The three fastest drivers from the final will then travel to Silverstone, UK, to take part in the GT Academy - a real-life driving competition which puts the finalist behind the wheel of a real Nissan GT-R.

From the escapist dreamland of the PlayStation couch, to becoming a licensed race car driver is quite a stretch of the imagination. However, that's about to change as PlayStation and Nissan unite the worlds of virtual and real-life racing to make the dreams of aspiring race drivers a reality.

First revealed earlier this month, Nissan has just released the details of a giant Gran Turismo 5 Prologue three stage tournament which takes place online on the PlayStation Network in Europe. Through a series of eliminations the fastest 20 drivers in each country will be invited to a national final to compete head to head on Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. The three fastest drivers from the final will then travel to Silverstone, UK, to take part in the GT Academy - a real-life driving competition which puts the finalist behind the wheel of a real Nissan GT-R. In addition to the competition, the finalist will be evaluated for their mental and physical abilities. And if this wasn't good enough, the two fastest couch potatoes have a chance to earn their racing licenses after a four month training programme and take part in a real life race in a fully race prepared Nissan 350Z at the 24 Hour endurance event in Dubai in January 2009.

Stephane Cottin, Vice President, Marketing and Strategy, for Nissan in Europe continued: “GT Academy is a first for the motoring industry. Never before has a competition of this scale been undertaken to unite the worlds of virtual and real-life racing. GT Academy sets the challenge to see if gamers can recreate their performance behind the wheel of a real racing car and on their journey be amongst the first in Europe to drive the GT-R on track.”

See press release below for full details including tournament dates and registration.

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