* Two former GT Academy Champions line-up for Nissan at Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend
* GT Academy 2013 begins in July using Gran Turismo®6 demo
London 20 June, 2013: Once again GT Academy meets Le Mans, with two former Champions, Lucas Ordoñez and Jann Mardenborough, racing in this weekend’s world famous Le Mans 24 Hours for Nissan in the Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan LMP2 car.
With their racing careers starting on Gran Turismo® on the PlayStation®3, Lucas and Jann have more than proved that their racing talents were transferable from the virtual world to the real one. This is Lucas’ third Le Mans 24 Hours entry since his success in the first GT Academy competition in 2008. Meanwhile, it is Jann’s first taste of the iconic race, nearly two years to the day since being crowned GT Academy Champion in 2011. This is the fastest ever ‘Lounge to Le Mans’ transition the Academy has seen so far, highlighting how the award-winning virtual-to-reality contest has successfully created an alternative route into motorsport that can nurture talented drivers at a fraction of the traditional cost.
Usama Al-Qassab, Vice President Product Marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, is amazed at where PlayStation® has led some of its players. “It is incredible to think that PlayStation has acted as a training ground for Le Mans 24 Hours. Gran Turismo features incredibly realistic physics and this is reflected in the way PlayStation gamers can use their skills learnt from the game and translate them into race-winning ability when they’re in a real racing car. Lucas and Jann have exceptional talent behind the wheel, and it is a good feeling to know that PlayStation and Gran Turismo helped to unlock their potential”.
For any fans at Le Mans who fancy following in the footsteps of the GT Academy Champions, they can try their hand at Gran Turismo on the live PlayStation pod racing at Nissan’s Nismo FanZone stand. For the French fans there’s even more excitement, with an exclusive chance to win a place in the French National Finals of GT Academy 2013 by setting the fastest lap on the pods.
GT Academy 2013 is expected to be the biggest yet. There are more countries than ever taking part and the opportunity of a first glimpse at the new downloadable Gran Turismo®6 demo makes it more attractive than ever for racing driver hopefuls to have a go. The innovative co-operation between Nissan and Sony Computer Entertainment has attracted more than two million entrants since its inception in 2008, and created a number of successful racing drivers now competing for Nissan in top-level international motor sport.
A special GT Academy-themed GT6™ demo will go live early in July and could prove the first step for a talented new driver on the road to Le Mans.
To follow Lucas and Jann’s progress this weekend, Nissan’s Nismo TV will be broadcasting live from Le Mans 24 Hours on 22nd and 23rd June at www.youtube.com/nismotv.