From PlayStation to the Wheel of a Nissan GT-R

Although playing video games is decried as creating a generation of people who are essentially 21st century couch potatoes, a completion sponsored by Sony Computer Entertainment America—yes, it of PlayStation 3--, Polyphony Digital—yes, it of Grand Turismo 5--, and Nissan North America could put that to rest.

Although playing video games is decried as creating a generation of people who are essentially 21st century couch potatoes, a completion sponsored by Sony Computer Entertainment America—yes, it of PlayStation 3--, Polyphony Digital—yes, it of Grand Turismo 5--, and Nissan North America could put that to rest.

That’s because Bryan Heitkotter, a gamer extraordinaire from Fresno, California, recently won the inaugural GT Academy Competition in the U.S.—after besting first a group of 53,000 then, a group of 32, and then 16, with the finals being a week-long race camp that ran from May 30 to June 5 at the Silverstone racing circuit in the U.K.

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Yes, this gamer was actually pitted other gamers in the real world: timed laps in actual Nissan 370Zs and GT-Rs were involved in the challenge.

“I can’t believe all of the hours training with the realistic Gran Turismo 5 driving simulator have lead me to this amazing opportunity,” Heitkotter said. By winning he is going to be working with real-world race drivers and trainers and will actually participate in an endurance race next year.

Noted Scott A. Steinberg, vp of Product Marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America, “We look forward to working with Bryan Heitkotter to see how his hours spent on Grand Turismo 5 and on PlayStation 3 continue to influence his skills behind the wheel of real race cars, competing alongside and against seasoned professionals.”

So if you or your kids spend hours in your basement “driving” at Daytona or Tsukuba, who knows: Maybe you’ll give Jimmie Johnson or Lewis Hamilton a run for their money one day.

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