Play GT5, become a pro racer

Comp offers chance to become real driver.

After so many years in development we'd hope that Gran Turismo 5 offers some moderately realistic racing action. However, Sony reckons its racer is so lifelike that it's offering gamers the chance to swap the controller for a real steering wheel and go pro.

According to the PlayStation Blog, the game's developer Polyphony Digital has teamed up with Nissan North America to launch the GT Academy competition.

From 20th December, a series of regional heats will narrow entrants down to the best 32 virtual racers. This elite group will then be whittled down to 16, who will all be invited to take part in a live national finals event in March 2011.

The final will see contestants testing their skills in a number of events, some of which will be in a real Nissan race car.

The eventual GT Academy winner will then go on to train with elite drivers and race as part of a professional team the precise details of which Sony is yet to reveal.

There are smaller prizes on offer for regional winners and all contestants will grab some free digital content.

Alas, the event is only open to US gamers for now, but Sony will be filming the whole thing for a multi-part TV series to be shown on the SPEED channel and PlayStation Network next year.

If you are in the USA and fancy giving it a shot, registration details are up on the game's official website.

It's not long until you can start practicing. After a seemingly endless series of delays, Sony is finally releasing Gran Turismo 5 on 24th November.

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