NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Nissan GT Academy returns to U.S. television for its third season, determining once again which of America's best racers from PlayStation®3 driving simulator Gran Turismo®6 have what it takes to make the jump from the couch to the cockpit to become a professional racing driver.
Season 3, Episode 1 of Nissan GT Academy debuts on SPIKE TV at 10:30pm ET/9:30pm CT on Monday, November 11. Five 30-minute episodes will air each Monday, leading up to a one-hour season finale on December 16, in which a winner will be crowned. Episodes will also air with a one-week delay on MTV2 starting November 18, and every episode will be available on the Nissan YouTube channel the Thursday after its original air date.
"We are excited to announce the third season of the GT Academy show and to further our relationship with PlayStation and SPIKE TV after last year's success. At Nissan, performance and excitement is at the heart of our brand, and the third season will deliver both for our audience. We are confident the Season 3 winner will demonstrate speed, strength and soul: all qualities of a Nissan Motorsports Athlete that will translate into success on the track for Nissan," said Jon Brancheau, vice president, Marketing, Nissan North America.
The show, a race from virtual to reality, provides the top Gran Turismo drivers with a chance to become a professional racing driver for Nissan. Over 400,000 racing enthusiasts registered for the competition, with the top 32 contenders making it to the National Finals in New York City. This year, in a change from the previous two seasons, the finals saw the contestants get whittled down to just 12 finalists after a series of virtual, media and real-life driving challenges.
Over the course of the six-part series, the 12 finalists are put through the paces on the track at Silverstone in the U.K. to determine one Nissan GT Academy winner. The competition includes a variety of physical, psychological and athletic challenges in addition to extensive track time in Nissan 370Z NISMOs, Nissan GT-Rs and the Nissan JUKE NISMO.
The show is hosted by ex-NFL player Dhani Jones. Judges for Season 3 include returning racing stars Danny Sullivan and Boris Said, with former racer and GT Academy instructor Rob Barff joining the expert panel for Season 3.
A Nissan GT Academy First Person online experience was created to provide a fun interactive element for fans of the show. Using video and motion tracking, users get to experience the action firsthand and feel what it's like to be behind the wheel of a racecar. Videos are accessible via web browser, tablet or phone, and once completed, users can share their performance with friends on Facebook.
The GT Academy program is currently running in six regions: Europe, Russia, Germany, South Africa, the Middle East and the United States. Winners from the program have gone on to compete professionally in racing competitions around the world. Inaugural GT Academy Europe winner Lucas Ordonez won the Pro-Am division championship of this year's Blancpain Endurance Series in a Nissan GT-R, while numerous GT Academy winners won pole positions and finished on the podium at a variety of races around the world in 2013.
The GT Academy program was developed in partnership with TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles, OMD and RadicalMedia. The TV series is directed by Jeff Zwart. Critical Mass is responsible for the First Person online experience.
Nissan GT Academy Season 3 preview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N_hQqNNbM0&feature=youtu.be
First Person online experience: www.nissanusa.com/gtacademyshow
Nissan GT Academy Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GTAcademyNA
Meet the 2013 Nissan GT Academy finalists here.
Nissan USA YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/nissanusa
About the Gran Turismo® Franchise
Gran Turismo® celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2013, having first appeared internationally in 1998. The multi-award-winning franchise has been the most successful ever for PlayStation®, and in 2013 it also surpassed worldwide sales of 70 million units. Various iterations of Gran Turismo have been created for PlayStation®, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PlayStation®3 and PSP (PlayStation® Portable), and have always been regarded as the best and most authentic driving simulators ever created due to true-to-life graphics, authentic physics technology and design. Since the inception of Gran Turismo, famed creator Kazunori Yamauchi and Polyphony Digital Inc. in Japan have revolutionized the racing category as we know it today. His offerings provide the most realistic driving simulation in the industry and a unique medium for automotive manufacturers to showcase their products. Gran Turismo®5, the latest iteration of the game, was released on November 24, 2010 and has sold 10 million units worldwide. The forthcoming Gran Turismo®6 will be released on December 6, 2013.
About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com, or visit the Americas media sites NissanNews.com and InfinitiNews.com.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 236,000 employees globally, Nissan sold more than 4.9 million vehicles and generated revenue of 9.6 trillion Yen (USD 116.16 billion) in fiscal 2012. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of over 60 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history.
For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.
About Spike TV
Spike TV is available in 98.8 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks. A unit of Viacom, Viacom Media Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV's Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV's press site at http://www.spike.com/press. Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.