The Lemans 24 hour race is reserved for the elite endurance racers around the world, a team of three drivers share the wheel over the event with stints up to two hours at a time. These seasoned racers usually come from a professional racing background, however Lucas Ordonez took a different route and became a professional driver after winning Sony’s GT academy three years ago.
The GT Academy is a tournament which pits gamers against each other, Lucas beat 25,000 other gamers to the title which meant he won the prize. But unlike other tournaments the prize wasn’t money or even a car, he got to become a real life racing driver.
After some grueling fitness work in 2008, Lucas fulfilled his dream of becoming a racing car driver and last weekend came second in the Lemans 24 hour endurance race. He has literally gone from armchair gamer to a podium winning racing driver, with a lot of hard work in-between.
Lucas was understandably proud of his achievements, he explained to motorsport.com, “Today all of my dreams came true, three years ago I won an amazing prize but never in my wildest dreams did I think that it would take me all the way to the Le Mans podium. I have been on the biggest adventure you could ever imagine.”
When watching the race, I had great respect for all the drivers taking part and am even more impressed with Ordonez who has achieved so much in a short space of time. Whether this proves Gran Turismo is the ‘real driving simulator’ is a matter of opinion but does prove the strength of the GT Academy.