It appears videogame skills translate to the real world after all: Lucas Ordoñez, the first-ever winner of PlayStation driving contest GT Academy in 2008, this weekend secured a podium finish at the Le Mans 24 Hours race in France.
Three years ago Ordoñez was an MBA student whose experience of the race track was limited to Gran Turismo. After setting the fastest time in the GT Academy time trial, he won the 2008 competition, and came second in the real-world GT4 Championship in his debut season.
Last Sunday, he and his Signatech Nissan team-mates finished in second place in the LMP2 class in the famous race, despite suffering two punctures over the course of the day.
"It was a day when all of my dreams came true," Ordoñez said. "Three years ago I won an amazing prize but never in my wildest dreams did I think it would take me all the way to the Le Mans podium. It will take a while for this to sink in for me but so far it is the most amazing feeling."
Among those in the crowd were the 12 finalists for this year's GT Academy. Representing the UK, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, the young hopefuls are in the midst of the four-day GT Academy Race Camp
This year's winner will be announced on Friday and will go on to race in the Dubai 24 Hour event next January.