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Nissan GT Academy Back For 2013
Starting July Worldwide

Nissan’s ongoing quest to find top-line sportscar drivers from couches around the world is set to continue for a fifth season in 2013, with bigger ambitions than ever.

Gran Turismo creators – Polyphony Digital – and Nissan’s Director of Global Motorsport – Darren Cox - announced their continued partnership at Silverstone at an event to mark 15 years of the Gran Turismo game.

Polyphony Digital announced at the event that the competition would start in July this year to coincide with the demo of the much anticipated racing simulation Gran Turismo 6.

GT6 will be released this holiday season, and is set to be a bigger release than ever. The new title looks to include 1,200 cars and 33 tracks.

Of the new circuits in the game, the Silverstone circuit will be included in the franchise for the first time, but that is no coincidence with the ‘Home of British Motorsport acting as the official home of the GT Academy race camp, where the final stage of the competition is held.

“This will ensure that competitors will arrive at the race camp better prepared than ever.” Kazunori Yamauchi – Polyphony Digital president said.

The teaser trailer shown at the event also revealed that the ongoing in-game tradition of being able to drive a variety of Nissan sportscars is set to continue.

The footage shown at the event clearly showed a new Nissan added to the  already enormous library of cars that users can ‘drive’. The #123 Schulze Motorsport Nissan GTR in Nurburgring 24 Hour decals was shown off – however in GT3 SP9 spec rather than the 2012 SP8 version, as seen in GT5.

This announcement also confirmed the recent rumours that the game will be   released for Playstation 3.

This might seem baffling to some, since the Playstation 4 is due for release later this year and is not backwards compatible, but in terms of the GT Academy it makes sense.  The PS3 has sold over 70 million units worldwide since its retail release in November 2006. With such a massive base market available at the GT6 launch, the GT Academy competition therefore has an enormous number of potential competitors from the start.

Darren Cox stated that Nissan has high hopes for the release of the new title: “We are predicting that more people than ever will enter the competition this year on the stunning GT6 demo”.

Yamauchi also shared his thoughts: “We are very proud of this partnership with Nissan.

“We have aimed to make a very appealing and accessible competition featuring a range of their cars. The challenges, even at this early stage of the competition, are designed to improve people’s race craft before they even make it to driving real cars.”

So the search for the next Jann Mardenborough, Lucas Ordonez and Wolfgang Reip will be on a larger scale than ever as Nissan look to expand their Nismo Athlete program. The contest will search for drivers in Europe, the USA, Germany, Russia, the Middle East and South Africa, with the winner being crowned at Silverstone.

The prize for winning this year’s competition is also on a bigger scale. In the past the winner was given a drive in the Dubai 24 Hours for winning, but this time a full-season deal to race for Nissan in top-line GT racing is up for grabs at the final race camp in September this year.

Game On (literally!)

Stephen Kilbey