Gran Turismo Academy sends gamers to racetracks

Who says playing video games doesn’t have any practical applications in the real world?

For 16 gamers who are the best of the best when it comes to virtual racing, they’re about to take their passion to real-life race tracks.

You know how Rock Band gained all sorts of commentary about teaching players the basics of real instrument-playing and singing? Apparently Sony thinks Gran Turismo does the same thing, but for professional racing.

So, the company is making the dreams of 16 racing game fans come true by putting them behind the wheels of real-life professional racing cars.

Players from all walks of life came together to compete in rigorous Gran Turismo battles, and now the best of the best are about to experience a pretty awesome prize.

The 16 finalists are going to be flown to the world-famous Silverstone racing circuit in the UK. There, they will all be put through a week-long racing “boot camp.”

Their journey will be documented in a reality TV series on Spike TV later this year, the first time that the GT Academy competition has been transformed into a cable TV series.

“GT Academy North America finalists will be judged and eliminated by an expert panel of racing professionals, based on each competitor’s skills, performance and overall aptitude for the requirements to become a professional racer.

The top driver will train under the guidance of professional racing drivers and compete in selected races for a Nissan racing team,” Sony explained in a PlayStation Blog post.