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Trevor Collett | Feb, 27 2014 | 2 Comments

Nissan’s GT Academy is headed to Australia in 2014, giving PlayStation 3 gamers the chance to turn virtual racing dreams into reality.

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.

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