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GT Academy 2012 Spanish National Finals

The Spanish Finals of GT Academy 2012 have ended last weekend during the course of ‘Gamelab 2012’ event held in Barcelona, under the attentive supervision of Kazunori Yamauchi, Gran Turismo® series creator. Jesús Sicilia, Daniel Herrera and Luis Muñoz are the 3 winners who will represent Spain at Silverstone in August.

The winner, Jesús Sicilia, trying to set his record under the vigilant eyes of Yamauchi-san.
On Saturday 30th of June, at 1:00pm local time, the National Finals for Spain began with an explanation of the competition rules. The 32 participants were ready to give their all in order to reach their dream: becoming a professional race driver. Yamauchi-san gave support to the finalists by boosting their confidence: “I feel very proud to see how a videogame can change someone’s life. The story of Lucas Ordóñez is the proof that this programme is successful and you are just one step away from making it real”, he commented during the Welcome Ceremony.

The virtual test drives kicked-off at 3:30pm with Lucas as judge. Of the initial 32 participants, only the best 16 moved to the next phase the day after, where other skills were tested.

The last set of virtual races took place on Sunday morning. After 2 Qualification rounds and 2 ‘head-to-head’ races, 12 players progressed further: from that moment on, the candidates were exposed to physical and psychological tests, as well as driving test on a real Nissan 370 Z.

The National Finalists waiting for their turn on Day 1.
At the end of these intense trials, Jesús Sicilia, Daniel Herrera and Luis Muñoz were the 3 participants who demonstrated to have the skills necessary to attend the European Finals at the legendary Silverstone circuit in August.

“I am very grateful to the Gran Turismo® series for giving me the opportunity of a life-time. Now I have to work hard to improve my English and my physical condition. Since I have reached this far, I want to try to exploit this opportunity fully”, commented Jesús Sicilia, the winner who came out on top of everybody else.

Juan Jiménez, Sony Computer Entertainment España Software Manager, wanted to express his satisfaction for this initiative made possible by the collaboration between PlayStation® and Nissan: “We’re very proud of all 32 participants who made it so far in this competition. This year edition of GT Academy has been a great success, the number of downloads for the demo has exceeded all expectations. It was also a great honour to have Kazunori Yamauchi and Lucas Ordóñez, an example for present and future participants, attending the event.”

The 3 Spaniards will travel to UK next month to face the representatives from other parts of Europe. Only one lucky winner will be able to take the prize and compete in the Dubai 24HR race in January 2013.