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Virtual-To-Reality GT Academy TV Series to Air on ITV4

Its been announced that ITV4 will be broadcasting a series of six programmes covering the innovative Nissan PlayStation GT Academy contest.

The GT Academy challenges the conventions of motorsport by taking some of the fastest PlayStation gamers and fast tracking them to become a professional racing driver with Nissan. The programme will be broadcast on ITV4 on Monday evenings at 8pm, with the first programme to air on the 4th February. The programme will also be repeated on a Saturday early evening and a Sunday morning slot.

The programme will tell the story of the incredible journey, that started with a huge entry list of 830,000 gamers from 14 European countries. From each country the fastest players of PlayStations legendary video game Gran Turismo 5, then qualified for a National Final event bringing them closer to the the world of virtual and real racing.

They were six winners from the UK and Ireland National Final, who then went to the GT Academy Race Camp at the world famous Silverstone Circuit in August 2012. That is when the transition, from virtual expert to a real racing driver began. These contestant were put through a gruelling set of driving, physical and mental challenges which were specially designed to measure what it takes to become a modern day professional driver. The programme discovers who has the winning mentality and who will crack under the intense pressure.

ITV4 is the channel that broadcasts ITV’s extensive sports coverage, they recruited presenter Craig Doyle to capture all of the highs and lows of the GT Academy. Craig Doyle  follows the progress of the six competitors, as they face a series of knockout challenges judged by a panel of experts, who included, former British GP Formula One winner Johnny Herbert. The prize was to represent the UK and Ireland in a final battle against the best of Europe and to determine who will be crowned the overall GT Academy Champion.

All the competitors had there tensions running high in this winner-take-all format, with the ultimate prize to undergo a comprehensive driver development programme before racing a full spec Nissan 370Z GT4 car at the Dubai International 24 Hour race in January 2013.

This GT Academy marks the forth iteration of this motorsport talent-spotting contest, the former winners have transformed from PlayStation console racers into Nissan Le Mans 24 Hours racing drivers within three years.

This ITV4 programme takes viewers on a unique journey from the sofa to a real race track, as the contestants fight it out to determine who will be the next virtual-to-reality professional racing driver. It also shows some must-see moments that will keep gamers and racing fans at the edge of their seats.

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