Tony O'Kane | May 4, 2009

The winner of Polyphony Digital's GT Academy experiment - a competition that put players of the popular Gran Turismo racing game into the cockpit of an actual race car - has announced that he intends to continue with a career in motorsport.

Lucas Ordonez beat thousands of other contenders to win a spot in a Nissan 350Z at the Dubai 24-hour, where he and his teammates managed to finish ninth in their class.

But 24-hours of non-stop racing wasn't enough for the Spaniard, and yesterday Ordonez made an exceptional return to the circuit by clinching third place at the Silverstone round of the GT4 European Cup with teammate Alex Buncombe.

Ordonez will go on to race his GT4-class Nissan 350Z in Italy, Germany, Portugal and Belgium, where he will hopefully build upon his present success.

GT Academy winner Lucas Ordonez

Kazunori Yamauchi (above, with Ordonez), creator of the Gran Turismo series was pleased at Ordonez's transition from gamer to racer:

"Lucas’s performance has been excellent, but I would expect that from a driver trained using Gran Turismo," he said.

"I always believed that someone good at GT could drive as fast as a professional; in fact, I think that they could even go faster."

With much of his prior racing experience being obtained via the hand controller of a Playstation, it's safe to say a lot of eyes will be on Ordonez as he contests the GT4 cup. Even if he doesn't manage to score another trophy, he's already a winner for giving countless gamers hope that their virtual skills can translate into the real world.

Have a gander at the video below to check out Ordonez's professional racing debut at the Dubai 24hr.


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