Nissan and Playstation GT Academy 2010 is go!

SILVERSTONE, UNITED KINGDOM – February 26, 2010: February 2010– Nissan and PlayStation’s quest to unearth real racing talentfrom the virtual world of the successful Gran Turismo race simulation gamesenters a crucial phase today. the 18 winners from across the 17participating countries will gather at the famous Silverstone Circuit inNorthamptonshire, UK. For the next five days they will be put through aseries of gruelling driving, physical and mental challenges in order toselect the two competitors that display the most talent, determination andpotential to succeed as real racing drivers.

The two winners of the Silverstone event will be invited back to the UKto embark on an intensive two-month driver training programme. they willcompete in enough race events to qualify for an international racinglicence while also learning race-craft and technique. following this phase,only one of the drivers will be chosen to compete a full season in theEuropean GT4 Cup series driving a Nissan 370Z GT car alongside AlexBuncombe in the Nissan PlayStation RJN Motorsport team.

On hand at the GT Academy at Silverstone to guide and train thecompetitors will be an international team of experienced race instructorsheaded by Rob Barff. Barff will also act as a judge alongside former F1boss Eddie Jordan, F1 and Le Mans-winner Johnny Herbert, and two-timeNrburgring 24-Hour winner Sabine Schmitz. the panel faces a tough job toreduce the field from 18 to two over the course of the next five days.

During their intensive racing driver ‘boot camp’, thecompetitors will swap their PlayStation3 controls for the steering wheelsof the awesome Nissan GT-R and new Nissan 370Z as well as karts,single-seaters and other cars. From the end of day two, the judges will berequired to make the difficult decision of who must be eliminated from thecompetition.

Commenting on the process, Nissan’s European Interactive MarketingManager Darren Cox said: “So far GT Academy has been a major success.the time trial phase played on the Gran Turismo game was like a hugevirtual group test drive of the 370Z for over 1.1 million people. We havethen had some extremely competitive national finals events run over avariety of race circuits on the game that demonstrated the determination ofthese gamers. We now enter a really fascinating stage to watch how theseguys are able to adapt their obvious talent to being on a real track. Wehave a great group of instructors at Silverstone to deliver the programmeand some fantastic judges to pick our winners.”

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s PS3 Brand Manager mark Bowlesis equally excited about the prospect of Silverstone: “Havingwhittled down 1.1 million to 18 and delivered our gamers to Silverstone, weare looking forward to see if they have what it takes to become real racingdrivers with Nissan. GT Academy is the perfect example of how ‘the game isjust the start’ on PS3 and so I am very excited to watch how thingsdevelop. it is a shame that there can be only two winners. But whateverhappens, we have developed a programme that will ensure that all of thecompetitors have an incredible experience and learn many newskills.”

Nissan and Playstation GT Academy 2010 is go!

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