Industry leaders PlayStation and Nissan have come together to create the ultimate competitive driving test - GT Academy. The eight-month, pan-European competition sees virtual and real-life racing merge to make the wildest dreams of two aspiring race drivers come true. The prize: a four-month training programme to earn their racing licences, followed by a real-life race driving a Nissan 350Z as part of the Nissan team at the 24H endurance race in Dubai in January 2009.

Today on the morning of the Nurbrugring 24 hour race Nissan and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, chose the Nurburgring, as the Venue to offically announce the launch of the competition.

To earn a place in GT Academy, candidates will face a series of elimination-based competitions on and off the racetrack - starting at a national level with an online GT5 Prologue tournament hosted on PLAYSTATION®Network.

GT Academy builds on the long-standing partnership between PlayStation and Nissan that began with Nissan working with Gran Turismo developers Polyphony Digital. Nissan provided vehicles, racing drivers and feedback to help perfect the game's ultra-realistic driving simulation.

Entrants must register, via their PS3s, on the PLAYSTATION®Network (PSN) to compete in the special online tournament. Gran Turismo 5 Prologue on PS3 has sold over one million units since its launch, with the Gran Turismo franchise now having sold more than 50 million units worldwide.

To see the podcast of the launch presentation click on the video link below.