Lucas Ordonez: the couch potato's hero
As Nissan gears up to launch the 2011 Nissan GT Championship - a racing competition conducted via Gran Turismo on the Playstation 3 - gamers who dream of a race drive need look no further than the winner of the inaugural competition for inspiration.
Spaniard Lucas Ordonez is preparing himself for his drive in this year's Le Mans 24-hour race after winning the first GT Academy in 2009.
Three years ago Ordonez was studying for an MBA and beat 25,000 competitors to win an intensive training programme and a seat in a race-prepared Nissan 370Z at the Dubai 24-hour race.
He went from strength-to-strength, quickly gaining his international racing licence and establishing himself as a credible racing driver.
Nissan is hoping the 25 year-old's Le Mans example will serve as inspiration to the thousands of gamers expected to take part in the time trial competition leading up to April.
Ordonez says: "It's unbelievable. My objective when I entered the competition was to become a racing driver but not at this level."
Frenchman Jordan Tresson won the competition last year, and for this year's GT Academy the makers of Gran Turismo 5 have created a special track for entrants to put in as many laps as they like.
Nissan International's Vice-President of Marketing, Vincent Wijnen, says: "Entering our third year of GT Academy is somehow even more exciting than when we started. We have already discovered two outstanding talents and it will be a very proud moment for us when Lucas lines up on the Le Mans grid this year."