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Nissan will be lining up two FIA GT3-spec GT-Rs on the start line of the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge at the Circuit of the Americas March 6-8, sponsored by Always Evolving, Replay XD cameras, and Nismo.

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Nissan's reality show/motorsports program, GT Academy, is set to return to Spike TV for its fourth season on Friday, and in anticipation, the Nismo team has issued a new video that gives some of its fans a taste of the racing lifestyle.

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The path to become a racing driver is a difficult one. It requires starting early, with karts, and then building up through the years and if you're really, really good (and really, really lucky), a team will notice you and sign you up. Or, you know, you could just become really good at Gran Turismo, and beat out other like-minded fanatics for a seat in the GT Academy.

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The last time we saw a real racing driver pitted against a professional gamer, Viagame threw one of each in a Renault Megane RS and the contest was staged as the pro driver navigated the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. That could be seen as a handicap for the gamer, since he's got to get his drive on while dealing with all sorts of unfamiliar G-force sensations that are out of time with what he's doing. Even so, the gamer won.

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Just a few days ago, Polyphony Digital released a new downloadable title, called Nissan GT Academy 2013. The game is "powered by" Gran Turismo 6, meaning that the short demo is really our first look (at least outside of the E3 show floor) at the real driving simulator before the full game goes on sale this coming winter.

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The Gran Turismo video racing simulator franchise is four years into its tie-up with Nissan that created Gran Turismo: The Academy. One might have thought taking third-in-class at the 24 Hours of Dubai would have been enough, but no, there's more, and it's called Gran Turismo 5: GT Academy Edition.

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Nissan and Polyphony Digital, the studio behind the Grand Turismo franchise, have made a habit of giving gamers a shot at becoming professional race drivers through the GT Academy. Players from all over the world compete virtually for a chance to put down the controller, lace up their driving shoes and compete head-to-head in a variety of real-world challenges. Last year, Bryan Heitkotter won the first-ever U.S. GT Academy, thereby joining the ranks of former winners like Lucas Ordonez, Jordan T

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Psychology researchers at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management in Illinois have discovered a funny thing about podium finishers. Often, the happiest person on stage is the one with the bronze medal around his or her neck. Despite having missed first place by two spots, competitors on the lowest rung of the podium tend to find themselves deep in the throes of counterfactual thinking. They aren't focused on how close they were to winning an event; instead, the third-place competi

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Nissan is headed to the Dubai 24 Hours with a specially prepared 370Z. While the 410-horsepower Z is an impressive piece of hardware, we're more interested in who's behind the wheel. This year, Nissan will take to the track with a full team of racers who have graduated from the company's GT Academy. The four-man team is made up of individuals who got their start on the virtual tracks of the Gran Turismo video game franchise before beating out the competition for a spot on track.

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If you're looking for the ultimate example of life imitating art imitating life, look no further than the Nissan/Playstation GT Academy. The program pits thousands upon thousands of gamers playing Gran Turismo 5 against each other in a fight over a spot on Nissan's actual racing team. Now that competition is jumping onto television screens as a reality program.

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Of the more than 52,000 contestants who originally entered into the United States version of GT Academy, jointly hosted by Nissan and Sony, just 16 have advanced to the final competition being held in Silverstone in the United Kingdom. The top 32 virtual racers from the four U.S. regions descended on Orlando, Florida this week to go pixel-to-pixel for a spot among the sweet 16. But this is about more than just bragging rights. Those that made it into the final round will face a battery of new ch

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Lucas Ordonez is a 25-year-old Spaniard who began competing in Nissan and Playstation's GT Academy when it first got started back in 2008. Of the initial 25,000 participants, Lucas weeded himself out as the quickest and was given the chance to take his skills from Gran Turismo to a real race track. Three years on, Lucas is preparing himself to take on a full LeMans Cup schedule in 2011.

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If you've been feeling slighted by the fact that the top three contenders in Polyphony Digital's GT Academy are cheating curs, don't sweat it. Sony has announced that round two of the Gran Turismo 5 challenge won't count. Instead, everyone who participated in round two will also be able to give it a go in round three. The company says that its already hard at work on a way to prevent gamers from cutting the same corners in the Rome and Madrid circuits that allowed the contentious lap times in th

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If you've been a long-suffering-standing fan of Gran Turimso here in the U.S., you probably know all about the game franchise's GT Academy. The clever marketing ploy pitted European Gran Turismo fans against one another for a chance to hop behind the wheel of a real-life Nissan 350Z race car. Now it looks like American gamers will get the same chance. Nissan has announced that Sony is firing up the GT Academy in our neck of the woods. Racers will campaign various Nissan hardware in time trials,

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GT Academy demo screenshots – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Click above to watch the video after the jump

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We've all dreamed it, but Lucas Ordoñez gets to live it. As the winner of the Nissan/Playstation GT Academy contest, in which Gran Turismo gamers competed to win a slot as a pilot in the European GT racing championship, Ordoñez spent the latter half of 2008 training under Johnny Herbert in preparation for this year's season.

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First art imitates life and now video games do the same, with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Nissan having joined forces to create the GT Academy. Over the course of eight months, the academy culled a group of wannabe racers from a field of entrants who posted the best lap times in GT5 Prologue. Then, for five days at Silverstone, the finalists competed in the game and on the actual track, watched by ex-F1 racer Johnny Herbert and a panel of five judges.

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