As someone who has long scoffed at the notion that Sony’s Gran Turismo series is a genuine racing simulator, a story that ran on Jalopnik made me sit up and pay close attention.
According to the site, a team composed of Gran Turismo experts took third in the Pro-Am class, as well as a hugely impressive seventh overall, in the grueling Spa 24 Hours this past weekend. The team, made up by Lucas Ordoñez, Jann Mardenborough, Wolfgang Reip, and Peter Pyzera used the skills and techniques they honed in Sony’s signature racing game to take their No. 35 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 all the way to the podium. All four are past participants in the GT Academy, a contest program where Gran Turismo players can earn a chance to drive racing cars for real.
The performance was even more impressive when you consider that the car had brake problems which saw it fall three full laps behind the leader. For this team of GT veterans to overcome this much adversity and make it all the way to the bottom step of the podium in the Pro-Am Class was a demonstration not just of great skill, but also of mental toughness and fortitude.
As Jalopnik reports, this was not the first time this team has shown its got what it takes to go places in the world of auto racing. Indeed, they were reportedly so good that the British GT Championship decided they were overqualified to race in its pro driver/gentleman driver class.
And they said playing video games was a waste of time.