Celebrated In: United Kingdom
The awards honour the UK top performers in a number of categories including marketing, PR, and sponsorship. After the fantastic year of sport enjoyed in 2012, the awards have seen an increase of 30% in the number of entries. The judging process took place over 50 intense hours by 45 key figures of the industry and recognises the best in class performance and achievements across various sporting arenas.
In its fourth iteration of the programme, GT Academy challenges the traditional, expensive route into motorsport by unearthing real racing talent from the ranks of super-fast PlayStation gamers and turns one into a professional Nissan racing driver. The virtual-to-reality racing competition attracted over 830,000 entries from Gran Turismo®5 gamers in 12 European countries in 2012. The resultant TV series has also reached its biggest ever audience, with media coverage and social media interactions continuing to grow.
Since its inception in 2008, the GT Academy competition has become unquestionably the world’s most accessible racing driver scholarship. After four seasons, the European programme has turned eight talented gamers into genuine real-world circuit stars. The popularity of GT Academy has seen its global footprint grow substantially, with competitions now staged in Europe, USA, Russia, South Africa and the Middle East, giving gamers worldwide the chance to take the extraordinary journey from sofa to race track.
GT Academy recently took centre stage at the high-profile 2013 Dubai 24 Hours endurance race, where the latest European winner, Belgian competitor Wolfgang Reip, was part of the GT Academy team that guided the Nissan 370Z Nismo GT4 race car to a podium celebration.