There is no stopping the world’s first virtual to real life racing driver Lucas Ordoñez, winner of the Nissan/PlayStation® GT Academy 2008. Following a skilled performance in the Dubai 24hr race in January, where Lucas raced alongside established drivers such as Johnny Herbert, his journey into the world of racing shows no signs of slowing down.

Lucas has continued to impress the racing world with his dedication and his achievements as a driver and it has just been announced that he has been offered the chance to race alongside experienced partner Alex Buncombe in the upcoming GT4 European Championship. The first races are at Silverstone on 2nd and 3rd of May and this will be Lucas’ first opportunity following GT Academy to prove himself behind the wheel of a racing car.

Lucas said: “I can’t believe how much my life has changed since this time last year. I was honoured to have had the opportunity to race in Dubai in January and I can’t believe I now have this opportunity to race the Nissan Z in the GT4 European Championship. I am learning more all the time and I am so grateful to be doing this – it is a dream come true for me.”

Mark Bowles, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe added: “It’s been a long journey for Lucas and a fantastic one for all of us. PlayStation and Nissan have always believed the virtual to reality story was possible and through huge commitment from the team we have achieved what we set out to do – take a Gran Turismo gamer and turn him into a real life racing driver – long may the success continue.”

Darren Cox, Nissan Europe said: “Lucas has earned the right to race in the highly competitive European GT4 Series. He helped us prove it was possible to go from Virtual to Reality, now over the coming six race weekends we will see if he can make another big step up. By the end of the season he needs to be a regular podium visitor. For this weekend a top six finish would be acceptable in this very competitive Series. The Nissan Motorsport community is watching his progress with great interest.”

Launched in May 2008, GT Academy is an international driving competition from Nissan and PlayStation®, which invited gaming fans from across Europe to put their virtual driving skills to the test and win the chance to compete in the real life racing world. Ordoñez was the first winner of GT Academy which proved to be a resounding success – all that remains now is to see just how far the success continues.