After seemingly countless delays, GT5 will finally be released on November 24th – just in time for Christmas. What’s even more exciting is that Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA) and Polyphony Digital Inc., in partnership with Nissan North America, have announced the opportunity of a lifetime for GT gaming and racing enthusiasts. They are about to make thumb bandits’ dreams come true by giving gamers the opportunity to experience a proper professional racing experience. Similar to the setup in 2008, the GT Academy 2010 will be launched on December 1st in North America and will serve as a platform for fans of GT5 to see if their Playstation skills match up to their real world racing ability. The GT Academy will challenge gamers and racing fans alike across the U.S. to compete in a series of predetermined online time trials. The cars will obviously be various Nissan models that will built up from road going versions through to hardcore race-spec machines.

Hit the jump for details on the competition and how to enter.

Throughout the course of the competition, participants will earn freebies in the form of digital content just for playing, as well as have an opportunity to win prizes for winning regional time trials. The next step will promote the top 32 virtual racers in the country to the live national finals event scheduled for March 2011, where they stand a chance to become one of 16 GT Academy finalists. The 16 finalists will compete against each other in a series of challenges, including behind the wheel of real Nissan race cars, for a chance to become a professional race car driver as the GT Academy winner for the U.S. The winner will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to train with elite race car drivers at international tracks and race as part of a professional team.

Judging from the outcome in 2008 where the GT Academy team competed in a Le Mans GT2 car in Dubai, the premise of creating a race outfit from gamers has some merit. The team actually finished third in class whilst competing against pro drivers – an achievement they can be very proud of.

From Playstation to Reality: Nissan USA Launches GT5 Racing Academy
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“With the upcoming launch of Gran Turismo 5, it’s a very exciting time to team up with Nissan and announce GT Academy,” said Scott A. Steinberg, VP of Product Marketing, SCEA. “With the realistic racing experience that only Gran Turismo 5 provides, GT Academy will identify someone who truly has the skills to become a pro race car driver, providing the chance of a lifetime to win the ultimate prize.”

“This is a great opportunity for Nissan to bring GT Academy to the U.S. and support the launch of Gran Turismo 5” said Jon Brancheau, Vice President Marketing, Nissan. “Gran Turismo 5 provides an amazingly realistic racing experience and we’re taking that to the next level by putting 16 finalists behind the wheel of a Nissan race car with the chance to become a race driver with a professional team. Nissan vehicles are known for innovation and performance, so this is a perfect way to demonstrate and deliver on that promise.”

The competitors’ journey will be documented in a multi-episode reality show airing exclusively on SPEED channel in 2011. The reality show series will start filming in March 2011 from the GT Academy finals through training as a pro race driver and the event finale where they will compete in a legitimate race against pros. The competition will run as follows:

From Playstation to Reality: Nissan USA Launches GT5 Racing Academy
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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.

You can enter the GT Academy visiting

Source: Nissan North America

What do you think?
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  (596) posted on 02.23.2011

Then you get 4 months of racing school and an actual racing license plus enter a real race for free. I don’t know about where you live, but I reckon obtaining training for a racing license isn’t cheap nor is a chance to race a car that isn’t your own.

  (369) posted on 02.23.2011

I find it funny that you call it wasting 8 months. You are entering a competition where you play a game. Not working 24/7. Its a hobby for some people already. If you’re really good than you can win.

  (745) posted on 11.21.2010

A very splendid thing. I used to play need for underground speed but I like to try it more on reality play station like that.

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