(LOS ANGELES - October 31, 2012) - ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driver Maryeve Dufault will be one of three judges on the second season of the reality competition series GT Academy 2012, premiering Thursday night on Spike TV.
The show will debut at 11:30 ET, or 8:30 PT. The six-week series will follow the top 16 virtual racer finalists who emerged from a pool of over 400,000 racing hopefuls.
"I'm very excited to be part of this incredible show that is really showcasing what this amazing sport is all about," said Dufault. "I'm honored to be a judge alongside two legendary racers and I feel like this shows that women have come a long way, especially in this sport, and we are finally being taken seriously."
Dufault, along with Danny Sullivan and Boris Said, will judge the 16 virtual racers on various criteria as they compete in a week-long boot camp for the chance to become a part of a professional race car team.
Born and raised in Quebec, Dufault inherited a passion for racing while growing up with a brother and father who raced motorcycles. Now, Dufault has been named "Most Popular Driver" by SPEED, and she has been listed among Fox's "Top Female Drivers to Watch Today" and the "Top 10 Fittest Women In the World" by Men's Fitness.
About the Show
What if video gamers had the skills to get into a real car and make it as a pro race car driver? To find out, Nissan and Sony have teamed up to give gamers of PlayStation's Gran Turismo 5 the chance to go from virtual to reality and win the dream job of millions. Over 400,000 gamers from all walks of life entered the competition through the PlayStation Network. In July, after three months of online competition, the top 32 of 400,000 Gran Turismo 5 online gamers met in San Diego to determine the 16 finalists for GT Academy. Over two days of virtual racing competition on identical gaming sleds, the fastest 16 were invited to the legendary Silverstone Racing complex in England to begin an intense boot camp that combined physical and psychological challenges in addition to on-track driving in a variety of performance vehicles.
The six-week GT Academy television series will capture every challenge and all of the human drama of a very intense week. At the end of each episode, competitors' performances are evaluated and critiqued by pro racers Danny Sullivan, Maryeve Dufault, and Boris Said. Those who don't make the cut go home. One winner emerges and remains in the U.K. to undergo intensive professional racing training that will qualify them to earn their international competition license.
The GT Academy concept has already proven successful. Both European and North American GT Academy competitions have produced race winners and top qualifiers in professional racing programs around the world. Europe's GT Academy Season One winner Lucas Ordonez won the P2 Class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2011 in a Nissan-powered prototype, while a team of four GT Academy winners placed third in class in January at the 24 Hours of Dubai in a race-prepared Nissan 370Z.