Polyphony announced the racing contest, Gran Turismo Academy, with the release of Gran Turismo 5: Prologue last year to an excited group of gamers ready to prove themselves. European gamers uploaded their time trials for a chance to become a real race car driver. The winner, Lucas Ordoñez from Spain, was able to race a Nissan 350z in the Dubai 24H and finished at an impressive 9th. Not too bad for someone who’s only racing experience came from a controller and a PS3. The chance for European gamers to prove themselves for next year’s competition has arrived a little earlier than expected.
This Thursday, a demo for Grand Turismo 5 will be available on the PlayStation Network. The demo includes one track and two version of the Nissan 370z, a tuned and normal street version. Gamers will have until late January to improve their time with both cars. The times will be uploaded to a national leaderboard and the top 20 gamers will make it to the finals, where they will compete head-to-head for the chance to race in a fully tweaked 370z. For anyone not interested in competing in the academy, you get the bonus of being able to try out Gran Turismo 5 before its release next year. And of course, the competition is only available to people who reside in Europe