GT Academy 370z

Nissan in Europe and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) will join forces to run a third installment of the popular GT Academy in 2011.

The competition unites the worlds of virtual and real racing, offering one lucky winner the chance to realize their dream of becoming a certified racing driver. The virtual stage of GT Academy will be played out on the ultra-realistic new Gran Turismo®5 game on PlayStation®3 (PS3™), that has sold over three million copies in Europe since launching in November 2010. The stakes are high with places at the GT Academy Race Camp to play for and a fully-supported drive in a Nissan 370Z GT4 car in the prestigious Dubai 24 Hour International race as the ultimate prize. (Terms and conditions apply. )

GT Academy’s global footprint is growing. 2011 marks the third season of GT Academy in Europe, as well as the inaugural year in the USA.

This year’s European competition will run across 10 countries with the online gaming phase starting on Friday, 4th March and continuing until midnight on Sunday, 17th April. Leaderboards for each participating
territory will highlight the fastest 20 racers who will proceed to a live territory final. Only two from each final will make it to the intensive six-day driver training ‘Race Camp’ to be run at the world-famous Silverstone circuit. The winner of Race Camp will continue to be trained in high-performance Nissan race cars and compete in a series of national-level races in order to qualify for an international race licence and an entry into the Dubai race.

Since the first GT Academy in 2008, the innovative competition has established itself as a real and credible route into top-level motor sport for Gran Turismo gamers. Lucas Ordoñez, the Spanish winner of the first installment in 2008, went on to finish second in the 2009 European GT4 Cup and fourth in 2010. Frenchman Jordan Tresson, the winner of last year’s GT Academy competition, finished equal fourth with Ordoñez in the GT4 series. Both racers are expected to announce new programmes for 2011 soon.

370z GT Academy“In Gran Turismo 5 we continue to bring the worlds of real and virtual racing closer together and the GT Academy programme, in partnership with our friends at Nissan, perfectly illustrates this ambition,” explained Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of the Gran Turismo games and president of Polyphony Digital. “It is also a great showcase for the fact that GT5 will continue to offer players more than just the game they have bought. It fully utilises the online functionality of GT5 and highlights the community elements. I think that we shall see a lot of friends challenging each other to take part in GT Academy and seeing how good they are against others. I am sure that most people with an interest in motor sport have dreamt about having a go for real. The competition has already made that dream a reality for the previous two winners, so it is well worth entering – even if it is only your friends you want to beat!”

When the virtual racing stage of the game ends, the emphasis will shift to Nissan’s stunning sports cars with the 370Z and GT-R playing starring roles at the Silverstone Race Camp. “It has been a great pleasure for us to see so many of our cars recreated in stunning detail on the new GT5 game,” said Nissan International’s Vice-President of Marketing, Vincent Wijnen. “But GT Academy is even more special as we watch the incredible progression of somebody racing our cars in the game to enjoying great success racing them at full speed on international race circuits. GT Academy has become a great ‘grass roots’ mainstay of our international race programme and we enjoy the partnership with PlayStation very much.”

GT Academy in 2010 enjoyed enormous success with 1.2 million gamers taking part. The competition found a very high-profile fan in judge, and former Formula One team boss, Eddie Jordan, who commented at the Silverstone event: “This has been extraordinary, I have been absolutely blown away. I could not believe that these gamers, with no experience of racing cars, could do this. They really are great drivers, all of them, and they can be rightly proud of what they have achieved. I know that they have all had an amazing experience that will stay with them forever.”

Residents from 10 European countries, combined into six territory groups, are eligible to take part in GT Academy 2011. They include: 1. Germany and Austria; 2. France and Switzerland; 3. UK and Ireland; 4. Spain and Portugal; 5. Italy; and 6. the Netherlands.

More details of the time trial phase of the European GT Academy will be released shortly, but players can register to receive news and developments by signing up to the GT Academy Facebook page –

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News, views, fun, images and video about GT Academy 2011 can be found on various platforms including:

For more information, please contact your local PlayStation or Nissan PR manager.

Additional notes:

About the Gran Turismo® Franchise
With more than 60 million units shipped worldwide, the award-winning Gran Turismo® franchise for the PlayStation® , PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PlayStation®3 and PSP (PlayStation® Portable) is regarded as the best and most authentic driving simulator ever created due to its true-to-life graphics, authentic physics technology and design. Since the inception of the Gran Turismo franchise, famed creator Kazunori Yamauchi and Polyphony Digital Inc. in Japan have revolutionized the racing category as we know it today. His offerings provide the most realistic driving simulation in the industry and a unique medium for automotive manufacturers to showcase their products.

Gran Turismo®5 was released on 24 November, 2010 and sold 5.5 million units worldwide in its first two weeks on sale. The ninth instalment of the world’s best-selling racing franchise features a completely new physics engine for an improved feel for steering during turns and drifts, delivering a more intuitive driving experience than ever before. The game also features an impressive line-up of more than 1,000 licensed cars from the world’s top manufacturers. Other innovative features include stereoscopic 3D support, real-time car damage, dynamic weather effects and a deep online and community feature set where players can race online with up to 16 competitors through PlayStation®Network. With the widest scope and depth of gameplay options in the Gran Turismo series, Gran Turismo 5 offers users an entertainment experience that is only possible on PS3.

About Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), based in London, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and sales of PlayStation®3, PlayStation®2, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) and PlayStation®Network software and hardware in 99 territories across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania. SCEE also develops, publishes, markets and distributes entertainment software for these formats, and manages the third party licensing programs for the formats in these territories. Since the launch of PlayStation 3 in November 2006, 47.9 million units have been sold globally and continue to be sold at a record level. Maintaining its position as one of the most successful consumer electronic products in history, PlayStation 2 has sold over 149.8 million systems worldwide. Since its launch at the end of 2004, over 67.8 million PSPs have been sold globally, highlighting the importance of the portable entertainment market. With the huge increase in interest and accessibility of network applications and network gaming, more than 69 million accounts have registered to PlayStation Network, the free-to-access interactive environment, and over 1.43 billion items have been downloaded. More information about PlayStation products can be found at

PlayStation, the PlayStation logo are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. PS3 and PSP are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

About Nissan in Europe
Nissan employs around 12,500 people in its European design, research and development, manufacturing, logistics, and sales and marketing operations. In calendar year 2010, the company sold 547,000 vehicles across 47 markets in Western and Eastern Europe including Russia. Furthermore, the company produced a total of 527,966 vehicles in its Spanish and British plants.

About the Nissan 370Z
Nissan's 370Z continues the bloodline of previous Zs by offering an authentic rear-wheel drive sports car experience, with enhanced performance and handling thanks to its more compact dimensions and attention to weight-saving.

In the first full redesign of the iconic Nissan Z since its re-introduction in 2003, the 370Z now sports a shorter wheelbase, greater use of lightweight body materials, a new engine with more horsepower and a new 7-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, as well as the world’s first synchronized down/up shift rev control system for the manual transmission.

But to get the full measure of the new model, now designated the Nissan 370Z, one need look no farther than the purposeful, athletic design which retains the Z's basic DNA, but adds a purposeful muscularity. The new 370Z remains true to the Z's original philosophy, offering accessible performance, true sportscar handling and athletic, agile design.