Playstation and Nissan team up for GT Academy 2010

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Nissan Europe have just announced GT Academy 2010, a competition that uses Gran Turismo 5 to find a real-world racing driver.

Starting on 17 December 2009, an online time trial version of Gran Turismo 5 will be available for Playstation 3 owners to test their skills against competitors from around the world.

GT Academy 2010 is the second instalment for this competition and this time around Australians and New Zealanders are welcome to enter for the major prize of an intensive race training programme and a season long drive in a full race-spec Nissan 370Z in the European GT4 Cup.

The 20 fastest online lap times from each participating country will qualify for the national final event. Among these contestants twenty finalists will be chosen to head off to the GT Academy itself at the world famous Silverstone circuit for a comprehensive, five-day race driver boot camp.

The two competitors who display the highest levels of talent, fitness, aptitude, drive and determination will then battle it out in a UK-based intensive driving and racing programme to see who will win the prize.

Vincent Wijnen, vice president of marketing at Nissan International, commented on the exciting competition.

“Following the success of last year’s GT Academy programme, we had no hesitation in working with PlayStation on GT Academy 2010,” he said. “The idea behind GT Academy is a natural extension of our approach to sports cars – we’re determined to challenge the traditional way of doing things.”

“GT Academy makes the dream of becoming an authentic racing driver more accessible than ever thanks to Nissan, PlayStation and the stunning Gran Turismo’s online capability. Nobody else could deliver this programme.”

Kazunori Tamauchi, president of Polyphony Digital and creator of the Gran Turismo series was also very enthusiastic about the starting the search.

“This has been a very rewarding partnership. The whole GT Academy concept is very close to my heart. Our target with the Gran Turismo series has always been to come as close as possible to a real driving experience,” he said.

“To witness the level of driving achieved by GT players after a relatively short space of time at the GT Academy was very satisfying for me and I look forward to seeing the 2010 finalists in action. I am also very happy to have the opportunity for our GT community to have a preview of the Gran Turismo 5 game.”

The online section of the game will run from 17 December 2009 until 24 January 2010. The GT Academy itself will take place from 26 February until 3 March 2010.

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