Transitioning from expert Gran Turismo gamer to professional racer is something about which most only dream, but not Lucas Ordoñez. The winner of the 2008 Nissan and PlayStation GT Academy competition will race in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup this year from behind the wheel of a Nissan-powered LMP2 car.
During the course of the season, the 25-year-old Spaniard will be racing as part of the Signatech Nissan team on June 11-12 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. After he qualified as one of the fastest among the 25,000 people who entered the first GT Academy contest in 2008, Ordoñez secured an international racing license and drove a Nissan 350Z in the Dubai International 24 Hours.
"When we started GT Academy in 2008, we knew that it would uncover new talent, but could not imagine that the Academy would develop into a driver development program that provides a ladder to the world's greatest race," said Darren Cox, Nissan in Europe's Chief Marketing Manager Crossover and Sports Cars. "With Lucas, we have certainly proved the theory that a PlayStation gamer could transfer his skills to a real car on a real race track. His progress in just two full seasons of racing has been dramatic and is a testament to the reality of the Gran Turismo games and the knowledge and support that Nissan have been able to provide to the gamers that have come through the Academy."
If you think you could be the next Ordoñez sensation, keep in mind that a GT Academy North America is now running and a third European version begins tomorrow.