dramatically changed when Sony held a European
PlayStation competition looking for the best "virtual
driver" in Europe according to PC Authority.
Ordoñez, who lives in Spain, bested almost 25,000 of his fellow auto
enthusiasts and won, gaining the chance to represent his nation at
the Playstation GT academy, a special camp designed to help the
hardcore console racing gaming geeks transition their skills into
real world racing.
At the camp, Ordoñez proved a natural at
racing in real world cars. He found his "experience to be
consistent in the laps and to know the perfect line in the tracks"
had helped him to be able to recognize real-world braking points.
However, much work remained. In the latter half of 2008,
Ordoñez continued to work on his MBA and in the meantime hired a
personal trainer to whip him into the shape necessary to handle the
G-forces which professional racers experience.
On the weekends
he competed in smaller European races in order to obtain his
international race drivers 'C' license, which requires a certain
amount of track time at national certified tracks. Most of
these races were RJN Motorsport Team events held in the UK.
wasn't long before Ordoñez received his license. And he didn't
start small -- he took off to compete in the famous GTA Dubai
International 24 Hour race in 2009. Racing in a Nissan 350Z, he
completed 451 laps and 2431km in 24 hr. That impressive
performance earned him a 9th place finish, and put him in a tie with
English former F1 Gun, Johnny Herbert.
Then came an even
greater accomplishment. Ordoñez won the European GTA Cup for
RJN Motorsport, a very high profile event. Ordoñez now appears
poised to enjoy a very successful and financially rewarding racing
career, all thanks to his gaming experience.
Encouraged by the
success, this year Sony is planning an even bigger 2010 GT Academy.
Gamers will compete in five stages. The first two stages will
give gamers a chance to compete in the unreleased Gran Turismo 5,
which is due out in March 2010 (a prologue version is currently
available). The next stage will put those who prevail in the
camp with real world race cars. Couch potato gamers beware -- a
fourth stage will pit the two best real-world drivers against each
other mental, but also athletic tests, to show their mettle.
Much like Ordoñez, one lucky winner will get the chance to
drive a Nissan 370Z prepared by RJN Motorsport in May 2010's European