The first stage of GT Academy 2014 will begin within Gran Turismo 6 on Monday, April 21, Sony Computer Entertainment has announced.

This year's five global GT Academy 2014 champions will complete an intensive three-month Driver Development Programme, rated among the best in the world, before qualifying as a Nissan driver in the gruelling Dubai 24 Hour race in January next year.

And it really is a life-changing competition as European brand manager Penrose Tackie explains.

"It's hard not to feel really proud of what GT Academy has achieved since it started in 2008," he said, "podiums in the famous Le Mans 24 Hour race; championship wins; multiple race wins; and this year we have one of our winners, Jann Mardenborough, racing in the GP3 single-seater series on the F1 calendar.

"Our first ever winner, Lucas Ordoñez, is racing Super GTs in Japan as his day job in 2014 and will also team up with 2012 European winner Wolfgang Reip at Le Mans this year to race Nissan's fascinating ZEOD RC ('Zero Emissions On Demand') experimental car. Meanwhile, last year's band of GT Academy winners from Europe, the USA and Germany were all in action last weekend at Monza in the Blancpain Endurance Series in a 500-plus BHP Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3."

Source: EU PlayStation Blog