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Over Half a Million European Entries for the GT Academy 2012 Qualifying

More than half a million people in Europe have downloaded and played the innovative new Gran Turismo® Qualifying Demo to enter the Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy 2012. The players, from the 12 countries that make up GT Academy Europe, plus Germany and Russia which have their own contests in 2012, have notched up more than 50 million virtual kilometres between them playing the eight-round online competition.

The fastest gamers on the GT Academy Qualifying Demo for Europe will set out on an incredible journey. The top 16 qualifiers from each participating territory, in addition to a number of winners from a series of GT Academy ‘Live Events’, will be invited to take part in National Finals where the switch from virtual to reality begins as real Nissan cars become part of the action. The best six from each competing territory (UK and Ireland; France; Italy; Spain and Portugal; Benelux; and Austria, Switzerland and Poland) will then head to Silverstone for the seven-day intensive Race Camp. The overall winner of GT Academy Europe will be joined by the German and Russian winners for a comprehensive racing driver development programme to qualify for an international race licence and prepare for the rigours of taking part in the Dubai 24 Hour race in a Nissan 370Z GT4 race car in January 2013.

While dreams of following in the tyre tracks of former GT Academy winners Lucas Ordoñez and Jordan Tresson (both racing in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2012) and 2011 winner Jann Mardenborough (currently contesting the Blancpain Endurance Series in a Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3) will be inspiring many PlayStation®3 owners to download the demo, others are simply motivated by a desire to beat their friends. The user-friendly competition allows players to see a mini-league of their PSN friends. Also up for grabs are exclusive ‘gifts’ for use in Gran Turismo®5 by those who successfully complete the challenges.

Competitors require access to a PS3™ connected to the internet and to be registered to PlayStation®Network. The Qualification Demo, developed by legendary Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi, remains open until 23:59 BST on 24th June (00:59CEST on 25 June). Players can start playing at any point up until then, but will need to have successfully completed all of the challenges before entering the final time trial for their place on the GT Academy leaderboard.

The GT Academy Qualifying Demo has so far made use of an array of iconic Nissan cars and a number of Gran Turismo tracks. Starting with the all-electric Nissan Leaf, the challenges have gradually increased in complexity and included an ’02 Nissan Silvia Spec-R Aero, a ’94 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-spec II and the ’08 Nissan 370Z GT Academy. All of the cars can be claimed ‘in-game’ at the end of the qualifying process by those who achieve Gold in the challenges.