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GT Academy National Finals Around the Corner

Brian Dunn's Avatar + Posted by Brian Dunn on Mar 10, 2011 // Associate Product Marketing Manager

More than 53,000 fans across the US registered for GT Academy. And after a few months of online time trials, we are now down to the nation’s top 32 Gran Turismo players (eight per region), who are now one step closer in making their dreams of becoming a race car driver with a professional team a reality. On March 22 and 23, these 32 finalists will take part in a live head-to-head competition at the GT Academy National Finals event at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.

Gran Turismo 5: GT Academy

During the National Finals Event in Orlando, the contestants will be divided into groups of four and will race in a series of live head-to-head races in Gran Turismo 5. Racing select Nissan vehicles, contestants with the fewest points at the end of each round will be eliminated until only the fastest 16 remain. The 16 finalists will advance to Phase Two of GT Academy, where they will compete against each other in a series of challenges, including going behind-the-wheel of real Nissan race cars, for a chance to become a professional race car driver and the official GT Academy winner for the U.S. The winner will then have the opportunity to train with an elite racing team and will work towards a debut as part of a professional team in a major endurance race.

In no particular order, the 32 finalists heading to Orlando are Carl Posey, Christopher Morton, Emerson Trimble, Ryan Gordon, Damian Gosztyla, Sean Johnston, Steve Driscoll, Brian Rice, Tom Carstensen, Kris Norris, Nick Fontana, Iliya Bridan, Connor Clifford, Kyong Oh, Gregory Russell, Darryl Sutherland, Christopher Roberts, Jason Miller, Matthew Wright, Phillip Arscott, Landon Harrison, Brett Jones, Glenn McGee Howle, John Wilding, Nick Tenhulzen, Jose Sebastian Cedeno, Andre Gomes, Rich Pratt, James Edwards, Bryan Heitkotter, Derek Dalton, and Brock Harrison.

Congratulations from Sony, Polyphony Digital, and Nissan North America to all 32 of these amazing individuals. The stakes are high. The competition will be fierce. Good luck to all of them.

Continue to check back here on the PlayStation Blog and the official GT Academy Facebook page for updates on GT Academy and the National Finals. For more information on GT Academy, please visit: http://us.gran-turismo.com/us/.

//Add Your Own

16 Comments

1

+ XMbeaner on March 10th, 2011 at 12:05 pm said:

Cars, varoooom.


2

+ lcmnick on March 10th, 2011 at 12:07 pm said:

How about giving us weather/time options for offline practice/arcade races in GT5, rather than just online?


3

+ luciFOUR on March 10th, 2011 at 12:11 pm said:

Where are the prizes we get just for participating in Round 1?


4

+ Ethereal on March 10th, 2011 at 12:17 pm said:

Yeah I agree with the above. Where are the goodies for racing in round one?


5

+ Sharingan_itachi on March 10th, 2011 at 12:42 pm said:

Why haven’t I got my free car for participating?


6

+ Skater_Ricky on March 10th, 2011 at 12:52 pm said:

I should of signed up. Oh well. Guess I work to much for anything special.

Love to see these guys competing in trying to win that #1 spot.


7

+ MUGEN02 on March 10th, 2011 at 12:57 pm said:

+1
Where are the prizes/digital content that was promised for the 53,000 fans. Europe got a car right after completing 1 lap and US gets nothing after almost 2 months!


8

+ megaFdeth on March 10th, 2011 at 2:11 pm said:

Will this series hit the PSN like The Tester did?


9

+ ClearSights on March 10th, 2011 at 2:56 pm said:

The guy on the far left just looks like a videogame nerd, id like to see him drive for real.


10

+ vipergtx7 on March 10th, 2011 at 3:57 pm said:

Yeah that would be sweet. A GT5 Academy 370z will be sweet. How about we get some DLC like a Porches package with premium cars to at least purchase.


11

+ thepatriots on March 10th, 2011 at 5:00 pm said:

Is PD aware of this? http://feedback.gtplanet.net/forums/96709-gt5-feedback. It would be nice if GT had its own blog (yes there is one on the site, but it is not updated).


12

+ JROD0823 on March 13th, 2011 at 11:15 am said:

Who cares about the GT Acadaemy anymore? The finalists are all cheaters who cut corners to get quick lap times. They had to cancel rounds of competition for all of the cheating. Not only is it a shameful disgrace to the entire competition, it absolutely unforgivable that they are the ones getting the chance to become a race driver instead of those that actually followed the rules.


13

+ RedReevos on March 14th, 2011 at 12:22 am said:

JROD your comment could not be further from the truth. I finished 21st in my region in the most recent round(round 3/final round before Orlando). The reason they had to make changes in round 2 was because there were some “lesser” drivers that were taking some shortcuts. Everything in round 3 was completely legitimate. All of these guys except for one or two raced completely clean in round 2 as well. They are very honorable racers, and extremely fast. I have raced with over half of them online. The times the top 8 in each region put up in round 3 were amazing. I have seen their laps for round 3, and every single one of them is legit. These guys are for REAL!

I know its an online thing… But I really wish people would get their facts correct before posting.


14

+ RedReevos on March 14th, 2011 at 12:27 am said:

To comment on people above asking about the prizes for competing. Not sure why the event organizers are dropping the ball on this one. I know the people that won the wheels and driving seats, have received information on those prizes… As for the rest; the downloadable content for all participants, GT5 for the PSP for everyone that advanced to round 2, and GT5 Collector’s editions for those that reached round 3 – What happened to these stated prizes?

I am stoked that you guys offered us a chance to compete in the GT Academy, but please, if you state there are prizes, deliver on them.


15

+ mustfa-98 on March 22nd, 2011 at 8:02 am said:

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16

+ mustfa-98 on March 22nd, 2011 at 8:04 am said:

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