Live streaming is now complete. Thanks to all who watched!
Click here to view the archived streams and competition results.
After eight long weeks of online time trials held in the GT Academy 2012 mini-game, the top 33 Gran Turismo players in the United States have earned their place in the National Finals.
Only 16 of these drivers will survive in the competition, advancing to the GT Academy Boot Camp in Silverstone, where just one will be chosen as the 2012 U.S. champion and become a professional racing driver for Nissan.
For the first time of any GT Academy final, the entire event will be broadcast live, with full commentary and coverage of all the head-to-head races, available via IGN Pro League and here on GTPlanet.
If you’re in San Diego, you can also attend the event for free as an audience member; just head to Jolt’n Joe’s during the event hours.
The live stream (embedded above) begins Friday, July 13, at 18:30 GMT/UTC and will resume on Saturday, July 14 at 16:30 GMT/UTC for day 2 of the competition.
Here’s an overview of the event format and rules:
Each of the 33 contestants will compete in a single elimination qualifying round. Each contestant will complete the race using the same car, track and settings. At the completion of the race, the contestants’ times will be recorded. After all 33 contestants have completed the race, the contestant with the slowest race time will be eliminated.
The 32 remaining contestants will be divided via a random drawing into eight groups of four contestants each. Contestants in each group will compete in three online race events in each round. Each contestant will earn points based on finishing positions in each event in his or her group. Points will be awarded as follows:
- 6 points for placing first
- 3 points for placing second
- 1 point for placing third
- 0 points for placing fourth
A qualifying race before each round will determine the pole position and other start positions for the first event. Subsequent race pole positions within the same round will be determined by contestant finish position in the prior race (e.g., first-place finisher wins the pole position, second-place finisher lines up second and so forth).
After all eight groups have finished their race events, the four contestants with the fewest points among all contestants will be eliminated from the National Finals. The remaining contestants advance to the next round of the National Finals. If more than four contestants are tied for one of the four lowest points totals, contestants will be spared from elimination from the round in order of least 4th place finishes, then by most 1st and 2nd place finishes. If a tie remains after applying these tie breakers, Sponsors will determine in its sole discretion an appropriate race to break the tie.
After the first round of the National Finals, the top finisher from each group in the previous round will be eligible to be placed in a group separate from other top finishers depending upon the number of groups remaining and the top finishers’ scores from the previous round. The remaining contestants will be selected at random to fill the groups so that each group has 4 contestants.
National Finals’ Rounds will be as follows:
- Round 1 will have 8 groups of 4 contestants each. Bottom 4 contestants will be eliminated
- Round 2 will have 7 groups of 4 contestants each. Bottom 4 contestants will be eliminated.
- Round 3 will have 6 groups of 4 contestants each. Bottom 4 contestants will be eliminated.
- Round 4 will have 5 groups of 4 contestants each. Bottom 4 contestants will be eliminated.
Race difficulty gradually increases per round of the National Finals, with later races being in more difficult cars and tracks. Event organizers will select the tracks, number of laps, cars, and car settings prior to start of each round.
Sponsors may have one or more race judges on site to monitor contestants during competition. The race judges (whose judgment on all race matters is final) may monitor races and may issue warnings for behaviors that violate standard rules for professional racing. Examples include:
- A slower driver that is holding another driver up can be asked to move over. Failure to comply would result in a warning.
- Any driver that is overly aggressive or hits another driver
- A driver deliberately cutting a corner
- A driver not moving over when asked
Each contestant is allowed two warnings. A contestant receiving three warnings will be disqualified from the race. Certain flagrant behaviors may also result in immediate disqualification.
At the completion of the National Finals, 16 contestants remain and will be eligible to be National Finals winners.
Hit the play button at the top of the page to begin the stream, or stop by our GT Academy forum to join the discussion with the rest of our community. Good luck to all of the competitors!
GT5 Photomode image by Des Foley.