Nissan Games: GT Academy 2012 Gaming Qualification Goes Live

  • Do you have what it takes to go from Gran Turismo® gamer to real life racing driver?

Nissan Games

Monday, 15 October 2012: The Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy 2012 contest goes ‘LIVE’ today from 00:00 hrs GMT (03.00GST / 02.00SAST). The highly acclaimed virtual-to-reality racing competition is open to anyone in the Middle East and South Africa with a PlayStation®3 console by simply downloading a free GT Academy qualification challenge themed around the hugely popular Gran Turismo® game. At stake is the ultimate racing prize – a chance to be part of an intensive driver development training programme that has turned previous winners into professional racing drivers with Nissan.

To enter, all competitors need is access to a PS3™ with internet connection, and to register on PlayStation®Network. The eight-step online qualification format, specially developed by legendary Gran Turismo® creator Kazunori Yamauchi, poses gamers and motorsport fans a variety of fun and exciting challenges that reflect the wide range of driving skills required to master the fine art of becoming a professional racing driver. Entrants have eight weeks to complete these adrenaline-fuelled driving contests, which include handling powerful Nissan rear-wheel-drive performance cars and mastering cornering techniques at high speeds, through to setting the fastest possible lap times in wet and challenging conditions.

Whether players are discovering the award-winning Gran Turismo for the first time, or are experienced PlayStation racers, the GT Academy qualification offers racing action for everyone. It’s not just about competing with the best GT5 racers, players can also challenge friends, colleagues and family for bragging rights by monitoring scores via ‘PSN Friends Lists’.

“This time around, we’ve designed a GT Academy qualification format as part of the Gran Turismo series on an unprecedented scale and aimed towards a wide variety of players,” explained Kazunori Yamauchi, President of Polyphony Digital. “This title may be free, but it is a truly independent piece of work and marks a place for itself along our path from GT5 to GT6.

“I felt that the only way to really do it right for GT Academy was to create a format where not only veteran Gran Turismo players, but also players who have never tried a driving simulator before, can experience the depth of race driving and the fun and excitement of time trials.”

Darren Cox, General Manager Nissan in Europe, added: “It is great to see a range of Nissan cars added to the online qualification process, as well as new challenges that relate closely to GT Academy’s goal of turning PlayStation gamers into real racers. Yamauchi-san’s knowledge and passion for racing shines through in the various stages of this exciting new Gran Turismo download.”

Anyone from a participating country aged 21 or over holding a full driving licence, and eligible under the terms and conditions of the competition, can enter GT Academy. The online stage of GT Academy runs from 00:00 GMT today (03:00 GST/02:00 SAST) until the early hours of Monday, 10 December, 2012 (closing at 23:59 GMT on 10/12/12 and 03:00 GST/ 02:00 SAST on 11/12/12). The competition will consist of eight driving rounds released in four groups of two rounds every fortnight.

Round 1 and 2:

Opening  15/10 (Mon) 00:00 GMT/03:00 GST/02:00 SAST
Close 10/12 (Mon) 23:59 GMT/02:59 GST/01:59 SAST

Round 3 and 4:

Opening 29/10 (Mon) 00:00 GMT/03:00 GST/02:00 SAST
Close 10/12 (Mon) 23:59 GMT/02:59 GST/01:59 SAST

Round 5 and 6:

Opening 12/11 (Mon) 00:00 GMT/03:00 GST/02:00 SAST
Close 10/12 (Mon) 23:59 GMT/02.59 GST/01:59 SAST


Opening 26/11 (Mon) 00:00 GMT/03:00 GST/02:00 SAST
Close 10/12 (Mon) 23:59 GMT/02:59 GST/01:59 SAST

Rounds are to be released sequentially, although once released players can re-attempt the rounds at any time, repeating as often as they wish. There is also bonus DLC to be unlocked by completing each of the rounds.

At the close of the final qualifying stage – round 8, the fastest sixteen online gamers from each territory will qualify for the ‘Regional Finals’ stage. A maximum of nine further places will be up for grabs via a series of ‘Live Event’ GT5 competitions.

Of these twenty five ‘Regional Finalists’, a total of eight winners will go through to the GT Academy ‘Race Camp’ at Silverstone – a ‘boot camp’ for aspiring racing drivers. ‘Race Camp’ will culminate with the selection of one GT Academy Champion, who will be put through the advanced ‘Driver Development’ programme in preparation for competing in the prestigious Silverstone International 24 Hour Race in a full race-spec Nissan 370Z GT4 car.

Demonstrating the success of GT Academy as a route into top-level motor sport, the previous winners – Lucas Ordoñez, Jordan Tresson, Jann Mardenborough and Bryan Heitkotter – are all competing in full race programmes for Nissan during 2012. Only one question remains: who will be the next GT Academy Champion?