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Portuguese student wins 2013 European GT Academy

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Miguel Faisca, a 24-year-old student, is the champion of this year's European GT Academy, the racing event put on by Sony and Nissan that turns Gran Turismo players into race car drivers.

Faisca, who hails from Lisbon, Portugal, bested 41 other gamers over the past week at the GT Academy European Race Camp, a grueling set of training sessions held at the U.K.'s Silverstone Circuit. That field of 42 had been narrowed from a group of 765,000 European players who had attempted to qualify by playing the Gran Turismo 6 demo that was released in July. This is the fifth GT Academy.

Now that he has been crowned as the champion, Faisca will go back to Silverstone next month along with the winners of the Race Camps from Germany, Russia and the U.S. to begin training as a race car driver.

"This is the start. It is going to be very hard work, but I can't wait to get going," said Faisca. "Thanks to Nissan and PlayStation for this opportunity. It is fantastic to be the first Portuguese winner."

For more on GT Academy, check out our Human Angle feature on Bryan Heitkotter, the champion of the first U.S. GT Academy. Gran Turismo 6 itself will be released Dec. 6 on PlayStation 3.