13th January 2010 - Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) has announced that over one million downloads of the GT Academy Time Trial have been recorded in the three weeks since it went live on 17 December, 2009. GT Academy 2010 is a competition set up by Nissan and PlayStation® to unearth a real racing driver from the virtual world of the hugely successful Gran Turismo® race simulation game. Run across 15 European countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand, 19 winners will have the chance to take part in a racing driver ‘boot camp’ at Silverstone Circuit. The eventual, overall winner will take the controls of a real Nissan 370Z race car to compete for a full season in the European GT4 Cup.
The Time Trial stage of GT Academy has given gamers the chance to download a stunning new piece of Gran Turismo for PlayStation®3 (PS3™), offering a small taste of what is to come in the new Gran Turismo 5 due for release this year. The download features the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, a newcomer to the Gran Turismo series. Players drive the circuit using a standard, roadgoing virtual version of Nissan’s stunning new 370Z and a race-tuned version of the same car. Their combined lap times give them their position on their territory leader board. The fastest 20 players from each territory, when the competition closes at midnight GMT on 24 January, will then battle it out at a live national final event. Nineteen winners, from across the participating territories, will be invited to take part in the five-day GT Academy 2010 event at Silverstone to be schooled in racing technique by top-quality instructors.
“Hitting one million downloads of the GT Academy Time Trial from the 17 participating countries alone is a very important milestone,” explained the creator of the Gran Turismo games and president of Polyphony Digital Inc., Kazunori Yamauchi. “We created the Time Trial purely as the mechanic to run the first phase of GT Academy 2010. The massive interest is testament to the strong GT Academy concept that offers the chance to make a dream come true. But it also clearly demonstrates the popularity of Gran Turismo. This Time Trial is only a tiny sample of what is to come in Gran Turismo 5, so it is particularly pleasing to have seen such a positive reaction to it.
“Having been monitoring GT Academy 2010 closely since its launch, I feel very strongly that our unique partnership with Nissan will again unearth an amazing talent from all the Gran Turismo fans taking part.” “Nissan has been very positive about GT Academy 2010 since the beginning, but to hit one million downloads of the Time Trial this early has exceeded our high expectations,” commented Nissan’s European Vice-President of Marketing, Vincent Wijnen, “Over one million people have been driving the fantastic Gran Turismo versions of the 370Z. That is impressive exposure for the brand and the car. Ultimately, GT Academy will be judged on the success of our winner driving the real 370Z GT4 car in the European GT4 Cup. But with such a huge pool of talent I am confident that we will again find a very special driver. “With just over a week still to go until the deadline, it is not too late for anyone who has not yet tried to get onto their PS3 and give it a go.” News and views about GT Academy 2010 can be found on a variety of platforms including: www.facebook.com/GTAcademy, https://eu.gran-turismo.com/, and www.twitter.com/GTAcademy