6,000 Kiwis on the Grid for GT Academy 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) has announced that over one million downloads of the GT Academy Time Trial have been recorded since it went live on 17 December, 2009. So far in excess of six thousand Kiwi hopefuls have downloaded the GT Academy Time Trial which is the first step in the GT Academy process.

GT Academy 2010 is a competition set up by Nissan and PlayStation® to unearth a real racing driver from the virtual world of the hugely successful Gran Turismo® race simulation game. Run across 17 countries, including Australia and New Zealand, 19 winners will have the chance to take part in a racing driver ‘boot camp’ at Silverstone Circuit. The eventual, overall winner will take the controls of a real Nissan 370Z race car to compete for a full season in the European GT4 Cup.

The Time Trial stage of GT Academy has given gamers the chance to download a stunning new piece of Gran Turismo for PlayStation®3 (PS3™), offering a small taste of what is to come in the new Gran Turismo 5 due for release this year. The download features the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, a newcomer to the Gran Turismo series. Players drive the circuit using a standard, road-going virtual version of Nissan’s stunning new 370Z and a race-tuned version of the same car. Their combined lap times give them their position on their territory leader board. The fastest 20 players from each territory, when the competition closes at midnight GMT on 24 January, will then battle it out at a live national final event.

“Hitting one million downloads of the GT Academy Time Trial from the 17 participating countries alone is a very important milestone,” explained the creator of the Gran Turismo games and president of Polyphony Digital Inc., Kazunori Yamauchi. “We created the Time Trial purely as the mechanic to run the first phase of GT Academy 2010. The massive interest is testament to the strong GT Academy concept that offers the chance to make a dream come true. But it also clearly demonstrates the popularity of Gran Turismo. This Time Trial is only a tiny sample of what is to come in Gran Turismo 5, so it is particularly pleasing to have seen such a positive reaction to it.
David Hine, Director Sales & Marketing Sony Computer Entertainment NZ Ltd (SCE NZ Ltd) is eager to help a Kiwi to land a professional drive in Europe.

“The Kiwis are right up there with the best times at the moment but we aren’t at the top yet, With five days still to go until the deadline, it is not too late for anyone who has not yet tried to get onto their PS3 and give it a go” says David Hine.

GT Academy 2010 contestants that are in the top 30 of their territory leader board at midnight on 24 January will have to go online at http://eu.gran-turismo.com/ in order to register their details and interest in progressing to the National Finals events. Only 20 players will compete in each National Final, but 10 reserves will be on standby in case any cannot make the event or are ineligible.

The top twenty Kiwis at the end of the GT Academy Time Trial stage we will be hosted at GT Academy NZ Finals at Hampton Downs on Wednesday the 3rd of February. At the finals the last twenty will be put through their paces, trained by some of New Zealand’s top driving talent, and eventually eliminated until our Kiwi representative is found and put through their paces on the track in a real Nissan 370Z for the first time.  Then our winner embarks on a potentially life changing journey to the chequered flag at Silverstone !

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