Phillip Koenen brought a really gorgeous, miles-deep-black, 1970 Mustang to SEMA and came away with another fine piece of hardware:The Gran Turismo Best in Show award. For the past several years, Sony Computer Entertainment America has hosted these awards, which honor some of the coolest cars at SEMA.
Koenen's SOHC 427-powered "Trans-Cammer" snagged the Best Hot Rod award in addition to winning Best in Show. Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi awarded the trophy himself at the awards ceremony, which rocked The Palms' Rain nightclub Wednesday night. In addition to the the trophy, Koenen's beloved "Trans-Cammer" Mustang wins the right to be featured in a future installment of the Gran Turismo series.
Other Gran Turismo Award winners included Scott Bailey and Tony Vanillo's Ford F-250 Unlimited 2 Class short-course race truck in the Best Truck/SUV category; Chris Rado's World Racing Unlimited front-wheel-drive time attack Scion TC as Best Asian Import; KC Howet's 2009 Underground Racing Lamborghini LP560-4TT in Best European Import; and Nicholas Ashby's Moment Carbon Camaro for Best Domestic Automobile. Sounds like a dream garage to us. Follow the jump to read the official press release, and don't forget to check out the gallery as well.
Photos copyright ©2009 Frank Filipponio/Weblogs, Inc.
GRAN TURISMO® AWARDS' "BEST OF SHOW" WINNER RACES AWAY WITH THE PRIVILEDGE TO BE FEATURED IN THE WORLD'S BEST-SELLING RACING FRANCHISE
Seventh Annual Awards Ceremony at SEMA Show Celebrates Car Culture by Honoring Automotive Excellence in Six Categories
LAS VEGAS, November 6, 2009 – Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) hosted its seventh annual Gran Turismo® Awards at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show in Las Vegas last night to embrace the passion of customizing cars and showcase the efforts in the Gran Turismo® franchise, one of the top-selling video game franchises of all time with more than 53 million units shipped worldwide. Once a year, the Gran Turismo Awards offer SEMA show exhibitors the opportunity to be included among the ranks of the famed Gran Turismo racing franchise, as one car is chosen to be added to a future Gran Turismo title and driven virtually by millions across the globe. Many entries were received for this year's Gran Turismo Awards, but only one vehicle will be immortalized in Gran Turismo. After deliberation from the judges panel and Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi himself, the 2009 prestigious "Best in Show" was awarded to "Best Hot Rod" winner, Philip Koenen for his 1970 Ford Mustang "Trans-Cammer."
"The Gran Turismo Awards continue to seek out and reward automotive enthusiasts who demonstrate passion for outstanding design and performance, while also celebrating a strong collaboration with the gaming industry," said Kazunori Yamauchi, famed creator of the Gran Turismo franchise and President of Polyphony Digital. "We have been very pleased with the high quality of vehicles vying for the award the past seven years, and look forward to having this 1970 Ford Mustang 'Trans-Cammer' join our list of distinguished past winners as part of the Gran Turismo franchise."
The GT Award winning vehicles from the past two years, Brian Filoteo's high- performance Infinity G37 from 2008 and Marcel Horn's HPA Audi TT from 2007, were both available for guests to test drive in the latest version of Gran Turismo 5® shown at the event. Previous Gran Turismo Award winners can now be raced in past installments of the Gran Turismo series, including Gran Turismo®5 Prologue, available exclusively on the PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™) system.
About Judging For The Gran Turismo Awards
Prior to SEMA 2009, all exhibitors were invited to enter their vehicles into the Gran Turismo Awards, which honor five different categories comprised of: "Best Domestic Automobile," "Best European Import," "Best Hot Rod," "Best Asian Import," and "Best Truck/SUV." Judges consisted of various respected automotive journalists representing media outlets such as Motor Trend, European Tuner, and Import Tuner, with judging for each category based on a balance between performance, style, and speed. amauchi then bestows the "Best in Show" award honor to one of these five category winners.
About the Gran Turismo Award Winners
The seventh annual Gran Turismo Awards ceremony was held at the Palms Resort & Casino's Rain Nightclub, international Las Vegas hot spot and celebrity playground. Award winners, automotive industry VIP's and party guests were treated to a blistering live performance by California punk band The Offspring and music by DJ Z-Trip. Guests were also invited to test drive Gran Turismo 5 and the recently released Gran Turismo for PSP.
Koenen's "Trans-Cammer" received the "Best Hot Rod" award, and in addition to winning "Best of Show," we will have the honor of seeing this 1970 Ford Mustang in full high-definition glory as part of the automotive stable of a future Gran Turismo property. The "Best Truck/SUV" honor was presented to Scott Bailey and Tony Vanillo's Ford F250 Unlimited 2 Class short-course race truck. The "Best Asian Import" award was given to Chris Rado's World Racing Unlimited Front-Wheel-Drive Time Attack Scion TC.
The "Best European Import" award was given to KC Howet's 2009 Underground Racing Lamborghini LP560-4TT. The final category for "Best Domestic Automobile" was awarded to Nicholas Ashby's Moment Carbon Camaro.
About the Gran Turismo® Franchise
With more than 53 million units shipped worldwide, the award-winning Gran Turismo® franchise for the PlayStation®, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PlayStation®3 and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) is regarded as the best and most authentic driving simulator ever created due to its true-to-life graphics, authentic physics technology and design. Since the inception of the Gran Turismo franchise, famed creator Kazunori Yamauchi and Polyphony Digital Inc. in Japan have revolutionized the racing category as we know it today. His offerings provide the most realistic driving simulation in the industry and a unique medium for automotive manufacturers to showcase their products.
The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has rated all Gran Turismo properties "E" for Everyone. For more information about the ESRB, please visit www.esrb.org.
About Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.
Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation and PS one® game console, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system, the ground-breaking PlayStation®3 (PS3™) computer entertainment system and its online and network services the PlayStation®Network and PlayStation®Store.
Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets, and distributes software for the PS one, PlayStation 2, PSP and PS3 systems for the North American market. Based in Foster City, Calif. Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc. serves as headquarters for all North American operations and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
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