LONDON AND PARIS – The 2013 version of Nissan and PlayStation®'s innovative GT Academy gamer-to-racer competition is set to become the biggest and best yet. The online qualifying competition, played out on a specially designed demo version of the forthcoming Gran Turismo®6 game, has attracted almost 600,000 entrants from the 18 participating European countries (including Russia).
With the GT Academy qualifying demo remaining open until the night of July 28, there is still plenty of time for racing-driver hopefuls to download the demo from the PlayStation®Store and enter GT Academy. The phenomenally successful Driver Development Program has already achieved two-class podiums in the famous Le Mans 24 Hour race for previous winners, so the stakes are high.
The ultra competitive "leader board," that can be viewed on gran-turismo.com, shows that Spain is proving to be the GT Academy country to beat with 41 of the fastest 250 entries two weeks into this year's competition (Note: leaderboard and numbers of participants recorded on July 16 at 0900BST).
The overall best lap time, recorded around the painstakingly accurate recreation of the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit, after two weeks was held by a well-known French competitor (PSN ID: Ti-tech85). The 2:16.516 was recorded in the tuned Nissan 370Z. The lap in the virtual car was a realistic 14 seconds slower than the 2012 GT Academy champions recorded at Silverstone while racing the real Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 race car in the Blancpain Endurance race there earlier this year.
The GT6TM demo gives players a series of challenges and practice sessions with trophies up for the grabs before they head into the final qualifying time trial. After a warm-up lap of Silverstone in a Nissan 370Z, players take on some 'beginner events' with two races in both the all-electric Nissan Leaf and the Nissan 370Z (GTAcademy) '08. With success in those races, players continue into some practice sessions on different sections of the newly created Silverstone circuit before tackling the final time trial challenge in the 370Z Tuned Car (GT Academy) '08 on the full Grand Prix circuit.
Anyone with a Sony Entertainment Network account and access to a PlayStation®3 connected to the Internet can download the demo free from the PlayStation®Store, with no ownership of the Gran Turismo® game required. The GT Academy competition is open to competitors over 18 years of age (other terms and conditions apply, see http://www.gran-turismo.com/ for details).
The GT Academy qualifying time-trial remains open until the night of July 28 (closing at 2359 BST, which is 0059 CET on Monday July 29), but more demo challenges and cars will be released after this date, remaining playable until the end of August. They include the Nissan GT-R Black edition (GT Academy) '12 and GT-R NISMO GT3 N24 Schulze Motorsport '13.
The online qualification for GT Academy will lead to the fastest gamers being invited to the National Final events where they will be challenged on the game as well as in real Nissan NISMO cars. From there, the action switches to the famous Race Camp at Silverstone, with the winner there set to potentially join the elite band of Nissan's NISMO Athletes.
About GT Academy
GT Academy is a collaboration between PlayStation® and Nissan that uses the virtual world of the Gran Turismo® game to unearth real-world racing talent. Now in its fifth year, GT Academy includes separate competitions for Europe (France, Italy, UK, Spain, Portugal, Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg), Nordics (Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway) and CEE (Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia), Germany, USA and Russia.
A free online Gran Turismo®6 GT Academy qualification demo is open to anyone with a PlayStation®3 to download (terms and conditions apply). The fastest gamers in each participating territory gain access to their region's National Final event. A number of competitors can also gain access via a series of Live Gran Turismo events organized locally. The National Finals add driving, fitness and a media element to the gaming.
From National Finals, the action moves to Silverstone for the legendary Race Camp, where the competitors are put through their paces on track in Nissan sports cars under the watchful eyes of high profile judges and mentors. One winner from each of Europe, USA, Russia and Germany will be invited to take part in the intensive Driver Development Program. They could qualify for an international race license and potentially join Nissan's elite NISMO athletes.
Previous winners of GT Academy are now regular racing drivers. In 2013, Lucas Ordoñez (Spain, winner in 2008) and Jann Mardenborough (UK, winner in 2011) competed in Le Mans 24 Hours in the Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan LMP2 car. The 2012 Champions, Mark Schulzhitskiy (Russia), Wolfgang Reip (Europe), Steve Doherty (USA) and Peter Pyzera (Germany) are competing in the Blancpain Endurance Series with the Nissan GT Academy Team RJN.
News and views on GT Academy 2013 and the progress of all the GT Academy drivers can be followed on various platforms including: www.facebook.com/GTAcademy | www.twitter.com/GTAcademy | www.youtube.com/gtacademyeurope | www.flickr.com/photos/gtacademyeurope
About the Gran Turismo® Franchise
Gran Turismo® celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2013, having first appeared internationally in 1998. The multi-award-winning franchise has been the most successful ever for PlayStation®, and in 2013 it also surpassed worldwide sales of 70 million units. Various iterations of Gran Turismo have been created for PlayStation®, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PlayStation®3 and PSPTM (PlayStation® Portable), and have always been regarded as the best and most authentic driving simulators ever created due to true-to-life graphics, authentic physics technology and design. Since the inception of Gran Turismo, famed creator Kazunori Yamauchi and Polyphony Digital Inc. in Japan have revolutionized the racing category as we know it today. His offerings provide the most realistic driving simulation in the industry and a unique medium for automotive manufacturers to showcase their products. Gran Turismo®5, the latest iteration of the game, was released on November 24, 2010 and has sold 10 million units worldwide.
About Nissan in Europe
Nissan has one of the most comprehensive European presences of any overseas manufacturer, employing more than 14,500 staff across locally-based design, research & development, manufacturing, logistics and sales & marketing operations. Last year Nissan plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced more than 695,000 vehicles including mini-MPVs, award-winning crossovers, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Nissan now offers 24 diverse and innovative products for sale in Europe today, and is positioned to become the number one Asian brand in Europe.
About Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), based in London, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and sales of PlayStation®2 (PS2®) computer entertainment system, PSPTM (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system, PlayStation®3 (PS3®) computer entertainment system, PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita) portable entertainment system, and PlayStation®Network software and hardware in 109 territories across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania. SCEE has revolutionised home entertainment since they launched PlayStation® in 1994. PS2® further enhances the PlayStation® legacy as the core of home networked entertainment. PSP® is a handheld entertainment system that allows users to enjoy 3D games with high-quality full-motion video and high-fidelity stereo audio. PS3® is an advanced computer system, incorporating the powerful Cell Broadband Engine and RSX processors. PS Vita is an ultimate portable entertainment system that offers a revolutionary combination of rich gaming and social connectivity within a real world context. SCEE also delivers the PlayStation® experience to open operating systems through PlayStation®Mobile, a cross device platform. SCEE also develops, publishes, markets and distributes entertainment software for these formats, and manages the third party licensing programs for the formats in these territories.
PlayStation, PS4, PS3, PS2 and PSP are registered trademarks or trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
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