouldn’t be in those seats, but GT Academy has exceeded our original expectations and each year has provided us with some outstanding driving talent.”

Kazunori Yamauchi, President of Gran Turismo’s developers, Polyphony Digital, added, “It makes me very proud to see the graduates of the GT Academy racing around the world with Nissan. This year we are aiming to make GT Academy bigger and better than ever before.”

The eight-stage qualification process begins today at 5pm with the first GT Academy game which is available to download free for anybody with a Playstation 3 console, from the Playstation Store.

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