Nissan’s popular GT Academy will be back for its fifth year in 2013 and organizers promise to make this round of competition the biggest yet.

The GT Academy essentially pits gamers playing Sony’s Gran Turismo in a knockout competition, with the final winner in each of the tournaments eventually placed behind the wheel of a real race car and entered in international motorsport events.

In fact, the first GT Academy winner Lucas Ordoñez together with 2011 winner Jann Mardenborough will be competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year.

If you’re thinking the gamers don’t have any real driving talent, think again. Recently, four winning drivers from 2012’s GT Academy were excluded from competing in the 2013 British GT Championship’s Pro-Am category, which teams pro drivers with inexperienced racers, because they were too fast!

For this year’s GT Academy, more countries than ever will be participating. In addition, the online gaming element of the competition will use a demo version of the upcoming Gran Turismo 6 game that was announced for Sony’s PlayStation 3 only this week.

Since its inception in 2008, Nissan’s GT Academy has attracted over two million entries and seen six winners crowned. In 2013, tournaments will be held in the U.S., Europe Germany, Russia, the Middle East and South Africa.

The winners of each of the tournaments will be put through an incredibly intensive and thorough driver development program in order to qualify for the ultimate competition prize--a full season racing a Nissan GT-R GT3 Nismo in GT competition.

The beauty of the GT Academy is that it is a highly accessible route into professional motor racing for people who would otherwise not have the means nor the opportunity.


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