GT Academy Winners Rock Dubai

January 28th, 2009 by Jordan Greer


In an awesome demonstration of ‘virtual’ driving skills in the real world, GT Academy winner Lucas Ordóñez successfully competed in the 24 Hours of Dubai!  With highly experienced teammates like former F1 driver Johnny Herbert, Alex Buncombe, and Rob Barff, the pressure was on Lucas to keep the lap times low and the car on the track.  He managed to do just that, and despite a mechanical setback, helped the Nissan team finish 9th in their class 451 laps and over a distance of 2431km.

The significance of the event was not lost on Kazunori Yamauchi, who attended the race:

dsc00204“It is a dream come true for me to see my game develop a real racing driver,” he said. “I have been hoping for it to happen for ten years.  Lucas’s performance has been excellent, but I would expect that from a driver trained using Gran Turismo. I haven’t had much time to watch him drive but he is very calm and never seems to worry. I always believed that someone good at GT could drive as fast as a professional; in fact, I think that they could even go faster.”

Without a doubt, this is a big milestone for motorsports and the Gran Turismo series – someone with ‘virtual’ experience held their own against some of the world’s top drivers, legitimizing ‘sim racing’ as a way to break into a full blown racing career.  We wish the best to both Lucas and Lars, and will be keeping an eye on them here at GTPlanet to see where they go in the future.  For more on the race, check out the team’s official blog and these photos from the event.

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  1. Feb. 14, 1:38am

    awesome!!!nice drivin..i wish someday im on the drivers seat!hahaha…..

  2. Feb. 2, 10:22pm

    Oh OK. I think I was mislead by the GTR picture and the fact that the pre-race selection/testing was done in GTRs.

  3. Feb. 2, 1:14am

    No, the team always planned to run two 350Z’s in the 24 hour race. Check out the original press release from May of last year:

  4. Feb. 1, 5:49pm

    I thought the race was going to be run in a GTR? The car I see is a 350Z. Anyone know why there was a change?

  5. Jan. 30, 12:09am

    I mixed up their names on purpose! You know, just to make sure you guys are doing your fact checking! :P Seriously, though, my bad – it should be fixed now.

  6. Jan. 29, 2:12pm

    The GT Academy winner who drove in Dubai is NOT Lars. The winner who competed in the 24 hour Dubai Race is Lucas Ordóñez, as you all know, the other winner of the GT Academy in Silverstone. I think you should fix that XD

  7. Jan. 29, 2:10pm

    Sry but your info is wrong Lars didn´t drive in Dubai only Lucas participated on the 24h Race!

  8. Jan. 29, 11:58am

    Congratulations to Lars fantastic performance and it shows that, like gadbury has already said the time we put into GT isn’t wasted and that GT is able to give a somewhat accurate simulation of real life. :)

  9. Jan. 29, 12:25am

    Incredible! I guess the hours we put into GT are not completely wasted! I’ll use this example as an excuse when the girlfriend complains about the amount of time I spent racing computer cars! :)

    Congratulations Lars! I’m sure it was nerve-wracking. Look forwards to hearing more about your professional racing career! :D

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