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Another 5 minutes in the bedroom can make all the difference!

12th May 2011 Print

Britain’s best console racers have competed head to head to win a chance to become a real life racing driver.
After completing a series of races on the hugely popular Gran Turismo5 game and a series of other challenges, the two places to represent the UK at the international final went to 19-year-old Jann Mardenborough from Cardiff and 29-year-old James Hudson from Bromley. The ultimate prize is a seat in a Nissan 370Z at the Dubai 24 hour international endurance race.
Jann said: “This is amazing. All those hours up in my bedroom with my mum shouting to come down for dinner and me shouting ‘just another five minutes’ seem worth it now!.I started playing Gran Turismo when I was just eight as some friends of my parents had the first game. In the end they gave it to me as they got sick of me coming round”.
Now in its third year, the national format was changed to include additional tasks to ascertain the competitiors’ suitability as a real racing driver. The 22 finalists were subjected to physical tests, a media interview and real life driving in a Nissan’s 3.7-litre, 323bhp 370Z. Competitors gained points for each contest, determining which two UK representatives will progress to the GT Academy International ‘Race Camp’.
Jann and James will now join the other 28 International finalists at the ultimate five day ‘ Race Camp’ in June, Participants will have the chance to develop new skills through an intense series of driving along with both physical and mental aptitude tests.
GT Academy, a partnership between Nissan and Sony Computer Entertainment, provides a platform to see if it is possible to successfully take a car racing gamer from the virtual world into the real world of racing cars at a high level. The first winner in 2008, Lucas Ordoñez, is continually proving how successful this competition can be with not only success in the FIA GT4 championship but has now secured a seat at the 2011 Lemans 24 hour race in the  Signatech Nissan LMP2 team. To celebrate this fact, the 2011 International Boot Camp will commence at Lemans 24 hour race and then proceed onto Silverstone for the five day work out.
David Wilson, Head of PR for Sony Computer Entertainment, commented: “PlayStation prides itself for always looking to bring gaming experiences as close to reality as possible. GT Academy reflects this spirit by utilising the Gran Turismo 5 game to help unearth a new racing talent. The UK territory once again topped the number of entries into this competition, with over 20,000 gamers taking part in the time trial phase. The standard of the 22 National Finalists was incredibly high. We now hope this enthusiasm can be converted into a UK contestant going on to claim the overall prize!”
“We now move to the GT Academy 2011 international final stage and a baptism of fire awaits our two UK winners,” said, Andy Connell, Category Manager Sports and 4x4 for Nissan Motor (GB) Limited. “It’s going to be fascinating to see who can most effectively adapt their on-screen skills to the real track. If the international finalists are looking for inspiration, they should recognise what previous winners Lucas and Jordan have achieved in such a short space of time.”
For people who want to follow the progress of GT Academy 2011, lots of news will be shared on a variety of platforms including:, and

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