The Gran Turismo (GT) Academy recently released the first episode on YouTube, showing all the mayhem, challenges, and difficulties it takes to go from a video gamer to a real racecar driver.
For those that don't know, the GT Academy is a competition where players of the popular racing game Gran Turismo 5 try to take their video game skills from the couch onto a real racetrack. Out of 400,000 players that compete on the PlayStation Network, 16 finalists compete for a chance to fulfill the ultimate dream, being a racecar driver for Nissan.
The GT Academy series chronicles these finalists journey toward achieving a real racing career at the world famous Silverstone racetrack, the birthplace of F1, in the UK.
Sounds like fun? It sure sounds cool and exciting, but don't be fooled. The driving challenges and tests in the GT Academy are anything but easy. The GT Academy tests not only a driver's skill, but mental and physical abilities as well. Since there is only one winner and everyone wants to win, competition is fierce and grueling.
The GT Academy has produced some talented drivers in the past. Lucas Ordonez, who won the first GT Academy, started his international racing career in Dubai three years ago, and so far his journey has taken him all the way to drive and compete in the world famous “24 Hours of Le Mans.” He was able to secure a class podium finish in that race in the LMP2 class, which is quite impressive for a rookie driver. Past winners include Jann Mardenborough, Bryan Heitkotter, and Jordan Tresson.
If you have dreams of becoming a real race car driver, all you need is a PS3 and some serious skill on Gran Turismo 5. Whoever said “Video games are a waste of time” clearly doesn't know what they are talking about and has never played Gran Turismo.