Sony Computer Entertainment has announced the GT Academy will go live in Gran Turismo 5: Prologue on June 2, offering racing fans across Europe the chance to race a real Nissan 350Z at the 24 Hour endurance event in Dubai in January 2009.
Beginning on June 2, 2008 is Stage One of the GT Academy. This is a giant GT5: Prologue tournament that will run for seven weeks. To enter players need to register their PSN ID on www.gtacademy.eu. This will open up the GT Academy Time Trial in the game, where the task is to set the fastest time around the Eiger Nordwand track in a Nissan Fairlady 350Z.
Stage two begins in July, with the 20 fastest drivers from each country invited to a national final to compete head-to-head on GT5: Prologue. The three fastest from each final will go forward to the GT Academy at Silverstone on August 25, 2008.
Hear the virtual racing is replaced by real-life on track racing at Silverstone, the home of British motor racing. Competitors will have to prove their driving skills in a Nissan GT-R and also be tested for their mental and physical skills. The two fastest drivers will then have the chance to enter a four month training programme to earn their racing licenses and take part in a real life race in a fully prepared Nissan 350Z at the 24 Hour endurance event in Dubai in January 2009.
Kazunori Yamauchi, Head of Polyphony Digital producers of Gran Turismo said: "This is a very exciting day for Gran Turismo. The Gran Turismo story started 10 years ago with the ambition to make a racing game that gives players the ultimate driving simulation experience. The GT Academy is the ultimate realisation of this ambition taking the Gran Turismo experience to the next level."
Full terms and conditions for GT Academy can be found at gtacademy.eu.