In addition to great television coverage, GT Academy grabs the headlines every time a new winner is crowned. The winners' stories create natural headlines. The 2011 winner was a student on a gap year, unsure of his next move. Winning GT Academy has thrust him into the spotlight as he races against the future stars of Formula One in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship. Old-fashioned "rags-to-riches" tales capture the imagination of editors who report on the dreams that GT Academy is making come true.
GT Academy's online presence is growing fast. To illustrate the speed of this growth between May and August this year the GT Academy Europe Facebook page grew by over 50% in terms of subscriber numbers. The same exponential growth can be seen on other social media platforms including Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
Entry to GT Academy is via the Gran Turismo game on the PlayStation 3. Since the launch of PlayStation 3 in November 2006, 70 million units have been sold globally and continue to be sold at a record level. The Gran Turismo game itself, now celebrating its 15th year, has also sold 70 million units.
In 2008 just 25,000 people entered GT Academy ( Europe) but word soon spread and the second competition in 2010 attracted a staggering 1.1 million entries. GT Academy now holds competitions in the US, Europe, Russia, Germany, the Middle East and South Africa, with further expansion planned across the world as demand continues to grow year after year.The 2013 GT Academy competitions are now well underway with the finals for the US, European, Russian and German series all taking place in September. Globally the online qualifying period for GT Academy 2013 attracted 1.3 million entrants over a four-week period, compared to 1 million over an eight-week period last year.