Trying to improve my time in GT ACADEMY 2010/ Intentando mejorar mi tiempo en GT Acdemy 2010

Hello everyone,

A few days before the start of the GT Academy Time Trial, Playstation Europe asked me create me a new account and try to make a reference time. Maybe you know I beaten with 370z Tuned Kazunori’s time but I failed in the road car. I must say that I did in a short time and as I expected thousands of people already have beaten me this time.

Well, now to give a good image I trained a few hours and I’m already better situated in the standings with this time:

3’24 .390

It is not a flying time, I have little time and I am sure to go down more when I have a while.

On the other hand I’ve seen in forums that ask if I can compete again. Well, the fact is that it would be absurd.  It’s just for fun and to have a reference from me and Kazunori’s time which are the only two that appear all over the world.

Happy new year and good luck!

Hola a todos,

Unos dias antes de que comenzara el time trial de GT ACADEMY, Playstation Europe me pidio crearme una nueva cuenta e intentar hacer un tiempo de referencia. Como muchos de vosotros visteis supere el tiempo de Kazunori con el 370z Tuned pero no lo logré con el road car. Tengo que decir que lo hice en poco tiempo y que como era de esperar miles de personas ya me han batido ese tiempo.

Bueno, ahora para dar buena imagen le he echado unas horas y ya estoy mejor situado en la clasificación con este tiempo:

3’24.390

No es ni mucho menos un tiempazo pero bueno, tengo poco tiempo y estoy seguro de que bajare más en cuanto tenga otro rato.

Por otro lado he visto en los foros de que preguntais si yo podria competir otra vez. Bueno, el caso es que seria absurdo. Es solo para que veais mi tiempo y el de Kazunori que son los unicos dos que aparecen en todo el mundo.

Bueno un saludo y mucha suerte!

GT Academy Time Trial Now Available! ¿Quien será mi compañero de equipo?

Hello everyone the moment is here! I’m absolutely thrilled to confirm that the GT Academy 2010 Time Trial is now officially live.

370Z_t_004

HERE IS MY FASTEST LAP TILL THIS MOMENT….

The time trial is going to be running from 9AM today until midnight 24th January 2010 and it’s the only way to be in with a chance of making it through to the second ever GT Academy at Silverstone next year.

PlayStation Blog recently managed to get a few minutes with Kazunori Yamauchi, the man behind theGran Turismo series and he gave us his thoughts on the GT Academy and how this groundbreaking initiative brings together the real and virtual racing worlds.

370Z_t_003 370Z_t_002

Dont forget to check out the Facebook fan page and Twitter for the latest updates on the GT Academy.

When the idea of GT Academy was first formulated in 2008, we know that Yamauchi-san was very enthusiastic. Did the result live up to his expectations?

This GT Academy project in which a gamer who trained in the virtual world becomes a racing driver in the real world, was a dream I had when I first started developing a driving simulator, especially because I was confident that one day it would come true. And when it really came to be in last year’s GT Academy, it was incredibly exciting.

Yamauchi-san has met Lucas Ordonez on a number of occasions (AND SEEN HIM RACE?). What are his impressions of Lucas and his achievements so far in his short career?

He is dedicated, calm, and smart. And though he’s serious in nature, he still knows how to have a good time. I think he’s a driver that is able to keep his cool, managing risks out there on the track, while still being able make bold moves when controlling the car. I think it’s these qualities about him that made him the GT Academy winner last year, and what lead to the incredible results that followed. I saw him drive at the 24 hour race in Dubai, and at the opening round of the FIA-GT at Silverstone, and he was a good racing driver right from the very start.

We know that Yamauchi-san is a keen driver himself. Are there any plans for him to race with Lucas and who does he think will be faster?

When I saw Lucas at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, we talked about driving the 24 hours of the Nurburgring together one day. Thinking about possibilities like that is really exciting for me, and I think it’s a dream that is definitely attainable. I would be very happy if we could one day form a team with all the GT Academy winners over the years, and race together. Myself faster than Lucas? I don’t think so. If I were 10 years younger maybe I might be able to drive fast like him!

What can we expect to see in the GT Academy Time Trial from 17th December? Is it a good taste of what we can expect from Gran Turismo 5?

The GT Academy version is something in which you can experience the new car physics, which is the soul, the spirit, the very core of Gran Turismo 5. This is something we have taken a very long time to improve upon. To achieve good laptimes, you need to be both bold and to be able to perform very fine control of the machine, and the learning process involved in that should be a fun experience for the players.

Yamauchi-san has an excellent relationship with Nissan, evidence of which can be seen in his input on the GT-R project. Can he explain how important this on-going collaboration is between PlayStation/Polyphony and Nissan?

Relationships with automobile manufacturers have always been very important to us in Gran Turismo. And that’s because the cars which we cover in the game, is something that is open to society. Gran Turismo is always looking to communicate with the world outside of the game industry. It’s something that will continue to give us new creative motivation and insight, that will influence us and allow us to keep evolving.

Yamauchi-san meets many racing drivers. What is their general attitude to Gran Turismo and what do they reveal about how close the simulation is to real racing?

Many of them were avid fans of Gran Turismo, and all agreed that Gran Turismo serves as a educational manual for driving. It’s been said that it can be used to nurture drivers, as well as to find new and promising talent.

Does Yamauchi-san himself use Gran Turismo as a driving aid before he competes in a race?

Of course. I practice with the same car, on the same track, with the same settings. In the 4 hour endurance race at the Nurburgring I ran in October, the simulated time in Gran Turismo and the actual time on the track only differed by 10 seconds.

Even if the race track is a track that is not included in Gran Turismo, I drive the same car on other tracks to formulate an image before entering the actual race. Even on a different track, prior practice is still effective. In the 25 hours endurance race at the Thunderhill in California that I drove in recently, I was able to get a grasp on the characteristics of the car in just 20 laps of practice.

How involved with GT Academy is Yamauchi-san? Are we likely to see him at Silverstone?

The GT Academy project is full of dreams. It’s because it connects video games with the real world. You might not be able to become a real football player playing a football game, but playing Gran Turismo will give you real driving skills. It might even open paths to becoming a real racing driver. It’s full of dreams in that way. And of course I would like to be there at Silverstone, to witness the drama at the final selection stage.

We understand that the success of the first GT Academy in Europe has led to similar activities in other territories around the world. Can he explain what other programmes are in place?

We’re working on programs for other territories as we speak. We should be able to announce these in the near future.

Does Mr. Yamauchi have any advice for gamers who are thinking about downloading the Gran Turismo Time Trial?

To achieve a good laptime, you need to try various things. But at first, it’ll be hard just to keep the car on the track. It will ultimately require perseverance, as you improve your time by a fraction of a second at a time in each corner. By trying repeatedly though, you should start to see a change in how you view things. It’s important to never give up, and to continually make that effort. Because in the driving world, how to achieve laptimes that may look impossible at first, begins to become more apparent to you just a bit at a time.

Finally, what are Mr. Yamauchi’s hopes for GT Academy 2010?

Because this year’s GT Academy will start off with an elimination round using a free demo version of the game, there should be many more participants than last year’s competition. And because this GT Academy is based on GT5, the physics of the cars have been completely renewed, therefore requiring driving skill that is even more “real” than before.

And that means that we have a greater possibility of finding an even greater racing driver. Who knows, maybe we’ll find another incredibly talented driver like Lewis Hamilton. Just thinking about it has me excited!

Q&A With GT Academy 2009 Winner Lucas Ordonez

With the launch of the new GT Academy on December 17, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to grab last year’s winner for a bit of a Q and A. Lucas Ordonez was a 23-year-old MBA student in Madrid when he heard about GT Academy in May, 2008. As a motor sport fanatic, Lucas went out and bought himself a copy of GT5 Prologue and set to work. His dedication paid dividends when he won through to Spain’s national finals and then into the GT Academy itself at Silverstone. As a result, he’ll be mentoring next year’s winner at the GT Academy 2010.

Not only was Lucas kind enough to answer the questions below, but he’ll also be available in the comments to respond to any other queries you have.


How did you first get involved with GT Academy?

I was with some friends and we were looking through a motor sport magazine and I saw an advert from PlayStation and Nissan for GT Academy. I have always been a big motor sport fan and had a little bit of racing experience. I thought if I can train myself to be quick on Gran Turismo then I might have a chance.
“I already had a PS3TM, but I went straight out to buy a steering wheel and pedals for it as I thought that this would help. I was really determined and I put in lots of hours of practice and developing my skills on the Gran Turismo game. I ended up being the second fastest in Spain and racing in the national finals and I won my place at Silverstone. There I was, driving the Nissan GT-R and the 350 Z at Silverstone…amazing!

How did you find the GT Academy at Silverstone?

I was very surprised by how tough it was from the fitness angle and by the level of the other competitors. It was really hard work. But the driving was amazing. Driving the 350 Z in a three-way ‘dog fight’ was incredible.

Did you think you would win?

After the first couple of days I was down around sixth position and at that time I really thought it was going to be tough. But when we got to do more driving, especially in the last two days, I just really worked hard and my confidence grew. I had some good luck but I also think I handled the pressure well , and I won.

How did it feel when they announced that you were the winner?

When they said that Lars and I had won it was an amazing feeling. I couldn’t believe it. But then, almost immediately, Bob Neville [owner of the RJN Motorsports Team] was talking to me about strategy, the car and the races we were going to do. Then I had to do lots of media interviews and then Nissan were talking to me about my contract. So after two minutes, I suddenly already felt like a real, professional racing driver!

How was the switch from the 350 Z road car to the full race car?

Our first drive of the GT4 car was at Cadwell Park in the North of England. It is a great track, very narrow but a real up and down circuit and we learned a lot about racing and overtaking there.

There is a massive difference in terms of driving between the 350 Z GT4 and the road car – particularly in the gearbox and the suspension set up. The GT4 needs to be ‘driven’ a lot more. The gearbox is very stiff and one little mistake with your revs can cause a disaster with the engine. The road car is far more forgiving and you have room for errors, but in the GT4 car you have to concentrate 100% for every second as one mistake and it can be all over.

You eventually secured your race licence and headed to Dubai for the 24 Hour race. How was that experience?

I worked so hard in the run up to Dubai, particularly on my fitness. I was absolutely determined to show everyone that I was capable of carrying on racing even after Dubai. I was so focussed on the race. All my friends were asking me what the city was like, but I honestly don’t know as everything was concentrated on driving.

Doing 250km/h at night on the long straight in the GT4 car was truly amazing. I was really surprised and happy with my lap times because I wasn’t so far away from Johnny Herbert and I think I showed everyone that I was professional.

What happened next?

Well that was the prize. I had raced in Dubai. But I did ask Nissan if I could carry on racing somehow. It was a tough three-month wait, but then I got the call and it was a great surprise that I would be racing in the European GT4 Cup with Alex Buncombe.

When we won our first race in the fifth round at Zolder it was an incredible feeling. I was just thinking about everything that had happened in the last year – from playing the PlayStation to this, and I started crying! The team and Alex were all so happy. It was the best feeling of my life.

How has your life changed? Did you finish your studies?

I did pass my MBA in January. It was hard work but I had to study at the same time as preparing for Dubai but I am very pleased that I did it.

The biggest change in my life has been going from being a student going to university every day to now going to lots of other countries and travelling a lot. I have done many interviews with the media which is very different. At the same time, I still need to stay focussed on my racing and so I train very hard in the gym and I am also busy looking for personal sponsors. This is the real life of the racing driver!

What next?

I am going to help out at Silverstone for the GT Academy and then I hope to be racing with Alex again in the European GT4 Cup. We have an unfinished job to complete, but this time in the new 370 Z.

What would you say to someone who is looking to compete in GT Academy?

The whole thing is tough. But for me racing cars was my dream, so it was great. Anyone taking part has to be prepared for a real 360 degree change to their life. You have to have total dedication and be prepared to make sacrifices. Lars, who won with me, was a great guy and he was a good driver, but I just don’t think he was focussed enough and he ended up not being ready to race.

On the other hand, driving on Gran Turismo is great fun. So I would recommend that everybody gives it a go even if it is just to see how quick you are compared to other people. You never know!

What tips can you offer to people just setting out on the online time trial stage of GT Academy 2010?

Driving is the same as most other sports. You have to keep practising. I think I played pretty much every day on the online stage of the game. People just kept getting faster so I was always watching the leader board to see what I had to beat.

Another tip would be to start working on fitness as soon as possible. If you make it to Silverstone it is really important.

You have to be confident in yourself that you can give it a go and that it is what you want to do, but you still have to work very hard. The instructors at Silverstone are watching you all the time.

Finally, I would say just get on to the GT Academy time trial and play, see how it goes and good luck! It is definitely worth the hard work. But if you don’t make it, at least you will have fun trying!