Nissan and PlayStation have joined forces again to run the fourth year of the innovative GT Academy virtual-to-reality racing competition. While the four previous GT Academy graduates line up in top-level race series in 2012, the programme that set them on their path to motor sport fame has been expanded and will now incorporate four separate competitions covering Europe, Germany, USA and Russia.
A brand-new gaming format for the European GT Academy will go live on 1 May, 2012 and remain open until 24 June. An eight-step qualification programme, that can be played online by anyone with a PlayStation3, will use the Gran Turismo5 as a base, but has been specially developed by the game's creator, Kazunori Yamauchi.
The fastest PlayStation gamers from each country will join winners from a number of live events to compete in thrilling national finals in July.
"Being able to use our GT Academy graduates in our ever-growing range of top-level motor sport activities is another example of Nissan's innovative approach to everything we do," explains Darren Cox, general manager Nissan in Europe. "If we didn't believe in the drivers they wouldn't be in those seats, but GT Academy has exceeded our original expectations and each year has provided us with some outstanding driving talent. As our drivers continue to impress on a world stage, GT Academy continues to expand. I would urge anyone that feels they have the talent to get involved and give it a go. GT Academy is a real, credible and exciting route into motor sport that will not cost you anything thanks to our partnership with PlayStation."