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GT Academy Announces 16 Finalists

Anthony Crouts's Avatar + Posted by Anthony Crouts on Mar 23, 2011 // Director of Product Marketing

It was truly a race to the finish as the two-day long GT Academy Nationals Finals Event comes to a close. The top 32 players, eight players from four regions across the U.S., all flew in to compete in this week’s National Finals Event at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Disney World Resort.

GT Academy Finalists

The top 16 will now prepare for a trip to England for the next phase of GT Academy, to be held at the Silverstone racing circuit in the U.K. this summer. Participants will join an intense, week-long racing camp where they will be judged by an expert panel of racing professionals, rating each competitor’s skills, performance, and overall aptitude for the requirements of a professional racer. The person who is judged to have the most natural talent and potential to succeed as a professional race car driver will be crowned as the first GT Academy winner in the U.S. After that, he will start down the grueling path to train, obtain a racing license, and make his big debut behind the wheel in a major endurance race.

GT Academy Finalists

Here are the 32 competitors who participated in the tournament with the top 16 advancing to the final phase of competition in Silverstone (ranked in order of placement):

  1. Bryan Heitkotter
  2. Christopher Roberts
  3. Jason Miller
  4. Andre Gomes
  5. John Wilding
  6. Christopher Morton
  7. Kris Norris
  8. Gregory Russell
  9. Connor Clifford
  10. Phillip Arscott
  11. Nick Fontana
  12. Rich Pratt
  13. Glenn McGee Howle
  14. Steve Driscoll
  15. Sean Johnston
  16. Jose Cedeno
  17. Damian Gosztyla
  18. Derrek Dalton
  19. Emerson Trimble
  20. Ryan Gordon
  21. Matthew Wright
  22. Kyong Oh
  23. Iliya Bridan
  24. Brett Jones
  25. Nick Tenhulzen
  26. Tom Carstensen
  27. Carl Posey
  28. Darryl Southerland
  29. James Edwards
  30. Landon Harrison
  31. Brian Rice
  32. Brock Harrison

Taking one step closer to possibly becoming a part of a professional race car team, these 16 finalists emerged from a pool of over 53,000 hopefuls who competed for a top spot through Gran Turismo 5, battled their way through 2 days of intense racing, and earned a spot as one of the final 16. Congratulations from Sony, Polyphony Digital and Nissan North America to these truly amazing 16 individuals.

//Add Your Own

23 Comments

1

+ luciFOUR on March 23rd, 2011 at 5:26 pm said:

May I ask when we’ll see the prizes for participating in Round?


2

+ luciFOUR on March 23rd, 2011 at 5:28 pm said:

*Round 1


3

+ lxcainxl on March 23rd, 2011 at 5:41 pm said:

I wonder what ever happened to the supposed free content for everyone who tried out?

I participated in the GT Trials, Time Trials, and Drift Trials, but never got anything. Did anyone else read the same in the rules published?


4

+ Mobius2525 on March 23rd, 2011 at 6:24 pm said:

I wish i could be there.


5

+ LUGIEZ on March 23rd, 2011 at 7:14 pm said:

That’s awesome…only wish I could have put up a much faster time for the 1st round. I don’t recall reading about a free prize just for entry, but maybe, if so that would be sweet! a dynamic theme of a cool race circuit through pov of a nice ride!?


6

+ lxcainxl on March 23rd, 2011 at 7:27 pm said:

from : http://us.gran-turismo.com/us/academy/faq

Question #6:

“I love Gran Turismo 5, but I don’t think I’m good enough to become a pro race driver. What else is there to win besides a shot at becoming a professional race car driver for someone like myself?

Each week during the initial five-week time trial period, players can get a free digital download just for competing in the time trial events, regardless of where they are in the rankings. Content includes exclusive PS3 themes and an exclusive GT Academy racing suit for PlayStation HOME. Prizes to be awarded after the close of Round 1.

. . . ”

As I would understand this, the competing players get a free digital download just for competing in the time trial events, or so it would seem.

Did anyone receive anything at all toward this end?


7

+ xlr8life on March 23rd, 2011 at 8:13 pm said:

@ lxcainxl

This is from an article on gran-turismo.com posted on 12/20/2010:

“All players who enter and race will earn rewards just for trying their best. A piece of free exclusive digital content will be awarded each week for the five weeks of Round 1 to everyone who logs in and races GT Academy events. Content includes exclusive PS3 themes and an exclusive GT Academy racing suit for PlayStation HOME. Prizes to be awarded after the close of Round 1.”

Link for proof: http://us.gran-turismo.com/us/news/academy/d5512.html

The rules only mention prizes for Weekly Top Times and Winners of Round 1, nothing about all that participated in the event.

http://us.gran-turismo.com/us/academy/rules (Read “Prize” section)

I’ve given up on any hopes of getting anything from this, this contest was fun, it had it’s flaws, but I hope they (Nissan, PD and Sony) learn from all of this and hold a second GT Academy, and maybe the second one could be better than the first was.


8

+ Dosx001 on March 23rd, 2011 at 9:20 pm said:

i wish they could of done something like the tester 4 this no?


9

+ Pirate43 on March 23rd, 2011 at 10:03 pm said:

They should definitely turn this into a tester-style reality show.


10

+ badboodah77 on March 23rd, 2011 at 11:02 pm said:

#9, actually they have already announced it will be a reality show on Speed Network. From the pictures on the GTA Facebook page, it looks like they were there filming this week. Big film crews in some of the pics.

Regarding the Round 1 DLC prizes, they posted a while ago on the FB page that the prizes are on their way.

https://www.facebook.com/GTAcademyNA#!/GTAcademyNA?sk=wall&filter=2


11

+ karim300 on March 24th, 2011 at 3:12 am said:

Congratz


12

+ Mattsta001 on March 24th, 2011 at 6:18 am said:

Well done to the guys. A pity GT5 was such a big disappointment as a game, now sitting on only 84 on Metacritic. For Sony’s 1st party flagship racing title that is shameful. The series really needs a reboot as Polyphony are still stuck in the past and out of touch, using recycled assets from PS2 games, clumsy UI, poorly done damage implementation and archaic and anachronistic game design. They don’t even have a community manager, like they’re living in their own little bubble world. The Forza series has pretty much surpassed GT as the premier racing game this generation and Polyphony don’t have what it takes to keep up.


13

+ thepatriots on March 24th, 2011 at 7:19 am said:

First, congratulations to all the winners. I was in the Northeast so there was no chance of me making it to the final 8 in my region. I was like .8 seconds off and the top 8 times were separated by .1 sec.

Really, though, if anyone on the PS Blog is listening, GT really needs stronger community involvement. From Socom, to COD, to even GT’s rival Forza, all these games have had great community support and feedback. Feedback the fans can actually see when they play the game.

Unfortunately with GT5 most of the feedback occurred after the game release, at which point its public opinion was tarnished. I would hope that for GT6 PD and Playstation (they are running the PR show), put a better foot forward and get the PS Blog and GT community more involved through various lines of communication. From the blog, to twitter, to Facebook, to email surveys, etc.


14

+ CARBONtm on March 24th, 2011 at 8:54 am said:

The guy closest to the camera in the second shot should be eliminated for using the cheaty-slow everything down-girly assistance-third-person view ;)


15

+ KingDubin on March 24th, 2011 at 9:16 am said:

@ #12 Mattsta001: F*** you and F*** Off, man. Yes, GT5 was a disappointment, but not as big a disappointment as you (and some just like you who love Forza and hate GT) make it out to be. Go back to playing Froza, you Xbot Microwhore.


16

+ lxcainxl on March 24th, 2011 at 11:27 am said:

ATTN MODS:
Why is it my postings get held up as ‘awaiting for moderation’ … and yet people post things that, well, just read for yourself:

“15 + KingDubin on March 24th, 2011 at 9:16 am said:

@ #12 Mattsta001: F*** you and F*** Off, man. Yes, GT5 was a disappointment, but not as big a disappointment as you (and some just like you who love Forza and hate GT) make it out to be. Go back to playing Froza, you Xbot Microwhore.”

Give me a break, guys. :)


17

+ tylerh1701 on March 24th, 2011 at 11:52 am said:

@16 Exactly!


18

+ killen4fun on March 25th, 2011 at 8:01 am said:

@ Mattsta001, who wrote: ” The Forza series has pretty much surpassed GT as the premier racing game…”

While there is a lot of racing to be had in GT5, it is lauded as a DRIVING SIMULATOR. IMO, the “feel” of Forza pretty much sux. To each his own I suppose. The learning curve for GT5 is horrendous. Big fan of Need for Speed Shift, at least as far as turn on your system, slap in the game and start racing online competitively. Haven’t found one single racing game that is a 10 out of 10. I agree that GT5 could and should be better, especially for a game that has been developed for so long, with a prequel release to appease those who not-so-patiently waited and released with so much hype. I understand marketing needs to create a buzz, but often too much hype can’t live up to reality!


19

+ KingDubin on March 25th, 2011 at 11:29 am said:

@ #16 lxcainxl:

So you’re saying I’m a fanboy, eh? LMFAO. I respect Forza and what M$ and Turn 10 has done, but when you can say as a Racing Genre developer that the only thing you do better than GT is have a better overall car list and (maybe) a better track list, well, it speaks for itself, to quote you directly. Granted, I only played the first Forza, but you can immediately tell that the game was a Gran Turismo homage made by people who had previously worked on NFS games-which, from what I read, is the truth.


20

+ lxcainxl on March 25th, 2011 at 1:27 pm said:

His feet are gnarled and cracked,
Manky fur adorns his back,
Saffron eyes to twist and roll.

Foul words escape his maw,
Insipid thoughts which barely thaw,
In short, folks, it is a troll.

~fin~


21

+ KingDubin on March 25th, 2011 at 4:06 pm said:

@ #20 lxcainxl

LOL! Are you effin’ serious? You calling me a troll? Seriously? Now that’s a first. Apparently, you must a Lord Of The Rings fan if you’re quoting that crap. Give me a frickin’ break.


22

+ KingDubin on March 25th, 2011 at 4:16 pm said:

Oh, and to clarify myself, I had to respond to Mattsta001′s little jibe about Forza surpassing GT as the definite racing sim of this generation when GT is clearly superior to FM in many regards IMHO, which is fact BTW.


23

+ Volkoz on March 26th, 2011 at 11:14 pm said:

I agree with #14, on the 2nd pic the guy driving with “over the car” view wont do as good from inside. In this hyper-realistic contest, only in-car view should be allowed.


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