The lines of virtual and reality were blurred once again at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, as Gran Turismo(R)’s influence on the automotive world soared to new heights.
The presence of the game was seen not just on the ground but in the sky, with Mazda’s audacious LM55 Vision Gran Turismo car, designed especially for Gran Turismo, forming part of this year’s Central Feature.
The Central Feature is the giant automotive sculpture that dominates the skyline outside the iconic Goodwood House. The LM55 Vision Gran Turismo took its place alongside the historic 1991 Le Mans winning Mazda 787B, with this year’s Central Feature included as a free update for GT6 so gamers can take to the world-famous Hillclimb course in full 2015 Festival of Speed detail.
Goodwood has become a regular event in the calendar of Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi. His packed schedule included meeting British motorsport icon Sir Stirling Moss and taking the wheel of the 1974 Jaguar E-type ‘Group 44′ car up the world-famous Goodwood Hillclimb.
It wasn’t just Kazunori taking to the Hillclimb though, with the huge crowd at the annual Festival of Speed racking up over 32,000 runs of the track on GT6. It is the only game in the world to feature the iconic track, and a number of the eye-catching circular PlayStation(R)3 race pods located at official Goodwood and manufacturer locations gave everyone in attendance the chance to experience the thrill of tackling the Hillclimb.
One of the race pod locations was in the prestigious Drivers’ Club, where some of the biggest names in motorsport congregate before taking to the Hillclimb. A few were keen to brush up their skills on the track using GT6, including former F1 driver Anthony Davidson, World Superbike champion Troy Corser and unsurprisingly gamer-to-racer Jann Mardenborough who couldn’t resist the lure of Gran Turismo.
Kazunori Yamauchi commented: “It is great to see how Gran Turismo is becoming such an established and recognised part of Goodwood Festival of Speed and that so many car enthusiasts enjoy having their chance to race up the famous Hillclimb. We were so proud to see the Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo used as part of the Central Feature and a range of manufacturers hosting race pods on their stands. Driving up the Hillclimb was inspiration for me to include the track in the game in the first place and I was so grateful for the opportunity to be able to do that again in such a fantastic classic car.”
Thanks to PlayStation and Nissan’s innovative GT Academy project, three lucky spectators’ Gran Turismo skills booked them a place at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi for GT Academy Race Camp. James Garner, James Irani and Mathieu Gauthier-Thornton now have the chance to battle against Europe’s quickest gamers to determine who will be crowned this year’s Nissan PlayStation GT Academy champion.