2010 GT Academy time-trial goes live today

“The time for talking is over – do you have what it takes to go from Gran Turismo gamer to real life racing driver?” The online time-trial goes live today (17th December) with the ultimate prize being a fully paid season of racing in the European GT4 Cup.

Anyone from a participating country who is over 18 years of age, holds a full driving licence and is eligible under the terms and conditions of the competition can enter the Time Trial stage of GT Academy 2010. All you need is access to a PlayStation3 connected to the internet.

Just download the Gran Turismo time trial from PlayStation Store via the PlayStation Network and you’re ready to go. Lap times will be recorded on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course driving the Gran Turismo versions of both a standard road version of Nissan’s 370Z as well as a tuned version of the same car.

Combined lap times will give each player a place on their country leaderboard, from which a shortlist will be selected to join an intensive driver training programme in the summer of 2010. Participants can enter times as many times as they like, with the best times being selected for inclusion on the leaderboard.

Mark Bowles, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s PlayStation3 Brand Manager said, “We imagine that the combination of a preview of the new GT5 game, the ease of entry and, of course, the spectacular ultimate prize will really boost the numbers taking part in GT Academy 2010.”

He goes on to say, “When we ran the competition in 2008 we had 25,000 gamers from across Europe taking part. This year we have more countries, including the welcome addition of Australia and New Zealand. It is very exciting and we can’t wait to see what the final numbers are and who emerges at the end of the competition.”

Nissan Europe Interactive Marketing Manager Darren Cox worked closely with Bowles to bring this second instalment of GT Academy to life. “The first part of GT Academy 2010 is all about the virtual, gaming world,” says Cox. “And it is great to see the virtual 370Z look so good. Driving the real thing in a full championship is a huge incentive for people to have a go at GT Academy. is an incredible prize. At Nissan we ‘dare to be different’ in our range of sports cars and in GT Academy we are daring people to follow their dream and give it a try!”

The time-trial stage of GT Academy 2010 runs until 23:59 GMT 24 January, 2010. The fastest 20 Gran Turismo drivers from each territory will then face each other in live national finals events. A total of nineteen winners will emerge to attend the GT Academy at Silverstone – a ‘boot camp’ for racing drivers. Two winners will then be set up with accommodation at Silverstone itself while they are trained to international race licence stage during a two month period.

Only one, however, will have the chance to drive the Nissan 370Z GT4 for the RJN Motorsport Team.

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