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GT Academy

GT Academy 2013 European Race Camp Set to Find New Champion

The famous GT Academy Race Camp gets underway today at Silverstone Circuit in the UK, the Academy’s traditional home. Over 765,000 people across Europe entered the fifth season of Nissan and PlayStation®’s innovative virtual-to-reality racing competition this year by proving their speed on a special demo of the highly anticipated Gran Turismo®6 game which launches on 6th December, exclusively on PlayStation®3. Now, after a variety of gaming, driving, fitness and media challenges at National Finals, only the best 42 have made it through to the European Final where they will take to a real-life track for the first time. Over the course of the week-long boot camp for aspiring racing drivers, the finalists are determined to prove that they have what it takes to follow in the footsteps of former GT Academy winners, Lucas Ordoñez, Jann Mardenborough and Wolfgang Reip, who are now Nismo Athletes racing for Nissan.

The 42 competitors will be divided into seven territory groups for this year’s Race Camp, with the groups consisting of: France (6 contestants); Italy (6); UK (6); Spain (4) and Portugal (2); Belgium and Luxembourg (3) and Netherlands (3); Central Eastern Europe: Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary (6); Nordic Europe: Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway (6).

Silverstone is a fitting location for Race Camp, with its top-class facilities and incredible racing pedigree - the first ever Formula One world championship race was held there in 1950! Details of the seven-day Race Camp format will remain under wraps, but will include top-class race instruction in a variety of Nissans such as the innovative new Nismo cars, the Nissan Juke Nismo and 370Z Nismo, with on and off-track challenges designed to test the potential, skill, determination and speed of the competitors. They will also face fitness and mental tests developed in the Nismo Lab and used to train Nissan’s professional racing drivers, embracing Nismo’s digital age performance by training the gamers with the same methods as Nissan’s experienced racers. Demo code of the forthcoming Gran Turismo 6 game featuring Silverstone will also be used as part of the real world training.

A seasoned team of GT Academy instructors will put the 42 competitors through the gruelling programme of challenges in order to assess who has the most potential to make the switch from PlayStation’s Gran Turismo® game to powerful Nissan sports cars such as the 370Z and GT-R. An impressive line-up of mentors with top-level racing experience will be on hand for each territory, to closely monitor the finalists and judge their performance in a series of eliminations throughout the week. The mentors include former Formula 1 drivers Johnny Herbert, René Arnoux and Antonio Liuzzi, Nismo Athletes Lucas Ordoñez, Jann Mardenborough, Wolfgang Reip and Alex Buncombe and touring car drivers Tim Coronel and Paul O’Neill.

By the last day of Race Camp (Wednesday 11 September), only one contestant from each territory group will remain. They will have one final chance to show their talent and commitment before the mentors and instructors make the ultimate decision on who to crown European GT Academy Champion 2013.

The winner will hardly have time to catch his breath before he returns to Silverstone to embark on an in-depth Driver Development Programme. This is one of the most sophisticated driving programmes in the world and, as well as ensuring that he qualifies for an international race licence in super-quick time, the DDP will prepare the victor for becoming a professional racing driver with Nissan in a GT3 Championship in 2014. The European champion will be joined by the winners of the German, Russian and USA Race Camps which will take place at Silverstone throughout the rest of September.

Head to the special "GT Academy 2013 European Race Camp" page following the link below, and learn more about this year's participants!

*Images shown are from Race Camp 2012.