Behind the scenes at the GT Academy Finals


UPDATE: We’ve been told that the GT Academy winner has been crowned. Congratulations to Bryan Heitkotter – who was actually the top qualifier at Orlando as well – as he begins his training for the real deal. The show won’t air until September, but you can see Bryan’s Meet the Finalists video at

Back in March we had the chance to head to the GT Academy qualifiers – a tournament held to lower a field of 32 of the world’s best virtual drivers down to the 16 that would head to Silverstone and onto the GT Academy reality show. That show is now underway, with contestants competing in live racing events, all hoping to win the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to become a real pro driver on a Nissan racing team.

The series won’t air until the fall, but in the meantime, Nissan and Sony are offering some behind the scenes sneak peeks of what the competition is like for the 16 contestants. There is the usual picture and video content, but the pro drivers on hand at Silverstone have also been answering questions from the GT Academy Facebook page. Watch the video above for a tour of the Race Camp with the Academy contestants, and be sure to keep up with the show’s Facebook page. Just in case you missed it, you can see our writeup of the qualifiers at the Bullz-Eye Games channel.


Nissan & Sony Give Gamers the Chance to Go Pro in Real Life

By the time I had watched thirty seconds of that video, I knew Nissan and Sony had done something epic. The two companies have paired up to offer the best Gran Turismo 5 drivers from around the nation a chance at becoming a real world, flesh-and-blood race car driver. Just look at those spinouts. I can’t wait.

Here’s a little clip from the press release:

GT Academy will challenge gamers and racing fans alike across the U.S. to compete in a series of online time trials in pre-selected Nissan vehicles in Gran Turismo 5. Throughout the course of the competition, participants will earn free digital content just for playing, as well as have an opportunity to win prizes for winning regional time trials. The top 32 virtual racers in the country will compete in the live national finals event scheduled for March 2011 to become one of 16 GT Academy finalists. The 16 finalists will compete against each other in a series of challenges, including behind the wheel of real Nissan race cars, for a chance to become a professional race car driver as the GT Academy winner for the U.S. The winner will have the opportunity to train with elite race car drivers at international tracks and race as part of a professional team.

It’s definitely an interesting concept. For more info, check out our post on the Bullz-Eye blog.


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