The Last Guardian

May 27

GT Academy: Silverstone, Here We Come!

Brian Dunn's Avatar Posted by on May 27, 2011 // Associate Product Marketing Manager

GT Academy logo

The time has come! We are now a little more than a week away from crowning the first winner of GT Academy here in the US. This weekend, the nation’s top 16 Gran Turismo 5 players will be making their way across the ocean to participate in the final phase of GT Academy, an intense week-long racing camp to be held at the Silverstone Circuit in the U.K. Participants will be judged by an expert panel of racing veterans, judging each competitor’s performance behind the wheel of real Nissan race cars, as well as through other grueling challenges designed to push their physical and mental stamina to the limits. The person who is judged to have the most natural talent and potential to succeed as a professional race car driver will be crowned the first GT Academy champion in the US.

Watch a recap of what went down in March at the National Finals event, where the nation’s top 32 GT5 players, who made it through a field of over 53,000 entrants, faced off to determine which 16 would make the trip to Silverstone to compete in real cars for a shot at being GT Academy champion.

The GT Academy champion will go on to train with elite race coaches and drivers before competing as part of a professional racing team. If the champion truly has what it takes, he will go on to take part in major international races like the 24 Hours of Le Mans, just like the first European GT Academy winner, Lucas Ordonez, who will race at Le Mans in a few weeks. In just three short years, Lucas has gone from grad student to making his first appearance on Le Mans… and the US GT Academy champion could be joining him there in a few years!

Congratulations from Sony, Polyphony Digital and Nissan North America to these truly amazing 16 individuals. We wish them all good luck.

The top 16, in no particular order:

Bryan Heitkotter, Christopher Roberts, Jason Miller, Andre Gomes, John Wilding, Christopher Morton, Kris Norris, Gregory Russell, Connor Clifford, Phillip Arscott, Nick Fontana, Rich Pratt, Glenn McGee Howle, Steve Driscoll, Sean Johnston, Jose Cedeno

Join us on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest news and happenings direct from Silverstone next week, and watch for the GT Academy reality show to debut on the Speed Channel this fall.

//Add Your Own

97 Comments   2 Replies

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+ jcperry on May 27th, 2011 at 11:06 am said:

Wonder if I say first if I win something ?


+ materclobber on May 27th, 2011 at 11:10 am said:

Brian Dunn, i know that this is off topic but when will there be more NGP updates? PLEASE REPLY IF YOU KNOW! thank you


+ yazter on May 27th, 2011 at 11:13 am said:

Is this like the GT5 version of the Tester?


+ Airwalkinman17 on May 27th, 2011 at 11:16 am said:

Dang that video was awesome. Captivating!
I want to see a part 2 or something to follow up on who wins.
Will we be able to see something like that soon?

    Brian Dunn's Avatar


    + Brian Dunn on May 27th, 2011 at 11:32 am said:


    Glad you liked the video! The Silverstone race camp will be a reality show on Speed Channel this fall, and you can follow updates next directly from Silverstone on our Facebook page –>


+ LUGIEZ on May 27th, 2011 at 11:18 am said:

Cool. Looking forward to the show on SPEED to see how this all goes down. Should be fun for that lucky guy, race hard and smart feller!


+ Anakronysm on May 27th, 2011 at 11:19 am said:

This is great!

They should sweeten the deal with a car from Nissan added to the final Grand Prize :p


+ anton71 on May 27th, 2011 at 11:26 am said:

You dopes completely just continue to ignore us . When is the friggin store opening


+ d_mon87 on May 27th, 2011 at 11:27 am said:



+ doodooshorts on May 27th, 2011 at 11:39 am said:

I gotta find out what the age range of these competitors…….no reason, but i gotta root for the “old dude” of the group

    Brian Dunn's Avatar


    + Brian Dunn on May 27th, 2011 at 11:51 am said:

    Check out the “And Then There Were 16” post here, has profiles on the 16 finalists:

    Next week’s going to be exciting for these 16 guys, to say the least.


+ OVERDOSE665 on May 27th, 2011 at 11:40 am said:

Cant wait


+ doodooshorts on May 27th, 2011 at 11:41 am said:

of these competitors *is


+ immortalprime on May 27th, 2011 at 11:43 am said:

@ Anton71 yes i agree with you..this should not be a top update on the PS Store should be top story..if the store is not open by the end of this month im done with sony..will be selling both my Ps3 systems..i know im just one person and i dont count for much but im sure there are thousands more every day that feel the same way..ignore one and ignore us all before you know it no one is using a PS3 or any sony product any more..


+ Deathspear666 on May 27th, 2011 at 11:51 am said:

@doodooshorts…second that one…been gaming since about 83′ lol Damn how time flies…..


+ a7x_RoCk3r on May 27th, 2011 at 11:54 am said:

Little off topic…but black ops still sucks ;)


+ DragonGoose on May 27th, 2011 at 12:04 pm said:

This is getting a little more than frustration, update us on the store or don’t update us at all, felt like it was shoving DLC in our faces with the previous blog entry reminding us of the DLC we haven’t been able to get yet from the games we bought weeks ago.


+ card1157 on May 27th, 2011 at 12:11 pm said:

@immortalprime I want the store up to but you don’t have to be a jerk about it. You know their losing money everyday it’s down wouldn’t think their trying to get it up and running again? Playstation is making right :)


+ Knight_Rider96 on May 27th, 2011 at 12:26 pm said:

Sony, Not trying to sound like all those other sell ps3 threats but, a friendly question. If you have the PSN up then isn’t your new security already in place? And if so what else is left that is stalling the store?


+ LuiguiPR on May 27th, 2011 at 12:39 pm said:

Ohhhhh great for those people now were is the Ps Store, I have Uncharted 2 GOTY and it says that the code expires at 2010 and I have to tomorrow to return the game, stop posting simple things and give us the ps store or maybe you will lose another client.


+ LuiguiPR on May 27th, 2011 at 12:40 pm said:

great for those people now were is the Ps Store, I have Uncharted 2 GOTY and it says that the code expires at 2010 and I have to tomorrow to return the game, stop posting simple things and give us the ps store or maybe you will lose another client.


+ Lord_Ka1n on May 27th, 2011 at 12:45 pm said:



+ etur0 on May 27th, 2011 at 12:55 pm said:

@ the people complaining about the posting stuff here and not working on the store

do you guys realize that there are different teams one works on the blog and the other works on the store and they are working has hard and has fast has they can to bring it up and it will come up when they are done with it complaining and threatening that you are going to leave Sony isn’t going to make it come up any faster


+ etur0 on May 27th, 2011 at 12:57 pm said:

also the developers of the games can post here has well and they have nothing to do with the psn


+ LuiguiPR on May 27th, 2011 at 1:13 pm said:

Yeah they are working extreme super fast for the ps store that there is nothing. Same in the ps network, they were working sooooo fast that it last 1 month.


+ Lord_Ka1n on May 27th, 2011 at 1:14 pm said:

do you realize what a run-on sentance is?


+ GTAPLATT on May 27th, 2011 at 1:14 pm said:



+ MCstatiK on May 27th, 2011 at 1:36 pm said:

Good competition. Have to imagine the final 16 would be so good at GT that there would be SOME crossover talent to the real driving.

Enter all the crying little babies and their PS store tantrums. Boohoo.


+ BJtheLegend on May 27th, 2011 at 1:51 pm said:

GT5 online is a mix between impossibly hard and laughably easy. just a protip to anyone thinking of tackling the multi-player.


+ zekececil14 on May 27th, 2011 at 2:29 pm said:

Did you guys notice the McAfee secure tag at the bottom of the login page? I dont think it was there before, but it means

“The McAfee SECURE™ trustmark only appears when the website has passed our intensive, daily security scan. We test for possible personal information access, links to dangerous sites, phishing, and other online dangers.”


+ Rbrtchng on May 27th, 2011 at 2:46 pm said:

This is awesome. Put the episodes up on PSN Store please. I’d much rather watch this than the Tester.


+ Jimmy_Cosmos on May 27th, 2011 at 3:05 pm said:

Why don’t you update GT5 with the Silverstone track?? GT5 needs some new life injected into it, I’m kinda bored of playing it. New tracks/cars please.


+ Alyyse on May 27th, 2011 at 3:35 pm said:

the best racing franchise ever


+ DragonGoose on May 27th, 2011 at 3:59 pm said:

I am not threatening to go anywhere, just showing them how annoyed I am, I wish they would hurry up or at least let us know their progress, my patience is running thin, please for the love of gamers get it back up soon.


+ Zanora on May 27th, 2011 at 4:04 pm said:

Nice Blog.

Any new updates you can share with us regarding PSN Store? If plans are set in stone to bring it up on Tuesday next week, why not bring it up earlier if it’s ready, regardless about the weekly Tuesday PSN Store updates scheduled. This would be an exception considering the circumstances PS3 is in right now.

There must be some news somewhere within the Sony Corporation that can be revealed to us.

thank you


+ Deathspear666 on May 27th, 2011 at 4:31 pm said:

@zekececil14….McAffe really blows lol Did you post that just to be sarcastic?? If so kudos lol


+ TallCrowe on May 27th, 2011 at 4:50 pm said:

You are updating about everything except what we want to hear about.


+ michclb4 on May 27th, 2011 at 5:50 pm said:

I now gran turismo the game hasnt had a update for the online store in ages , u cant find anything used car wise but the same old thing everyday . i see they have updated seasonal events but nothing else hope something comes soon .


+ j091222 on May 27th, 2011 at 5:56 pm said:

This is just awesome. I would love to be in an event like this!


+ AnalogicBass on May 27th, 2011 at 5:56 pm said:

sorry about the past comment but its frustating :(


+ DragonGoose on May 27th, 2011 at 6:00 pm said:

To be clear i am happy with sony as in with gaming, and products, but not thrilled with their attitude with c customers and keeping us in the dark with their lack of updates or the vagueness of the ones they do give out, I am not leaving sony anytime soon but have lost respect for them.


+ MakaveliGangsta on May 27th, 2011 at 6:24 pm said:

yea i want my stuff i paid for i dont care about the store


+ SpyroDragon121 on May 27th, 2011 at 7:21 pm said:

oh yay another update on PS store and compensation NOT >:o


+ David9602 on May 27th, 2011 at 7:28 pm said:

i wish i would of tried this event i live like an hour away from orlando,fl


+ Acemarzan on May 27th, 2011 at 8:09 pm said:

Can’t wait…


+ rockiez707 on May 27th, 2011 at 8:18 pm said:

Finally!!!! Asia is back online!! Wuhooo!! Kick some ass!! M.w2/blackOps!!


+ DeathKiller49 on May 27th, 2011 at 8:55 pm said:

come one sonyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy playstation store i know people are happy that the blog is now talking about games but i want the new stuff !


+ thepatriots on May 28th, 2011 at 3:52 am said:

Hey Playstation, not to be that guy, but, next year do you think it would be possible to provide Thrustmaster’s new wheel (T500 RS) instead of the Logitech DFGT? I heard that a lot of the wheels used had been worn out from previous show use and that this made this very difficult for the drivers competing. I would hate to work that hard and then have equipment let me down. Skill is skill but as anyone with a T500 RS for Fanatec GT2/3 and ask them the advantage is gives them.


+ capitales7 on May 28th, 2011 at 3:54 am said:

Well done to these guys. GT5 is truly a challenging simulation of real driving. It’ll be interesting to see how they far in the real car! :)


+ djspinshouse4u on May 28th, 2011 at 4:36 am said:

PEOPLE PEOPLE PEOPLE… any and all information you provide to ANY ENTITY, can be exploited!!!

The rest of you children need to S T F U and stop whining, the adults are busy working, and talking this thing out. Think before you speak… and be resourceful and informed before you hand your info to ANYBODY!!!

I’m off to GTA Online… come and get me, beeeches!!!


+ XDUDE3D on May 28th, 2011 at 5:06 am said:

Yet another update that says nothing about their platform still not being 100% operational.


+ benjabutt17 on May 28th, 2011 at 5:23 am said:

PSN STORE PLEASE!!!!!! im tired of all this other crap when i got money to burn on my psn lets go

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