A new Gran Turismo is on the way, which means it will soon be time for another season of the vaunted GT Academy.
Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC and Nissan Americas have announced that the third season of the televised driving competition will start with the preliminary online qualifying element on July 2. This will run through July 30, and participants will use a demo of the recently announced Gran Turismo 6 . This Academy will be "the biggest yet" and pre-registration is possible as of June 11, if you're interested.
Since its inception in 2008 in Europe, GT Academy's acclaimed virtual-to-reality competition has seen over two million entries. Gamers compete to see if they can become real Nissan racing drivers and for the past two years, 450,000 online players have competed in North America. Six former winners of the competition are now NISMO athletes competing in top-level racing for the Nissan brand. And this year, they're taking it up a notch. Said Nissan's Director of Global Motorsport, Darren Cox:
"Every year of GT Academy has provided excitement and firsts, and 2013 will be no exception. The selection process and Driver Development Program are now so robust that we are turning out some genuinely fast racing drivers. At its core GT Academy remains a highly-accessible route into professional motor racing for people who would otherwise not have the opportunity. Unearthing genuine driving talent from the world of gaming is a real example of digital age performance and the innovation for which Nissan is famous. We are predicting that more people than ever will enter the competition this year on the stunning new GT6 demo."
Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauch added that the GT Academy "is a fitting platform for the Gran Turismo community to preview GT6 for the first time." For GT Academy in North America, it will feature 32 of the fastest PlayStation racers in the country, and 16 finalists will be chosen. That's when things get gritty, as the racers make the transition from virtual reality to the real world. The final will take place at the intense Silverstone Circuit in England, the current home of the GT Academy Race Camp.
Winners will go through an intensive Driver Development Program, "rated among the best in the world," so they can qualify for the ultimate competition prize: A full season racing a Nissan GT-R GT3 NISMO in a top-level championship. Good luck to all who enter!
Related Game(s): Gran Turismo 6