GT Academy Program on a High at Nürburgring

Company press release.

GT Academy Program on a High at Nürburgring  As the number of European entries into the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy 2012 competition soared to well over 500,000 this weekend, two previous Academy graduates were demonstrating why the gamer-to-racer competition continues to grow in scale and reputation.

Both Lucas Ordoñez, the first ever winner of the innovative competition back in 2008, and Briton Jann Mardenborough, 2011 winner, were in action behind the wheel of two very real Nissan GT-Rs at Germany's famous Nürburgring over the weekend.

Spaniard Lucas ticked off another of the world's best endurance races by completing the Nürburgring 24 Hours in a Nissan GT-R. Appropriately, Lucas shared the car with the legendary creator of the Gran Turismo® PlayStation® games, Kazunori Yamauchi. With Yasukichi Yamamoto and Tobias Schulze completing the team, the foursome recorded the SP8T class win with an impressive 30th place overall in the notoriously difficult race around the 25km Nordschleife circuit, dubbed the 'Green Hell.' The result is notable considering that the No.123 Nissan GT-R Club Track Edition is a production car, competing against many of the world's top racing cars.

'It was a pleasure for me to drive with the guys from Japan and very special to share the car with Yamauchi-san who has played such an important part in my career thanks to PlayStation's partnership with Nissan' said Lucas. 'I have learnt a lot this weekend and I have a new respect for the GT-R and this amazing race track.'

Before the start of the 24-hours, Jann Mardenborough had already completed two British GT Championship races on the Nürburgring's Grand Prix circuit - part of the comprehensive support program to the main event. Having qualified with an impressive pole position, Jann led Friday's race from the start and had built up an extraordinary 15-second lead when he pitted at the half-way mark. Unfortunately for Jann and team-mate Alex Buncombe, their pit stop was adjudged by race control to have been half-a-second quicker than the regulation time and the resultant stop-go penalty left them down in third, but on the podium nevertheless.

For Saturday's race the pair started 10th, and fought their way up the order with Jann taking the checkered flag in fifth position in the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3. 'Even though we got the podium on Friday, I was disappointed because we wanted the win,' explained 20-year-old Jann. 'We had a solid race and good result on Saturday and everything is going in the right direction for us.'

PlayStation®3 owners from 14 European countries currently have the chance to follow in the tire tracks of Jann and Lucas via the GT Academy 2012 competition. The online qualification demo, especially created by Kazunori Yamauchi, can be downloaded from PlayStation®Store by anyone with a PlayStation®Network (PSN) ID. The qualification process remains open until 24 June and more than half-a-million players across Europe have already entered.

Details of how to enter GT Academy Europe 2012 can be found on various platforms including: and

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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)

    In a new development for 2012, each territory 'Race Camp' winner will have the opportunity to compete a national level race in a Nissan car.

    One winner from the European GT Academy competition will be crowned 2012GT Academy Champion and will be invited to go through to the intensive Driver Development Program for the chance to qualify for an international race license in order to qualify for the chance to compete 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.

    News and views on GT Academy 2012 and the progress of all the GT Academy drivers can be followed on various platforms including:





    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 November 24, 2010 and sold 5.5 million units worldwide in its first two weeks on sale. The ninth installment 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, PSP (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

    PlayStation and 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.

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