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GT ACADEMY 2012 EUROPEAN RACE CAMP GETS UNDERWAY
Friday, 17 August, 2012: The famous GT Academy Race Camp gets underway tomorrow (Saturday, 18 August) at its now traditional home, the world renowned Silverstone Circuit in the UK. Over 830,000 people from across Europe entered the fourth iteration of Nissan and PlayStation®'s innovative gamer-to-racer competition this year, and only the best 36 remain in the competition. Over the course of the next seven days they are determined to show the experienced team gathered at Silverstone that they have what it takes to follow in the footsteps of former GT Academy winners, now Nissan racing drivers, Lucas Ordoñez, Jordan Tresson and Jann Mardenborough.
The 36 competitors will be divided into six territory groups for this year's race camp with the groups consisting of: France (6 contestants); Italy (6); UK (5) and Ireland (1); Spain (3) and Portugal (3); Belgium (3) and Netherlands (3); and Austria (2), Switzerland (2) and Poland (2).
All 36 will be put through a gruelling programme of on and off-track challenges to assess their potential to make the switch from PlayStation's Gran Turismo®5 game to powerful Nissan sports cars such as the 370Z and GT-R. Assisting the experienced Silverstone team of instructors will be an impressive line-up of country mentors with top-level racing experience. These include: Formula One drivers Johnny Herbert (UK), René Arnoux (FRA), Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA), Sébastien Buemi (CH) and Dani Clos (ESP); sports car drivers Bas Leinders (BEL), Rob Barff (UK), Franck Mailleux (FRA) and GT Academy graduates Lucas (ESP), Jordan (FRA) and Jann (GB); as well as touring car driver Tim Coronel (NED).
Since hosting the first ever Formula One world championship race in 1950, Silverstone has become a vibrant, modern home of British motor racing with top-class facilities. It is a fitting location for Race Camp. The week-long format remains a secret, but is certain to include top-class race instruction in a variety of Nissan cars combined with on and off-track challenges that will test the potential, skill, determination, fitness, mental strength and speed of the competitors.
A number of eliminations will take place during the week until only one from each group of six remains for the final two days of Race Camp (Friday, 24 and Saturday, 25 August). The finale happily coincides with the World Endurance Championship (WEC) race at Silverstone in which GT Academy champions Lucas Ordoñez and Jordan Tresson will compete in LMP2 cars for the Greaves Motorsport and Signatech Nissan teams respectively - a clear demonstration of the success of the GT Academy programme since its inception in 2008.
The winner of the European GT Academy Race Camp will hardly have time to catch his breath before he returns to Silverstone to embark on an in-depth Driver Development Programme. As well as ensuring that he qualifies for an international race licence in super-quick time, the DDP will prepare the winner for the rigours of an entry into the tough and prestigious Dubai 24 Hour race in January 2014 where he will race a Nissan 370Z GT4 race car. The European winner will be joined in Dubai by the winners of the German, Russian and USA Race Camps.
The GT Academy Europe 2012 Race Camp can be followed on various platforms including: www.facebook.com/GTAcademy; www.twitter.com/GTAcademy; www.youtube.com/gtacademyeurope; www.flickr.com/photos/gtacademyeurope .
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About GT Academy Europe
GT Academy is a collaboration between PlayStation® and Nissan that uses the virtual world of the Gran Turismo® game to unearth real-world racing talent. Now in its fourth year, GT Academy has been expanded to include separate competitions for Europe (UK & Ireland; France; Italy; Spain & Portugal; Benelux; Austria, Switzerland & Poland), Germany, USA and Russia.
Stage One (European GT Academy)
A bespoke, online GT Academy qualification will be open to anyone with a PlayStation®3 (terms and conditions apply), where the fastest 16 gamers in each participating territory may gain access to the National Finals. A maximum of 16 further competitors will also gain access to National Finals events via a series of Live Gran Turismo®5 events.
Stage Two (European GT Academy)
For GT Academy Europe, up to 32 qualifiers from ‘Stage One' will progress to each territory's National Final. A total of six winners will emerge from each participating GT Academy territory to progress to the GT Academy Race Camp at Silverstone.
Stage Three (European GT Academy)
36 will compete at the legendary Race Camp with only one winner crowned European GT Academy Champion and invited to take part in the intensive Driver Development Programme. The winner will qualify for an international race licence before competing in the Dubai 24 Hour race in January 2013.
Previous GT Academy winners
Previous winners of GT Academy are now regular racing drivers. In 2012 Lucas Ordoñez (Spain, winner in 2008) is contesting the European Le Mans Series and Le Mans 24 Hours in the Greaves Motorsport Nissan-powered LMP2 car; Jordan Tresson (France, winner in 2010) is contesting the FIA World Endurance Championship and Le Mans 24 Hours in the Signatech Nissan LMP2 car; Jann Mardenborough (UK, winner in 2011) is racing a Nissan GT-R GT3 in the Blancpain Endurance Series and British GT Championship.
News and views on GT Academy 2012 and the progress of all the GT Academy drivers can be followed on various platforms including: www.facebook.com/GTAcademy | www.twitter.com/GTAcademy | www.youtube.com/gtacademyeurope | www.flickr.com/photos/gtacademyeurope .
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, PSPTM (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, 55.5 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 153.6 million systems worldwide. Since its launch at the end of 2004, over 73 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 90 million accounts have registered to PlayStation Network, the free-to-access interactive environment, and over 1.91 billion items have been downloaded.
More information about PlayStation products can be found at http://www.playstation.com/.
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 has one of the most comprehensive European presences of any overseas manufacturer, employing more than 12,500 staff across locally-based design, research & development, manufacturing, logistics and sales & marketing operations. Last year Nissan plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced a range of vehicles including mini-MPVs, award-winning crossovers, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Nissan now offers 24 diverse and innovative products for sale in Europe today, and is positioned to become the number one Japanese brand in Europe..