I mentioned the other day that Gran Turismo fans (in Europe, at least) once again have a chance of a life time. December 17th, after the release of the Gran Turismo 5 demo, gamers will have about a month to post their fastest lap. The winner gets a trip to the GT Academy at Silverstone where they could prove they have what it takes to compete in the European GTA Cup in a real race tuned Nissan 370Z.
It wasn’t too long ago that a 22 year old MBA student by the name of Lucas Ordoñez was just another one of us. A hardcore console racer without the funds to take his passion to the big leagues. Lucas was one of the fastest drivers from select European countries, and was invited to participate in the newly established Playstation GT Academy, a boot camp of sorts for hardcore racing geeks, where they got to race real cars. After the training, Ordoñez made it, being chosen to fill one of only two available positions to the next level.
Throughout the rest of the year, Ordoñez continued his studies and participated in grueling physical training to prepare his body for the challenges of being a true race car driver. On weekends, he participated in smaller races, such as in the UK with the RJN Motorsport Team, to obtain the mandatory amount of track time to obatin his international ‘C’ race license. Before long, Ordoñez had secured his ‘C’ license and was entered to compete in the GTA Dubai International 24 Hour race in 2009 – where after Ordoñez finished a very respectable 9th place in a Nissan 350Z. To add to his success, Ordoñez went on to win the Euorpean GTA Cup for RJN Motorsport!
Now in 2009, Sony is pushing the 2010 GT Academy more than ever. Console racers will now need to complete five stages of grueling qualifications before they can be accepted onto the real track to race in the European GTA CUP. Online qualifying for Gran Turismo 5 for Playstation 3 will run from December 17th until January 24th, and the GT Academy will take place from late February to early March.
If you’re in North America and think you have it what takes, then it’s time to relocate to Europe where you can compete. For more information check out http://eu.gran-turismo.com/gb/academy/2010/