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Virtually there... gaming star bids to become real race ace

PUBLISHED: 16:09 17 February 2010 | UPDATED: 09:21 12 August 2010

DRIVING FORCE: James Hudson.

DRIVING FORCE: James Hudson.

A driver is hoping to make it through to a virtual racing game final at Silverstone and the chance to become the next real motorsport star.

A driver is hoping to make it through to a virtual racing game final at Silverstone and the chance to become the next real motorsport star.

James Hudson, 27, of Scotts Lane, Bromley, was yesterday due to compete in the UK national finals of GT Academy 2010, playing the Gran Turismo race simulation game.

In finals held at Brands Hatch, in West Kingsdown, the 20 fastest gamers from the UK competed on PlayStation 3, with two going through to the boot camp-style GT Academy at Silverstone. Their skills will then be tested on a real racetrack against international finalists.

Mr Hudson said: "This is still a sport which nine out of 10 times is the preserve of the rich and the famous.

"This gives us the chance to get in a car and show what we can do and hopefully make a career from it."

The former risk manager is currently unemployed but practices just a couple of hours a day. He made it through to the latest round after just 10 days of practice, having not played the game for several years.

He added: "It's a great concept where they want to try and turn a gamer into a real driver, whereas I am approaching it from the other way. I have raced in the past but have never had the financial backing to take it any further."

The winner will compete in a full season of racing in the European GT4 Cup, driving a race-spec Nissan 370Z.

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