*Article originally published here
Nissan and Sony have started the 2014 GT Academy which takes Average Joes who play the video game Gran Turismo 6 on PS3 from a couch potato to a real life professional race car driver. The sixth installment of the GT Academy in 2014 is expected to be the biggest in history and one lucky winner will get a spot on the NISMO racing team, Nissan’s motorsports arm. So basically this means all those hours playing racing video games wasn’t for nothing. You can put those skills to use! 🙂
The GT Academy competition has attracted about 4 million entries globally since the program started in 2008. This year winners will come from Europe, North America and Germany will all select champions. This year Canada will participate as part of GT Academy for the first time in the events history.
If you are lucky enough to make it to the final selection you will do a three-month driver development program that Nissan claims is one of the best. The 2014 GT Academy global champions will then compete at the historic Silverstone racing circuit in the UK for a spot on Nissan’s NISMO race team and the chance to drive a Nissan in the grueling Dubai 24 Hour race next January. You can prove that gamers can be elite racers.
“The GT Academy concept has now been validated by the results of NISMO Athletes’ performance on the track worldwide. It’s a blast to see Gran Turismo 6 gamers driving Nissan performance cars in the game, while aspiring to race our real vehicles in this competition. Nissan’s partnership with PlayStation has been a very good one, and I look forward to seeing what the fourth year of GT Academy in North America will bring.” said Nissan North America Vice President of Marketing, Jon Brancheau.
Brancheau is referring to the past success of GT Acadmey graduates who have gone on to be successful in their racing careers. The 2011 GT Academy North America winner Bryan Heitkotter earned three pole positions, five front row qualifying spots and two podiums racing a Nissan 370Z NISMO for Doran racing in the Continental Tire Challenge Series in IMSA. GT Academy 2012 champion Steve Doherty notched two podium finishes in seven starts driving a Nissan GT-R in the Blancpain Endurance Series last year for RJN Motorsport. Last season’s GT Academy winner Nicholas McMillen is currently competing in the Blancpain Series and experienced his first start April 13 at Monza in Italy, helping his team earn an impressive fifth in class in their first Blancpain Series appearance. McMillen also brought the GT-R to second in class during his stint behind the wheel, demonstrating his ability to maneuver through the pack quickly. Keep in mind all these guys got these racing opportunities by competing in Gran Turismo.
“I am very proud that GT Academy has returned for its sixth season globally, and that Gran Turismo 6 together with Nissan will once again serve as the platform for the development of new racing drivers who otherwise would not have had the chance to pursue their dreams,” said Kazunori Yamauchi, the legendary creator of the Gran Turismo racing games and President of Polyphony Digital Inc.
How to Compete in GT Academy
The 2014 GT Academy will feature a new round of challenges opening every 2 weeks, for a total of 4 rounds. For those interested in competing online qualifying started on April 21st but you can start up until when the 4th round begins which is on June 2nd. You are allowed to compete in try the challenges at any time until June 16th when the 2014 Academy closes.
GT Academy Online Event Schedule
- 8:00 (BST) April 21, 2014 until 07:59 (BST) June 16, 2014 Round 1
- 8:00 (BST) May 5, 2014 until 07:59 (BST) June 16, 2014 Round 2
- 8:00 (BST) May 19, 2014 until 07:59 (BST) June 16, 2014 Round 3
- 8:00 (BST) June 2, 2014 until 07:59 (BST) June 16, 2014 Round 4 (Final Qualification Round)
*BST = British Standard Time
*German GT Academy has a shorter period for Round 4 and will end on 07:59 (BST) June 9, 2014.
You will need a copy of Gran Turismo 6, along with a PlayStation 3 gaming system, and an online PlayStation membership to compete in the GT Academy. This might set you back a few hundred but that isn’t much when you consider the opportunity you get right from your house.
For regions of Europe and North America where GT Academy 2014 is hosted, the selection for the online qualification is performed through the final round of these events. People that live outside the applicable regions for the GT Academy will not be subject to the selection process, you can still challenge and experience all events of the GT Academy 2014. “Even if you don’t make it through to the next round of GT Academy, the GT6 qualifying challenge will improve your skills as a driver and all players taking part will be rewarded with in-game credits to enhance their experience.” says Yamauchi.
If you want more information about the 2014 GT Academy visit the website;
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