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

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.

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.

var digg_url = 'http://digg.com/autos/GT_competition_to_put_GT5_Prologue_player_in_real_race'; This is either the stupidest idea ever or the most brilliant co-promotion for two brands in the history of mankind. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, the distributor of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue across the pond, and Nissan are joining forces to host a competition that could place a really good gamer behind the seat of a real Nissan 350Z at a very real 24-hour endurance race in Dubai. The competition