Green Flag Flies for Nissan GT Academy Season 3 on July 2

Nissan, Sony PlayStation, and Polyphony Digital again partner to give virtual racers a shot to live the dream of driving real racing cars on track

-- Download free demo of Sony's new Gran Turismo 6® for PlayStation®3 to enter

-- Top 32 gamers go head-to-head; fastest will advance to Silverstone, England competition

-- Nissan GT Academy will air on Spike TV in November

Jul 01, 2013, 17:44 ET from Nissan Americas

FRANKLIN, Tenn., July 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The wait is almost over and the green flag is about to drop signaling the start of a 26-day competition to identify the fastest Gran Turismo racers in the U.S.  On Tuesday, July 2 at 8 p.m. Eastern (5 p.m. Pacific), virtual racers can download a brand new free demo of the upcoming release of Gran Turismo 6 (GT6) for Sony PlayStation 3 and start laying down hot laps for a shot at becoming the latest GT Academy U.S. winner.

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This season, gamers will have a chance to preview a special GT Academy demo version of the upcoming release of Gran Turismo 6 from Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA) and Polyphony Digital Inc. months before its official release.  Virtual racers can go to  to download the demo version, sign up and get started.

"Nissan GT Academy and the Gran Turismo game make such a great partnership between Nissan and Sony," said Jon Brancheau, vice president, Marketing, Nissan North America, Inc. "It is gratifying to see our performance cars showcased in an incredible new racing game, and I look forward to partnering with Sony PlayStation for a third season of the Nissan GT Academy series."

Last season more than 400,000 gamers signed up to compete in the online competition that culminated in San Diego with the 32 finalists and one Racer X play-in spot racing against each other for one of the finalist spots. Finalists then flew to legendary Silverstone Circuit in England to participate in the "Nissan GT Academy" television show on the Spike channel for the chance to represent Nissan in their motorsports programs.

Steve Doherty, from Illinois, prevailed over his peers in an intense week-long Nissan GT Academy competition at Silverstone that involved a variety of physical, mental and on-track driving challenges.

"This past year has been a blur – and I mean that in a good way," said Doherty.  "Since winning the competition, I have had a chance to drive top-notch 370Z and GT-R racing cars all over Europe and I've driven in the 24 Hours of Dubai.  The network of friends and racers I've built up is amazing, and I'm looking forward to bringing the experience I've gained back home to the U.S."

Kazunori Yamauchi, at Polyphony Digital and creator of the Gran Turismo series, has set an interesting challenge for Gran Turismo entrants featuring stunningly re-created cars including the Nissan LEAF, 370Z and GT-R. The GT6 demo will guide players through beginner rounds of a GT Academy-themed race camp before unlocking the final qualifying event featuring the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit, making GT Academy equally accessible to Gran Turismo novices and experts alike. Anyone who registers and submits a qualifying time will receive free bonus content.

"GT Academy is testament to why Gran Turismo is the true racing simulator," said Asad Qizilbash, senior director of product marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America. "The PlayStation community has proven time and time again that Gran Turismo's racing mechanics translate to the real world of race car driving, with racers who first cut their teeth racing in Gran Turismo now competing on the world stage. We encourage gamers of all skill levels to enter the contest, not just to be among the first to play Gran Turismo 6, but also for a chance to turn their driving passion into a career in the race world."

The checkered flag drops to end the online competition Sunday, July 28 at 3:59 p.m. Eastern (12:59 p.m. Pacific). Owners of the top 31 best times in the system at that time who are eligible* will join Racer X competition winner Armen Aghakhan at the national finals in August.  Racer X was determined in a head-to-head live competition at the E3 Gaming Conference in early June.

The demo version will remain open for online play until GT6 becomes available to purchase, later this year. GT Academy U.S. will air on Spike TV this fall at a time and date to be announced.  Learn more about GT Academy at

About Nissan Americas

In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, design, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. More information about Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at and Visit the NISMO performance parts and accessories site at and Nissan Performance on Facebook.

About Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC  

Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation® and PS one® systems, the PlayStation®2 system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system, the ground-breaking PlayStation®3 (PS3™) system and its online and network services the PlayStation®Network and PlayStation®Store.

Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets, and distributes software for the PS one, PlayStation 2, PSP and PS3 systems for the North American market.  Based in Foster City, California, Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC serves as headquarters for all North American operations and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Visit us on the Web at                          

About Gran Turismo®

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 in November, 2010 and has sold 10 million units worldwide.

About Spike TV

Spike TV is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), 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 and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV's press site at Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

SOURCE Nissan Americas