Gran Turismo Academy Cup Winner is Belgian

Six PlayStation® gamers race Nissan 370Zs as part of WEC at Silverstone

Winner now embarks on intensive Driver Development Program before racing at Dubai 24H

Monday, 27 August, 2012: Belgian competitor Wolfgang Reip emerged victorious from over 830,000 European Gran Turismo® gamers when he was crowned Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy champion today at Silverstone.

The 25-year-old student from Lachutel will return to the UK shortly to embark on an intensive Driver Development Programme preparing him to race in the demanding Dubai 24 Hours in January in a Nissan 370Z GT4 car. The denouement of the gamer-to-racer competition was held as part of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) round at Silverstone – fittingly where former GT Academy champions Lucas Ordoñez and Jordan Tresson are racing in Nissan-powered LMP2 cars. The six final competitors raced on the world famous Grand Prix circuit in identical Nissan 370Zs. Starting from pole position, Wolfgang held off a challenge from second placed Andrea Cosaro and pulled out an unassailable lead to take the chequered flag.

After a long judges’ deliberation, when all of the data from the intensive week of driver training and each drivers’ future potential were considered, Reip was eventually announced as GT Academy 2012 European champion and took the top step of the podium at Silverstone.

“This is the most amazing day of my life,” said an emotional Wolfgang.” It is incredible, just incredible. I cried on the podium because there was so much emotion. It has been such a long week. There were so many different challenges and so much to learn and experience. To come out at the end of it as the winner, out of so many people who took part on Gran Turismo is just unbelievable.

“I was confident in the race. I really wanted to win it. It was quite amazing. It was a very difficult track because of the rainy conditions. There were constant changes, corner after corner the track got wetter in some parts and drier in others. I had the race under control. Andrea tried to pass me going into copse, but I knew I could re-pass him on the exit of the corner so it wasn’t a threat.”

Race Camp started when the 36 fastest PlayStation gamers from Europe arrived at Silverstone on Friday, 17 August. Split into six territory groups of six competitors, they were put through their paces in a variety of Nissan 370Zs, GT-Rs and other cars in many different challenges. The field was gradually reduced during the week as the impressive and experienced team of territory mentors decided which of their drivers had what it takes to make it through to the final stages of Race Camp.

“Race Camp has been really good. I am extremely impressed by the organisation and all that the competitors have done.” commented Benelux mentor Bas Leinders. “In the end, this was a very tough decision. In the race there were two guys who did a great job. The Italian, Andrea, started from the back of the grid but got a good start and was quickly up to second and challenging. For ‘Wolf’, it was hard to start from pole in the wet, but he was able to pull away until the last lap. Both have real potential and everyone felt they both deserve the chance to be racing.

“However, we had to make a decision, and the logical choice was the guy who had qualified on pole and won the race. I feel really strongly about this guy. He is top notch and can really do it. In the deliberation I put my reputation on the line arguing his case.”

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Nissan Gran Turismo 2012 Dutch Finalists

These are the Top 3 players that will go to Silverstone to compete with other European finalists to become part of the Nissan GT racing team 2012. There was an online competition in the past months where Nissan started their search for new racing talent.

They have been doing this for the past 5 years and it shows that Nissan really believes that virtual skills can lead to real-life excellence as they reward winners year after year with a racing license, hoping to source new talent for their racing teams.

Way to go PlayStation and Nissan!

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Grubby escaping through a window

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Worldfamous gamer ‘Grubby’ had to sneak out a building to avoid getting harassed by gamers! Amazing! (South-Korea)

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