Ready, steady, play!

2012-10-20 09:06

Every petrol junkie dreams of being a professional racer.

It often shows in their driving styles and their obsession with racing via gaming consoles.

Finally, being a gamer could get you a fast-forward card into the real world of racing.

If you read any biography of your favourite race driver, you’ll probably learn that they started racing go-karts at a young age.

The earlier you get behind the wheel and race, the better the driver you will become and the better your chances of making it as a career.

Sadly, for anyone already past their teen years dreaming of still becoming a track driver, the chances are pretty slim. Or are they?

Japanese car maker Nissan and PlayStation, the popular video game console, joined forces and launched the GT Academy virtual-to-reality racing competition across Europe in 2008.

The programme has come to South Africa this year and in just a few months, obsessive gamers will race it out behind the wheels of track-ready cars on the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in Britain in the international leg of the competition.

Many spouses will not be happy about this as their loved ones will be spending more time behind their Gran Turismo (GT) games to practice.

Local gamers can download the free gaming format which went live earlier this week and it will remain open until December 10.

The eight-step qualification programme can be played online by anyone with a PlayStation 3.

There are three stages for the competition.

Stage one: The fastest 16 gamers in each participating city will gain access to the national final. Another nine finalists will also make it through via a series of Live GT Five events, making the total 25.

Stage two: The top eight of the 25 finalists will progress to the GT Academy Race Camp at the Silverstone Circuit, where they will compete against finalists from the Middle East.

Stage three: One winner from the GT Academy competition will be crowned the 2013 GT Academy champion and then move on to an intensive driver development programme.

The champion, he or she, will then qualify for an international race licence in order to qualify and compete in the Silverstone 24-hour race in September.

Nissan says there have been five winners so far since 2008, of which four of them have already achieved success in the professional racing scene.

» For more information, visit the website:

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