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Six young Australian gamers win places at Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy International Final

  • Written by Nissan Motorsport
Finalists. From left; Peter Read, Joshua Muggleton, Dylan Gulson, Luca Giacomin, Marcello Rivera and Benjamin Smith
Finalists. From left; Peter Read, Joshua Muggleton, Dylan Gulson, Luca Giacomin, Marcello Rivera and Benjamin Smith

Six winners selected from 28 finalists at intense Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy Australian Final


      Final six to travel to the Silverstone circuit in the United Kingdom next month to compete at Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy International Final

      Winner from Silverstone to complete ‘gamer to pro’ journey and race for Nissan at 2015 Dubai 24 Hour sportscar race

      YOUTUBE NEWS VIDEO: http://youtu.be/MK80mNFsZBg

-       VIDEO NEWS FEED DOWNLOAD: http://bammedia.createsend1.com/t/r-e-mourht-l-r/

MELBOURNE, Australia (14 July 2014) – Nissan Australia and Sony Computer Entertainment Australia have confirmed the six Australian gamers that will compete at the Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy International Final at the Silverstone circuit in the United Kingdom next month.
The six Australians earned progression after a gruelling Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy Australian Final in Melbourne over the weekend, where 28 of Australia’s best gamers competed for glory across two days of intense competition.

Sydney’s Joshua Muggleton, Melbournians Peter Read, Benjamin Smith, Marcello Rivera and Luca Giacomin, and Dylan Gulson, who resides from Bathurst, New South Wales – the spiritual home of Australian motorsport – won the six coveted places at Silverstone.

These six successful gamers now prepare to battle against fellow gamers from Thailand, India, Mexico and the Middle East at the 2014 Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy International Race Camp. The Australian finalists will compete against 24 international hopefuls, getting the opportunity to compete in on-track evaluations at the home of the British Grand Prix, driving some of Nissan’s best road and race cars.

The winner of the International Final will get the chance to become a professional race driver, as they’re put through an intensive Driver Development Programme to ready them for a drive with Nissan at the 2015 Dubai 24 Hour sportscar race.

The Australian Final was held over two days in wintery conditions, with finalists from all around Australia converging on Melbourne for the pressure-filled event. Fourteen contestants progressed through to the final via ‘online play’ of Gran Turismo®6 on PlayStation®3, with the other 14 qualifying via ‘live events’ held at V8 Supercars Championship events in Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth, as well as shopping centre events held in conjunction with Dick Smith in Sydney and Brisbane.

The Gaming Challenges were staged in a spectacular setting on the car preparation floor at the state-of-the-art Nissan Motorsport race team in Melbourne, with contestants literally staring at their dreams as they vied for supremacy in various challenges in Gran Turismo®6, just a few feet from the Nissan Altima V8 Supercars.

Nissan Motorsport’s fitness expert Sam Waley also pushed finalists to their limit in the Fitness Challenges.

The event also ventured to the famous Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit south of Melbourne, where the gamers were faced with Driving Challenges in Nissan 370Z coupes under the watchful eyes of Nissan Motorsport V8 Supercars driver and former Bathurst 1000 winner Todd Kelly, as well as racing driver and driving instructor Samantha Reid.

Given the importance of the off-track elements involved in professional motorsport, finalists were also subjected to scrutiny in a Media Conference scenario.

After thousands of gamers logged laps in live events or online play and following gallant competition from the 28 finalists at the Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy Australian Final, the six Australians progressing to the 2014 Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy International Race Camp at the Silverstone circuit in August 2014 are:

Name: Joshua Muggleton
Age: 27
Lives: Sydney, NSW
Occupation: IT
“This is the start of a dream come true. I’ll have a lot of nerves waiting for race camp at Silverstone, but this is a big relief,” said Joshua Muggleton.
“There’s a lot of work ahead now. I have a big job to do over the next month to get ready for Silverstone.”

Name: Peter Read
Age: 20
Lives: Melbourne, Victoria
Occupation: Retail
“It’s amazing. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Peter Read.
“I’ve had an amazing past two days with the team at Nissan and PlayStation. They’ve been great hosts and I can’t wait to get on to Silverstone.
“I have a lot of fitness and mental training to go from here, but I’ve made it this far and hoping to go even further.”

Name: Ben Smith
Age: 19
Lives: Melbourne, Victoria
Occupation: Student
“This is absolutely amazing. I came here today thinking I was on the bubble, but I’ve made it through. I’m ecstatic. I can’t wait to go home and celebrate tonight,” said Ben Smith.
“I’ve got heaps of work ahead. I’ve got a lot of work to do on my fitness. The race camp will be difficult so I really have to focus on that element.”

Name: Marcello Rivera
Age: 19
Lives: Melbourne, Victoria
Occupation: Apprentice plumber
“This is a thrill. I can’t believe it,” said Marcello Rivera.
“I‘ve been thinking about this for a long time, and now it’s coming true. There’s a lot of work ahead, but I have to push on and give it everything I have.”

Name: Dylan Gulson
Age: 22
Lives: Bathurst, NSW
Occupation: Journalism student
“This is a huge thrill. Motor racing is a big part of what I do, looking over Mount Panorama everyday. I can see the mountain from my home!” said Dylan Gulson.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do was something that involved motor racing, so to have this opportunity could be the start of something big and it’s a dream come true.”

Name: Luca Giacomin
Age: 23
Lives: Melbourne, Victoria
Occupation: Design engineer
“It’s a good feeling. It’s nice to be part of the competition, and winning is a bit of a bonus,” said Luca Giacomin.
“I’ve never been to Silverstone before, so it will be quite exciting. I still have a bit of work to do with some real driving and fitness, but I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it.”

One of these six could follow in the footsteps of previous Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy winners, who are now reaching the highest levels of global motorsport.

GT Academy’s inaugural winner, Lucas Ordonez, has gone on to become the poster boy for ‘virtual to reality’ racing. The Spaniard became the Blancpain Endurance Series Pro-Am champion in 2013 and was a podium finisher at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LM P2 class in both 2011 and 2013. This year he is racing in the Super GT Championship in Japan.

Ordonez also got his first taste of a V8 Supercar last year, driving a Nissan Altima V8 Supercar in a test day at Winton.

Another Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy graduate, Wolfgang Reip, competed in Australia as part of the NISMO Athlete Global Team in the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour alongside Nissan Motorsport driver Rick Kelly in a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.

Jann Mardenborough, another former Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy graduate, is competing in the GP3 Series with Arden International in 2014, while also joining an intensive driver development program with Infiniti Red Bull Racing, the most successful Formula One team of recent seasons. Mardenborough joined Ordonez on the LM P2 podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2013.

Note to Editors:
High Resolution images from the 2014 Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy Australian Final, including portrats of all six finalists, can be viewed and downloaded from http://www.flickr.com/nma715

Further Videos (GT Academy trailers):
http://youtu.be/VLgqDio-KCE
http://youtu.be/vSdxqeScVqE
http://youtu.be/a-TiyeNIT9M
http://youtu.be/xw8UbRqMf54
http://youtu.be/sMuzAXlX1Xg
http://youtu.be/5cKtI2vtFqo

Follow the official GT Academy http://www.facebook.com/GTAcademy page and NISMO Australia http://www.facebook.com/NismoAUS on Facebook for the latest updates on the competition and status of all GT Academy Champions. Also be sure to follow the #GamerToPro hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.

About Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy:

- GT Academy is an international virtual-to-reality contest that allows the best Gran Turismo gamers to compete for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become a real-life professional race driver. Any player who proves his or her skill in the virtual world has a chance to go wheel-to-wheel in a real race car on a real circuit to achieve the grand prize – a spot on the Nissan racing team, and all the training and licensing needed to race in international events.

- Created in 2008 by Sony Computer Entertainment and Polyphony Digital Inc., in collaboration with Nissan, this competition has grown in popularity all over the world, with GT Academy competitions taking place everywhere from Germany to the USA and Russia to the Middle East. The top Gran Turismo gamers are identified in a series of online time trials or from live events using pre-selected digital Nissan vehicles. Thousands of hopefuls are narrowed down to a select few, who will then participate in a National Final Event where they battle in special racing pods during a series of Gran Turismo rounds, real driving skill challenges, a fitness challenge and a media test.

- The top performers from these National Finals are then invited to take part in the Final Selection Round - an intense Race Camp competition held at the famous Silverstone Racing Circuit in England. Here, the action jumps from the virtual cars of the PS3 game to actual Nissan sports cars, as competitors are tested on their strength, stamina, mental agility and driving skills. Judges look for pure talent, drive, passion and dedication to determine who really has what it takes to become a professional race car driver.

- A television show documenting the intense competition and training for the final GT Academy competitors will be aired on national television channels.

Follow the official GT Academy http://www.facebook.com/GTAcademy page and NISMO Australia page www.facebook.com/NismoAUS on Facebook for the latest updates on the competition and status of all GT Academy Champions.

Source.

Nissan Motorsport
8 Helen Kob Drive
Braeside, Victoria, 3195