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Nissan, Sony to Bring GT Academy for Gamers on Spike TV

GT Academy challenges gamers and racing fans to compete in a series of online time trials in pre-selected Nissan vehicles for a shot at becoming a real racing driver.

Last year’s competition drew over 53,000 competitors, with 30-year old Californian Bryan Heitkotter emerging as the winner. Heitkotter has gone on to compete in races for Nissan in the United States, Middle East and Europe, according to Nissan.

Nissan North America (NNA) will again partner with Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA) and Polyphony Digital Inc. for a second season of the non-scripted TV series GT Academy in the U.S., airing on Spike TV network later this year. It was announced Tuesday, May 1.

“Nissan GT Academy is a truly unique opportunity,” says 2011 champion Heitkotter. “For me traveling and racing around the world has been an amazing, life changing experience so far, and I know we can achieve even more.”

This year’s competition promises to reach a much larger gaming audience, as prospective players can download the Sony GT Academy 2012 demo free online via the PlayStation Network (PSN).

Registration for the GT Academy competition runs from June 11-24 for those who think they can compete for one of the top 32 spots in the finals, to be held in July.

From there, the top 16 players in the country will move on to the GT Academy “boot camp,” where they will face a week-long series of grueling physical and mental challenges, including getting behind the wheel of actual Nissan cars to prove their driving skills.

Along the way, participants will be eliminated until only one remains. The competitors’ road to victory will be documented in a multi-episode reality show airing exclusively on Spike TV in late 2012.

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