Gran Turismo to Silverstone Circuit: Meet the Gamers
Some of the worlds most hardcore Gran Turismo players are battling it out to compete in the 2016 Hankook 24H series in Dubai.
It might sound like something from a film or a teenagers dream but the GT Academy are genuinely working with Nissan to scout the best Gran Turismo racer on the PlayStation®3 Network and put them into a fully fledged and terrifying Nissan GT-R LM NISMO Endurance race car!
While most of us have enough of a job with the hazard perception test, these gamers have a whole lot more to take on - going from the living room sofa to a highly specialised cabin of a 3.0 Litre twin turbo-charged V6 GT-R rocketing around a racetrack for hours upon hours with merciless G forces crushing from all angles sounds absolutely bonkers. We love it.
The GT Academy is a contest started in 2008 by Sony Computer Entertainment EU and Polyphony Digital Inc. Working very closely with Nissan EU, the competition is a self proclaimed Virtual-to-Reality contest that aims to take the most talented GT gamers in the world and pits them against each other to find the next pro racer.
The best players are identified in a series of online time trials using Nissan vehicles pre selected by the Academy. Thousands of gamers are narrowed down to a selected few, who then participate in a National Final Event where they battle in special racing pods during a series of live Gran Turismo elimination rounds.
Since 2008, there have been 16 virtual-to-Reality professional drivers trained by GT Academy which is truly astonishing and certainly has something to say for virtual training as a whole.
Meet Jann Mardenborough
Jann is a young man of 23 from Cardiff and the UK winner of GT Academy 2011. Since his win, Jann has had a fantastic kickstart to his racing career and is that much closer to achieving his dream of being a F1 driver. Talking about his experience with GT Academy, he explains how driving the GT-R in the game is actually "uncanny" to the real experience in many ways and he encourages others to test out their skills. Check out the video below.
Think you have what it takes?
If your an avid Gran Turismo player and you think you have what it takes to become the next GT Academy endurance racer and feature on the list below, head over to gran-turismo.com for more information, stock up on the Doritos and fire up the PS3 - it's going to be one heck of a ride.