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.
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/.