Nissan Announces Winners Of GT Academy Australia Photo:
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Tony O'Kane | Jul, 16 2014 | 3 Comments

Six young Australians will be jetting off to the UK next month for a tilt at becoming a professional race driver - and they all have their thumbs, and Nissan, to thank for it.

Chosen from an initial pool of thousands of gamers who logged online laps on the Playstation racing simulator Gran Turismo 6, 28 players then proceeded to Melbourne for the Australian Finals of the GT Academy program - which is now in its fourth year.

After more competition on purpose-built Playstation gaming rigs, a fitness challenge, 370Z driving challenge at Phillip Island and a media interview challenge.

After assessing the results, six winners were identified - Joshua Muggleton, Peter Read, Benjamin Smith, Marcello Rivera, Luca Giacomin, and Dylan Gulson.

Ben Smith and Marcello Rivera are the youngest at just 19, while the oldest member of the group, Joshua Muggleton, is just 27 years old.

They come from a wide range of occupations too, from apprentice plumber Rivera, to journalism student Gulson, to IT professional Muggleton.

But a change of job description may be on the cards for one of them should they be successful in the global finals at Silverstone in August.

There, the Australian contingent will duke it out with finalists from Europe, the USA and Canada, as well as competitors from Thailand, India, Mexico and the Middle East.

The grand prize? After completing a gruelling Driver Development Programme courtesy of Nismo, they'll find themselves in a Nissan race car at the next Dubai 24hr enduro.

Nissan and Sony have been turning casual gamers into professional racers since 2010, when the GT Academy program first started.

Could one of the Aussie hopefuls find themselves enjoying the same level of on-track success as Lucas Ordonez, the first winner of GT Academy? We'll find out later this year.

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