GT Academy, as some of you will be aware, is a special competition that PlayStation and Nissan created to turn PlayStation gamers into real drivers. Over the last three years, we have unearthed some real genuine racing talent and now this could be your chance to make those racing fantasies a reality or, failing that, earn some bragging rights against your mates.
The first stage of Academy is an online qualification event and, this year Yamauchi-san and the Polyphony team have created an exclusive, feature packed new piece of Gran Turismo content that promises to be a lot of fun. What’s even more exciting is that the content is free to download and you don’t need to have a copy of Gran Turismo to play the game.
Here’s how everything works – the exclusive Gran Turismo content will be available to download from PlayStation Store, free of charge, from 17.00BST / 18.00CEST on May 1 until 23.59BST / 00.59CEST on 24 June. You can download and take part at any time during this period, so even if you miss the start you can still play catch up and get involved.
Once you have downloaded the content, Polyphony Digital will release new rounds approximately every two weeks; in total there are eight rounds and within each round there are five sections.
Here’s a list of the rounds and when they will be available:
Round 1 and 2:
1/5 (Tue) 17.00BST – 24/6 (Sun) 23:59 BST
Round 3 and 4:
14/5 (Mon) 00:00 – 24/6 (Sun) 23:59 BST
Round 5 and 6:
28/5 (Mon) 00:00 – 24/6 (Sun) 23:59 BST
Round 7 and 8 (ROUND 8 IS FINAL/QUALIFICATION EVENT):
11/6 (Mon) 00:00 – 24/6 (Sun) 23:59 BST
Each of the rounds features a different racing skill to learn and master. You will need to clear a round to be able to progress to the next one.
If you are able to complete all events in a round to Gold standard, you will receive the car from that round for use in GT5, but even if you manage to just get through at Bronze level, there are special in-game treats to unlock.
Throughout the May – June period you will be able to check how you are doing compared to your PSN friends and others from all over Europe – but you will not be competing at this point; you will, of course, be honing your skills though.
And you will need to have done some serious honing as things will get very interesting in the very final event of the eighth round.
This is where you will have to show your game face. Pull out all the stops in this final event and place within the top 16 places, then you’re in with a chance of progressing to the National Final event in July, the Silverstone Racecamp in July and the the Driver Development Programme from September to December, all culminating the starting grid for the Dubai 24HR race for one skilled driver.
More information on GT Academy will follow very soon so and you can read up at gran-turismo.com and also get involved with the Academy community at facebook.com/GTAcademy and over at the official PlayStation Forums in the following languages: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish.
It’s time to get your race face on!