From Playstation jockey to Le Mans driver
Lucas Ordonez demonstrates why playing computer games, far from being a waste of time, can lead on to greater things.PT1M15S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2rw01 620 349 August 14, 2013
Nissan wants to find the best video game racer in Australia and turn them into a real-life racing star.
The Japanese brand has announced it will bring the Playstation GT Academy program to Australia in 2014. The national search will find the best video game racers before putting them to the test in real cars with the winner sent to race against the world's best in a global shootout.
Winning the finals is the ticket to a motor racing career with previous winner Jann Mardenborough last week signed by formula one world champions Red Bull Racing on a driver development program.
The original winner, Spaniard Lucas Ordonez, has now raced all over the world and has a Le Mans 24 hour podium finish to his name.
Gamers will be selected by playing a pre-selected track and car on the Gran Turismo 6 game with the 14 fastest in an online time trial joined by 14 selected from various live events around Australia.
Those 28 finalists will then be whittled down to a final six via a series of tests both of driving ability (in a Nissan 370Z) as well as physical strength and media skills.
The team will then be sent to England for the global final at the Silverstone circuit where the winner will be chosen after a further week of tests.
However, even if one of the six Australian’s doesn’t win the global award, Nissan Australia is likely to sign him or her up to work with the company’s V8 Supercar team to start a racing career in Australia.
Nissan Australia is also believed to be in discussions with television networks to turn the contest into a reality show.
The first live round will run in conjunction with this weekend's V8 Supercars opening race the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.
Entrants must be over the age of 18.