The first-ever United States GT Academy is about to kick off on December 20, 2010, and Sony officially opened registration earlier this week. Click the big “Register Now” button right here to get started (you must be 18 years of age or older as of December 6, 2010 to enter – see the official rules for more). Once you provide your personal information, you’ll be assigned to one of four different national regions:
- West: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.
- Southeast: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas
- Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin
- Northeast: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, DC, West Virginia
As was seen in the GT Academy 2010 qualifier, the first portion of the competition is based on your combined performance in two time-trial events, presumably on the same track in different cars (most likely a stock Nissan 370Z and the tuned version you see above). This time, however, contestants will have to survive three rounds of elimination (it is not clear from the official rules if subsequent rounds will be held with different cars or tracks). Keep in mind that throughout these first three rounds, you are only competing with other players from your local region. Here’s how it works:
Round 1 / December 20, 2010 – January 23, 2011 / Top 128 from each region progress to Round 2 (512 total).
Round 2 / January 31, 2011 – February 6, 2011 / Top 16 from each region progress to Round 3 (64 total).
Round 3 / February 14, 2011 – February 20, 2011 / Top 8 from each region progress to the National Finals (32 total).
Round 1 Prizes:
The top 128 contestants from each of the four Regions at the end of Round 1 will receive a Gran Turismo PSP download voucher code.
Round 1 Weekly Prizes:
During each of the five weeks of Round 1, Sponsor will award the following prizes. Contestant with the fastest combined Time Trial Event time on the national leaderboard will receive one Playseat Revolution (Gran Turismo Edition) racing seat (plus one (1) Logitech Driving Force GT wheel and one (1) GT5 poster (approx retail value $760.00). The contestants that finish with the second through fifth fastest combined Time Trial Event time on the national leaderboard will receive one (1) Logitech Driving Force™ GT wheel and one (1) GT5 poster (approx retail value $160.00). Contestants that finish with the sixth through twentieth fastest combined Time Trial Event time on the national leaderboard will receive one (1) GT5 poster (approx retail value $10). A contestant cannot win more than one of the same prize. For example, winner of week 1 (Playseat, Logitech wheel and poster) cannot win those prizes in subsequent weeks. If the same contestant finishes in the same winner bracket more than once in each week of competition, the prize will be awarded to the next person on the national leaderboard.
Round 2 Prizes (64 Prizes):
The top sixteen contestants from each Region at the end of Round 2 will receive a copy of Gran Turismo® 5 Collector’s Edition for the PLAYSTATION®3 system. Approximate retail value, $99.99. Round 2 winners will be announced by February 13, 2011.
Round 3 Prizes (32 Prizes):
The eight top contestants from each Region at the end of Round 3 will win a prize package that includes one roundtrip airfare to the National Finals, hotel accommodations for two nights, transportation to and from the National Finals, and a chance to race and compete to move on to GT Academy where the ultimate prize is the chance to become a real professional race driver. (Approximate retail value of trip to National Finals and accommodations is $3000.00). A National Final’s qualifying contestant’s Prize will be forfeited if that contestant is unable to travel during designated time period, or if that contestant does not return required affidavit in time to verify age and state of residency or other compliance with these Contest rules. No refund or compensation will be made in the event of the cancellation or delay of any flight. Travel and accommodations are subject to availability. All expenses and incidental travel costs not expressly stated in the package description above, including ground transportation, meals, incidentals, passenger tariffs or duties, surcharges, airport fees, service charges or facility charges, personal charges at lodging, security fees, taxes or other expenses are contestants’ sole responsibility. If Sponsor determines that air travel is not required due to a contestant’s proximity to prize location, ground transportation will be substituted for roundtrip air travel at Sponsors’ sole discretion.
If you’re in an SCEE region, don’t fret – as was announced at GT5‘s Madrid Launch Party, yet another GT Academy competition will be returning to Europe soon. For those of you here in the US, which region will you be competing in?