If you’ve ever thought that your success while sitting on the lounge with the game controller could carry over into real-life motorsport, Nissan is now giving you that chance.
The Nissan PlayStation GT Academy is an international ‘virtual-to-reality’ contest that allows the best Gran Turismo 6 gamers to compete for the chance to become a professional racing driving.
Once you’ve proven yourself with the game controller, a select few have the chance to participate in a National Final involving a series of Gran Turismo rounds, real driving skill challenges, a fitness challenge and a media test.
From there, a group of international finalists take part in an intense ‘Race Camp’ at Britain’s famous Silverstone circuit, and the whole experience will be documented in a television show.
The ultimate prize, assuming one or more drivers prove their abilities, is an intense driver development program and a seat in a Nissan racer at the Dubai 24 Hours.
Those without a PlayStation 3 will still have the opportunity to compete, as Nissan will be bringing the experience to V8 Supercar and other events throughout 2014.
A total of 28 virtual drivers will move on to the National Final; 14 from regular PlayStation 3 gamers and 14 from the travelling roadshow.
Spaniard Lucas Ordonez was the GT Academy’s inaugural winner, and has gone on to win the Blancpain Endurance Series Pro-Am last year, along with a podium finish in the LM P2 class at Le Mans in both 2011 and 2013.
Ordonez even drove Nissan’s Altima V8 Supercar during a test day at Winton in Australia.
“Innovation and excitement sit at the heart of Nissan and GT Academy is a perfect example of this in action,” Managing Director and CEO Nissan Australia, Peter Jones, said.
“This ground-breaking talent search program has been hugely successful overseas. Now that it’s in Australia I can’t wait for it to unearth and develop our country’s next great motor racing star.”
The 2014 Nissan GT Academy kicks off at this weekend’s Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.