Two gamers with particularly impressive Gran Turismo skills have now proven their chops aren’t limited to simulation seats by winning the Bathurst 12-hour endurance race in New South Wales, Australia.
Wolfgang Reip and Florian Strauss participated in Sony and Nissan’s GT Academy program in 2012 and 2013. After beating out hundreds of thousands of other players, the winners of GT Academy then get to race in specially designed racing pods that further simulate real racing. Once they’ve claimed that trophy as well, they’re whisked away to the Silverstone circuit in England. Winning that gets you a seat on a Nissan racing team.
Those two players competed in the recent Bathurst 12-hour, helping Nissan take home the trophy for the first time in 22 years. While Reip and Strauss weren’t the ones at the wheel as Nissan’s GT-R 35 crossed the finish line, they two helped get it into position so that the third driver, Katsumasa Chiyo, could pass the first and second cars one after the other to take the win. Chiyo ends up so far ahead that the commentators actually stop talking about the Nissan vehicle and spend more time wondering who is going to end up in second place.
Additionally, it’s expected that GT Academy’s 2011 winner, Jann Mardenborough will take a seat with Nissan’s team for the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race this summer.
How’s that for making a living from playing video games?