After completing a series of races and challeneges on the Playstation game Gran Turismo 5, the two places to represent the UK at the international final went to 19-year-old Jann Mardenborough from Cardiff and 29-year-old James Hudson from Bromley.
The ultimate prize is a seat in a Nissan 370Z at the Dubai 24 hour international endurance race.
Mardenborough said: ‘This is amazing. All those hours up in my bedroom with my mum shouting to come down for dinner and me shouting ‘just another five minutes’ seem worth it now.’
Now in its third year, the national format was changed to include additional tasks to ascertain the competitiors’ suitability as a real racing driver.
The 22 finalists were subjected to physical tests, a media interview and real life driving in a Nissan 370Z. Competitors gained points for each contest, determining which two UK representatives will progress to the GT Academy International ‘Race Camp’.
Mardenborough and Hudson will now join the other 28 International finalists at the ultimate five day ‘Race Camp’ in June.
GT Academy, a partnership between Nissan and Sony Computer Entertainment, provides a platform to see if it is possible to successfully take a car racing gamer from the virtual world into the real world of racing cars at a high level.
The first winner in 2008, Lucas Ordoñez, is continually proving how successful this competition can be with not only success in the FIA GT4 championship but has now secured a seat at the 2011 Le Mans 24 hour race in the Signatech Nissan LMP2 team.
Andy Connell, category manager sports and 4×4 for Nissan Motor (GB) Limited, said: ‘We now move to the GT Academy 2011 international final stage and a baptism of fire awaits our two UK winners.
;It’s going to be fascinating to see who can most effectively adapt their on-screen skills to the real track. If the international finalists are looking for inspiration, they should recognise what previous winners Lucas and Jordan have achieved in such a short space of time.’
For dealers who want to follow the progress of GT Academy 2011, news will be shared on a variety of platforms including: www.facebook.com/GTAcademy | http://eu.gran-turismo.com |www.twitter.com/GTAcademy