Hello racing fans –
Two days ago, PlayStation hosted the 7th annual Gran Turismo (GT) Awards in Las Vegas, taking place in conjunction with the 2009 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show. We had some impressive entries and a fantastic turnout at the ceremony, headlined by a live performance from the The Offspring at Rain nightclub inside the Palms hotel. Kazunori Yamauchi – creator of the Gran Turismo franchise – chose a 1970 Ford Mustang from our Hot Rod category as our overall “Best in Show” vehicle, so a big congratulations to owners Todd Gartshore and Phil Koenan – get ready to see you car cruising around the virtual tracks of Gran Turismo 5!
Speaking of GT Awards winners, we got a chance to catch up with two of our past champs at the event and got their thoughts on winning “Best in Show”, but also how it feels to see (and play) your very own car in Gran Turismo, which they were able to play last night for the first time. Here’s what they had to say:
Brian Filoteo of High End Performance, Inc., 2008 winner with his 2007 Infinity G37
“Being a part of the winning team at the GT Awards was a surreal experience. We all feel very grateful and humbled by winning the most prestigious award in the automotive aftermarket industry. It’s every enthusiast’s dream to be immortalized in Gran Turismo and we are extremely honored by being one of the select few to win – can’t wait to win again! Watch out for us next year when we release our next big project. Everything we do here is for our brother JR. May he rest in peace.
Seeing the car in the game is a hair-raising experience. Immediately after walking in the award ceremony last night, we were graced with videos of our car in the game. I got goose bumps just from seeing the car driving around the beautiful virtual world of Gran Turismo. The look and feel is identical to real life and the detail captured in the game is incredible. The drive feel is also scary similar, especially the sensation of speed. Real life physics and textures are presented perfectly and really the only thing that can compare to it is actually hoping in a real car and taking a drive. On behalf of high end performance and JR Rocha I would like to thank SCEA and Polyphony Digital for the opportunity and the fulfillment of a dream. JR Rocha, this is all for you and we miss you with all our heart. Thank you again for the honor and the privilege to be a Gran Turismo Awards winner.”
Marcel Horn, President of HPA Motorsports Inc., 2007 winner with his 2007 Audi TT
“Being a GT Awards finalist is an honor in itself; to be linked with the elite of the industry and have our team’s work acknowledged by our peers amidst the vast range of impressive vehicles at the SEMA Show makes me extremely proud. The night we took home the Best in Show award, our entire team was on cloud nine. The energy level in the room was amazing as all egos seemed to be checked at the door while everyone shared in this common passion.
Having our 2004 Golf R32 appear in Gran Turismo 4 had been a highlight for our team and forever changed my view of gaming simulators. What SCEA and Polyphony have achieved with this latest rendition of the game had me questioning virtual vs reality. The incredible detail they captured brought the car to life. Driving our Audi TT at the awards party last night was one of the most liberating experiences, and I marveled at the sensation of speed and uninhibited interface with the car. I have quickly discovered a new addiction with this game—one that won’t require donations to the state patrol!”
Go here for additional information about the event and to see pictures and all of the category winners.