The most curious thing about this competition is the second and third rounds – their outcomes are based on real, live online races between the regional semi-finalists. The contest’s terms and conditions offer a bit more insight into the logistics:
The 14 semi-finalists will be divided into two groups with seven participants in one semi-final. Each semi-finalist will be competing against semi-finalists from other six regions. PSN team will send an “Add Friend” invitation to all semi-finalists before the day of the semi-finals. On the day of the semi-final and before the match, PSN team will send a “Game invitation” inviting semi-finalists to join the match. By accepting the invitation, semi-finalists can then join the match. Semi-finalist who fail to accept the invitation in time will be disqualified.
This is the first time any Sony-sanctioned competition has played out through live Internet races instead of leaderboard-based time trials. What’s even more interesting is the vehicle restrictions (or lack thereof) for these races:
Participants must use the designated car model Nissan GT-R Spec V (GT Academy Special) in [Round 1] regional tournaments. However, there is no limitation on car models, brake system (AT/MT), car lanes, traction control system, anti-skid brake system, ASM and ABS used in semi-finals and final matches. These are part of the competition. Participants shall be responsible for their own choices.
In other words, if you show up in anything less than a Red Bull X2010, you probably won’t stand much of a chance. This seems like a missed marketing opportunity for an automotive sponsor (such as Nissan or Mercedes-Benz), but will surely make for some frantic and frenetic races with so much at stake.
All the official rules and entry details are available here – good luck to all GTPlanet participants! Thanks to shem for the tip.