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Surely every gamer who favours the fast cars and tight bends of the Gran Turismo series dreams of powering such speed-beasts for real?

With the The Nissan PlayStation GT Academy 2012, for some lucky, lucky gamers, that dream might just yet become a reality.

This, the fourth instalment of the virtual-to-reality racing competition, is open to anybody who happens to own a PlayStation 3 console. All you have to do is download a free GT Academy qualification challenge themed around the phenomenally popular Gran Turismo game.

Enter, qualify and triumph and you could be in with the chance of winning an intensive Driver Development training programme which has, in recent years, turned winners into professional racing drivers for Nissan.

It really is the stuff science-fiction dreams are made of: Young people recognised for their gaming talent and plucked from obscurity for a life of greatness. This year's competition is obviously going to be hugely popular.

There are eight steps of training to go through, and entrants have eight weeks to complete these high-octane driving challenges – each of which is intended to reflect the various driving skills required to be a professional racing driver. You'll be expected to pull off such feats as handling powerful Nissan rear-wheel-drive performance cars, mastering corners and setting lap times in wet and demanding conditions.

Does it sound like the sort of thing you can do in your sleep? Well, should you hail from a participating country, be 18 or over and hold a full driving license (in addition to satisfying multiple other terms and conditions) – what, in all honestly, is stopping you from having a go?

The online qualification stage of GT Academy runs until the small hours of Monday June 25 2012. The quickest, slickest and sickest entrants from each territory will then qualify for National Final events – after which some 16 National Final places will be up for grabs via a set of “Live Event” GT5 competitions.

Then – and only then – will six winners emerge from each participating GT Academy to attend the GT Academy “Race Camp” at Silverstone. A veritable boot camp for would-be racing drivers, here the 2012 GT Academy Champion will be pit through one of the most challenging Driver Development programmes in the world. Yet even this will only be preparation for the Dubai International 24 Hour Race – which the overall winner will be able to tackle in a full race-spec Nissan 270Z GT4.

Desirable? Yes. Difficult? Absolutely. Impossible? Not at all.

Good luck!