Gran Turismo Contest Winner Places In Real-Life Race

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Posted by Jeff (3400 posts) -
Lucas Ordoñez.
You might remember this happening last May, but this was all news to me. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe teamed up with Nissan a year ago to find great Gran Turismo 5 Prologue players and place them into GT Academy. The three best racers from each participating country were taken out to a track with the Nissan team and slowly whittled down until two drivers remained. These drivers then went on receive in-depth training and joined the Nissan PlayStation team at a 24-hour endurance race in Dubai. That Dubai race showed that the GT Academy winner, Lucas Ordoñez, had some real-life racing chops, though the team finished 45th.

OK, that should catch you up to more recent events. Ordoñez has continued racing and, according to Autoblog, the video game racer has taken third place at Silverstone this weekend, the first weekend in the GT4 series. A release from the series organizers quoted the driver as saying:
“I was really pushing hard in the last corners, trying to overtake the BMW. I could tell that he was losing grip on his rear tyres, they'd worn out quite a bit, and I managed to overtake him in the last corner. I'm really happy to have got third and the podium in my first race in GT4, it's great for me. We'll try to get first in Adria in Italy, like Alex managed to get at the start of the race.” 
Though Ordoñez apparently had some minor on-track experience prior to winning GT Academy, this still appears to be the first case of a driver coming up in a video game, then transitioning those skills into real-life success. Pretty amazing stuff, if you ask me. What do you think? Has playing driving video games made you a better driver?
Staff
#1 Posted by Jeff (3400 posts) -
Lucas Ordoñez.
You might remember this happening last May, but this was all news to me. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe teamed up with Nissan a year ago to find great Gran Turismo 5 Prologue players and place them into GT Academy. The three best racers from each participating country were taken out to a track with the Nissan team and slowly whittled down until two drivers remained. These drivers then went on receive in-depth training and joined the Nissan PlayStation team at a 24-hour endurance race in Dubai. That Dubai race showed that the GT Academy winner, Lucas Ordoñez, had some real-life racing chops, though the team finished 45th.

OK, that should catch you up to more recent events. Ordoñez has continued racing and, according to Autoblog, the video game racer has taken third place at Silverstone this weekend, the first weekend in the GT4 series. A release from the series organizers quoted the driver as saying:
“I was really pushing hard in the last corners, trying to overtake the BMW. I could tell that he was losing grip on his rear tyres, they'd worn out quite a bit, and I managed to overtake him in the last corner. I'm really happy to have got third and the podium in my first race in GT4, it's great for me. We'll try to get first in Adria in Italy, like Alex managed to get at the start of the race.” 
Though Ordoñez apparently had some minor on-track experience prior to winning GT Academy, this still appears to be the first case of a driver coming up in a video game, then transitioning those skills into real-life success. Pretty amazing stuff, if you ask me. What do you think? Has playing driving video games made you a better driver?
Staff
#2 Posted by LiquidPrince (15836 posts) -

This game is a pretty crazy simulator, so who knows. =P

#3 Edited by get2sammyb (6412 posts) -

I could imagine being good at Gran Turismo would make you a pretty good driver. You really have to understand all the technical parts of racing to be any good at that game.

It almost becomes a bad game because it's SO realistic. If that makes sense. I'm sure someone else will feel me with this.

#4 Edited by Renegade (374 posts) -

Well, I started playing driving games before I started driving. Once I hit the real thing, I actually felt like they did have a positive impact on my driving ability, but on a very minor scale. Certainly nothing to this extent though.

#5 Posted by MKLOL (71 posts) -

So people who play GT become better drivers... I wander what people who play Burnout become :))

#6 Posted by Death_Burnout (3792 posts) -

Dead that's what! but awesomely so.

#7 Posted by Sunjammer (903 posts) -

Like murderers and rapists haven't honed their skills at GTA for over a decade

#8 Posted by Geno (6477 posts) -

Well playing RTS's has made me a better warlord in real life so I think the same could be possible for driving games.

#9 Posted by SentientMoustache (100 posts) -

I have a plan to cruise Sturup race track in Sweden i my dads MGF, but I wont  do so until I've had some practise in a videogame. Only problem is this track isn't featured in any games, so I need a game that has the best track editor in the world. Do any of you intelligent guys know what that game is?

#10 Posted by stephengotlost (703 posts) -

I can see how practicing driving on such a realistic simulation with a wheel could improve one's motor skills.

#11 Posted by sloppyjoe (405 posts) -

Definitely made me a better driver.  I have a good racing line and turning ability :P

#12 Posted by Musicom (66 posts) -

Pretty awesome.

#13 Posted by Lestater (394 posts) -

I hope this works with Assassins Creed.

#14 Posted by Jimbo (9769 posts) -

No reason it shouldn't help you understand racing theory I guess....  not that you need to know any of that for regular driving...

#15 Posted by Player1 (3850 posts) -

I just got my drivers license a week ago, and I can confidentially say games like Forza and NFS have made my driving MUCH  better. Thanks to forza I anticipate turns better, know to slow during turns, and just have an overall better feel. Thanks to NFS my reaction times are much better.

It just seems more natural. It seems like I have way more experience because of videogames.

#16 Posted by PJ (1143 posts) -

If anything i believe that driving games make you a more wrekless driver since some might take turns in faster speeds then the car can handle 'cause lets be honest a Mitsubishi Lancer EvoX made for racing has light years better grip, speed, breaks and turning then my standard Mitsubishi Lancer '08.

For me it was the other way around. Since i know how to drive and the way a car acts in different conditions and speeds it has made me a better video game driver.

Although ive only done some racing in my life(two rally races, one on tarmac and one on gravle,  and 5 folkracing weekends [think rallycross but whit old ass cars]) i can tell you that no mather how realistic GT5P is, it comes no where near the real thing and if you think that a real race car will act like the ones in GT5P, Forza2, Grid or Dirt then you will end up in a tree or in the tirewall.

Only way a videogame can help someone improve their racing is that it can teach them the track they race on but you would expect a pro racecar driver to know the track better then any videogame player.

#17 Posted by KnifeySpoony (1163 posts) -

Games like GTR 2 and GT do help in terms of anticipating corners, when to brake and such, but not in daily life. I went go karting for the first time a month or so ago and won the race, because it felt like a video game I had played before. The same skills are required, but there is just an extra layer of stuff you need to pay attention to.

I think in terms of daily life it makes you a more attentive driver, since you are focused in those games. So when it comes to actually driving you are focused on what you're doing, rather than being distracted by phones or whatever else.

#18 Posted by Scooper (7882 posts) -

It's really cool in my opinion. I can totally see why playing GT could improove your driving skills. You get practise choosing the best lines around corners. When to brake. When to apply power ect.

#19 Posted by animateria (3252 posts) -

While GT gives the the feel of the racing lines, its a totally different thing from the real thing.

There's G-force to consider as well as fear.

Fear is a missing component of videogames because there isn't any life threatening consequences.

But GT is a great game to figure out strategies and driving lines, as well as coping with different vehicle types.

Now if they would finally release 5, I bought the system in someways because of GT5 and yet there isn't any clear indication of when its coming out.

#20 Edited by Fbomb (1168 posts) -

Wouldn't it make more sense to say that better race drivers make better race video game players? Sounds like this guy is naturally apt at motor sport racing, and did well to display these skills both in and out of video games. If you already have experience with track racing, the racing theory you gain from a video game can help with the theory on the track, yes. But, I don't see a poor driver becoming better by playing racing games. Just because you have good race-line and throttle/braking instincts doesn't mean this will transfer to a situation where actual road handling ability is required. I really think that good race drivers would do much better going through a video-game racing academy than a video game player going through a race car driving academy. I think your question is placing the cause and effect in the wrong order.

#21 Posted by Cheapoz (1064 posts) -

NFS: Most Wanted made me a far worse driver. I never pushed my 84 Corolla to the same limits before Razor sent me mad.


True story.
#22 Posted by matrix_hiei (143 posts) -

The only driving game I play is Burnout...and well, that hasn't helped me to become a better driver...

#23 Posted by HaHarr (43 posts) -

I thank Mario Kart. I'm a goddamn awesome driver. My friends and I are working on a shell-launcher to mount to the hood of the car. Preliminary trials have also shown that, unfortunately, banana peels do not affect the handling of a car.

#24 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4238 posts) -

Playing GTA too long made me automatically want to get into cars that I passed on the street.  I'm not sure it would help my driving, though :)

#25 Posted by DiGiTaL_SiN (1789 posts) -

Definitely, I'd like to think that my affection for racing games has made me a much better driver than most of my pals, specially the ones who hate racing games.

#26 Posted by urbaninja (55 posts) -

i think driving games have definately helped me to improve my driving. They give people a chance to understand how to drive quickly in a sudo-realistic environment without killing themselves every time they crash. That said, Its valuable only if you are able to discern where the games are true to reality and where they are designed to be entertainment.

#27 Posted by ReTarDedFisHy (1062 posts) -

Impressive, to say the least.

#28 Posted by Endogene (4741 posts) -

A friend of mine nearly killed himself on the moterway just after geting his drivers licence due to a reflex he develloped playing Mario Kart... great game might I ad.

#29 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

Well.. I play Burnout...So....

#30 Posted by JoelTGM (5596 posts) -

I believe it.  You can learn a lot playing GT.

#31 Posted by Arjuna (886 posts) -

I've had my license revoked twice for reckless driving.  I play Burnout Paradise all the time!  I kid.

#32 Posted by Big_Fact_Hunt (103 posts) -

Personally, driving in real life has made me better at driving games. Better understanding of racing lines, holding speed through corners, accelerating out at the apex, tailoring car setup for each track and so on. I've always preferred sims to arcade racing though, I suck at those.

#33 Posted by Mechanized (317 posts) -

If he was playing Forza he would have come in first.

#34 Posted by SleepyDoughnut (1193 posts) -

amazing indeed

#35 Posted by Khann (2766 posts) -

GRAN TURISMO IS NOT REALISTIC. NEITHER IS FORZA.

With that out of the way... I think games such as Live For Speed, GPL, netKar Pro and iRacing really could give you a better understanding of how a car and racing works. There are many, many racers in the sim racing community that also race in the "real world".

#36 Edited by Sushbag (327 posts) -

The problem with this, and this isn't to say the guy can't drive race cars in real life mind you, is that even GT5P, of all games, has the equivalent of an "easy" mode. You can turn on options for basically making the driving easier. You'd need to play with no helper settings enabled to even get a vague sense of real life physics. And games don't account for the fear you'd experience in real life, where a mistake can be fatal, and they also don't convey the amount of stress the human body is put under when you're exposed to high G forces for an extended, endurance race.

I've driven around Suzuka hundreds and hundreds of times in racing games, but if you put me, with no real life racing experience, out there in a high-performance car, I'd be a pussy. Especially on the last S turn where the walls are five feet away.

#37 Posted by TwoOneFive (9459 posts) -

i think it helps that because of GT he has literally mastered the tracks before ever stepping foot on them. he probably knows every little nuance because of GT5...that is, if the track he raced on was in the game, but im sure it was wherever he trained, they probably had it made for them. lol

#38 Posted by Wright (637 posts) -

If only he played exitebots instead. Could get that red bar and soar past the bastards.

#39 Posted by TehBuLL (589 posts) -

still can't do a barrel roll on my jetski.

#40 Posted by twillfast (569 posts) -

To everyone who says games don't account for fear, real-world physics, etc: the question is "has playing video games made you a better driver?"
It doesn't say "has playing video games made you one of the top racing drivers in the world?"

And also about the fear part, the next time you're playing a racing game, try to think that you're in the car and you'll at least get the feeling of i'm not gonna kill myself for just one more place. It's all about imagination baby, yeah!
Anyway, I think it's real cool what he did and I salute him! I'm gonna go play some Uncharted now, and then go treasure hunting!

#41 Posted by Destroyeron (352 posts) -

I've read about several studies that have shown video games improve things such as reaction time and visual recognition, which in turn could help you become a better driver.

#42 Posted by PureRok (4235 posts) -

People are skipping the part where they trained him. He didn't just jump from the game to a car. He was put through training.

#43 Posted by scurrybot (51 posts) -

lame

#44 Posted by Karmann (622 posts) -

A friend of mine won a marlboro racing contest, and he learned all the theory "apex, weight shifting, on/off throttle steer, etc." playing GT3 the week before.

#45 Posted by StaticFalconar (4849 posts) -

The only time I believe racing sims have helped me out in real life was my first run in with snow and my tires lost traction. I regained control of my car using the exact motion i would in the game and it worked.

#46 Posted by JJWeatherman (14557 posts) -

I think Forza 2 is a better simulation then GT. If anyone has played both I think you would agree.

#47 Posted by Sestren (56 posts) -

Oh, games have absolutely made me a better driver. Every time I cruise down a 45 mph zone, I know just how to shift to get my car up to 45 with maximum quickness. And whenever I need to overtake someone, I just Road Rage him into a building like Burnout 3 taught me.

#48 Posted by dagas (2744 posts) -

So what job can you get for playing a bunch of RPGs? =P

#49 Posted by PLightstar (4 posts) -

I would say yes, I notice that I can handle sharp corners at say 20-30mph when normal drivers have to go round at 5-10mph

#50 Posted by crunchUK (5963 posts) -
PureRok said:
"People are skipping the part where they trained him. He didn't just jump from the game to a car. He was put through training."
bingo

it seems people have gotten a bit fanciful

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