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16 Gran Turismo 5 Gamers Vie for Chance to Race for Real

by Shane McGlaun

Sony Computer Entertainment America, Polyphony Digital, and Nissan North America have announced that the final 16 Contestants have been chosen to compete for the top honors in the 2012 GT Academy North America TV show. The 16 gamers have been whittled from nearly 400,000 applicants that competed head-to-head on the PS3 videogame Gran Turismo 5 to win the chance at driving for a real race team.

The top 16 racers will fly to Silverstone racing circuit in the UK for a week-long boot camp in August. That week-long camp will be televised on Spike TV’s GT Academy TV series later this year. The driver who wins the contest will have a chance to race for an official Nissan racing team. The winner of last year’s competition was Bryan Heitkotter.

So far, he has raced a prepared Nissan 370Z race car to a podium finish in the Dubai 24 hours race, to front row qualifying spots, and two top 10 finishes in the Continental Tire Challenge Series. Not bad for someone who got his racing start playing a video game.

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