Finally, the time has arrived: Sony Playstation, Polyphony Digital, and Nissan are bringing the GT Academy to the U.S. On December 1, gamers will be able to register for a chance to win a spot on a legitimate international racing team.
For the uninitiated, GT Academy is another brainchild of GT creator Kazunori Yamauchi. The competition allows for top virtual drivers to race against others in hopes of winning a chance to train and compete with a real life racing outfit.
If you happen to think it’s too good to be true, or that it couldn’t possibly work out as planned, tell that to European gamer-turned-racer Lucas Ordonez. In his first real life GT4 European Cup race, he finished on the podium.
Initial U.S. time trial competition begins on December 15th, a few weeks after the game’s official launch date on November 24th. By March 2011, the top 32 finalists should be sorted out, with the next round of 16 winners getting into real 370Z and GT-Rs shortly thereafter.
SPEED will shoot the latter part of the competition for a TV show scheduled to be released sometime in 2012.
Don’t think you’re good enough to compete? Even if you’re not the fastest, Sony is offering free swag (downloads, posters, etc.) to any registered user.
According to Sony, here’s how the competition will pan out:
“Phase One Racing enthusiasts will put their racing and gaming skills to the test as they compete in various regional online ladders playing Gran Turismo 5 on the PlayStation Network. Finalists will then participate in a live head-to-head competition.
Phase Two 16 lucky finalists emerge from the live event and go behind the wheel of real cars, including the Nissan 370Z and GT-R, at a comprehensive GT Academy ‘boot camp’. The ‘boot camp’ will be featured as part of a multi-episode reality show to air on SPEED.
Phase Three The 2011 U.S. Winner will train to become a professional driver in preparation for competing as part of a professional team at a major race event.”
Source: Sony, Nissan