Those of you who made the investment in Gran Turismo 5: Prologue, despite a plethora of skepticism, may be excited to hear that this June Polyphony Digital, in conjunction with Sony and Nissan, will be launching their pan European driving competition, the GT Academy.
The competition will be open to residents of the UK & Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Germany & Austria, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, and is split into three stages:
The first stage of the competition will consist of a seven week online tournament held over the PLAYSTATION Network. When logging on to the online portion of GT5 Prologue, gamers will be able to race in the GT Academy Time Trial where they will compete to be the fastest around the Eiger Nordwand track in a Nissan Fairlady 350Z.
Next, the fastest 20 drivers in each country will be invited to a national final to compete head to head on the game. The three fastest drivers from this national final will progress to the next stage. I must admit what they have in store has even got me, the motor illiterate I am, quite excited.
The finalists from each country travel to Silverstone, England to prove their driving ability in a Nissan GT-R (one of my favorite cars from the game) and also be tried for their mental and physical capabilities in a series of tests.
The two fastest drivers from Silverstone then have the chance to enter a four month training program to earn their racing licenses and – here it comes – take part in a real life race in a fully race prepared Nissan 350Z at the 24 hour endurance event in Dubai next January!
“This is a very exciting day for Gran Turismo. The Gran Turismo story started 10 years ago with the ambition to make a racing game that gives players the ultimate driving simulation experience. The GT Academy is the ultimate realisation of this ambition taking the Gran Turismo experience to the next level,” said Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of the Gran Turismo series.
Aren’t you all glad you forked out for that “demo” now?
[See also: Gran Turismo 5: Prologue gallery]