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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 1:20 EDT

Sixth Annual Gran Turismo(R) Awards at SEMA 2008 Crowns ‘Best of Show’ Winner to Be Featured in a Future Version of the World’s Best-Selling Racing Franchise

November 7, 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ — To find the hottest car for the next iteration of Gran Turismo(R), the world’s best-selling videogame franchise with over 50 million units shipped worldwide, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. (SCEA) hosted the sixth annual Gran Turismo(R) Awards at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) auto show in Las Vegas last night. The Gran Turismo Awards gave SEMA show exhibitors the opportunity to have their car immortalized in a future edition of the famed Gran Turismo racing franchise and be driven virtually by millions across the globe. Hundreds of exhibitor entries were received for this year’s Awards. The 2008 “Best in Show” was awarded to JR Rocha with his 2007 Infinity G37.

Winners from previous years’ Gran Turismo Awards can now be raced in past iterations of the Gran Turismo series, including the newly released Gran Turismo(R)5 Prologue, available exclusively on the PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(TM)) system.

“Since its inaugural year, the Gran Turismo Awards represent a unique collaboration between the automotive and gaming industries, honoring automotive enthusiasts for their passion and labor of love,” said Kazunori Yamauchi, famed creator of the Gran Turismo franchise. “The SEMA show is a unique proving ground and we are excited to once again extend that through the Gran Turismo franchise.”

About Judging For The Gran Turismo Awards

Prior to the SEMA show, all exhibitors are invited to enter their car into the Gran Turismo Awards. The Gran Turismo Awards honor five different categories that include “Best Domestic,”"Best European Import,”"Best Hot Rod,”"Best Japanese Import,”"Best Truck/SUV” and the coveted “Best in Show.” Judges consisted of various respected automotive journalists. Judging for each category is based on the judge’s choice for a car with well-balanced performance, style and speed. The “Best in Show” award is selected from the category winners by Yamauchi.

About the Gran Turismo Award Winners

Held at the Las Vegas hot spot in Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, The Joint, award winners and VIPs of the automotive industry witnessed the sixth annual Gran Turismo Award ceremony on November 6. Surrounding the ceremony, party guests were treated to live performances by hip-hop superstar Ludacris, and rock legends Tommy Lee and Dave Navarro. Guests were also invited to test their driving skills on the PS3 system’s Gran Turismo 5 Prologue.

In addition to the “Best of Show” hardware, JR Rocha, who also won “Best Japanese Import,” will set a new standard for visibility among auto enthusiasts as his vehicle will be drivable in a future Gran Turismo property. The “Best Truck/SUV” honor was presented to John Wargo for his 1938 Chevy. The “Best European Import” award was given to Robert Gal this year for his Volkswagen Concept car. The “Best Domestic Automobile” award was given to James Shipka for his 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Rally Sport. The final category for “Best Hot Rod,” was awarded to Jason Lavigne for the Factory Five Racing 1933 Hot Rod.

To obtain images from the Gran Turismo Awards, please visit the official press center at http://www.presscenter.playstation.com/

   Username - SCEA   Password - SC3APR.    About Gran Turismo  

With more than 50 million units shipped worldwide, the award-winning Gran Turismo(R) franchise for the PlayStation(R), PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system and PLAYSTATION(R)3 is regarded as the best and most authentic driving simulator ever created due to its true-to-life graphics, authentic physics technology and design. Since the inception of the Gran Turismo franchise, famed creator Kazunori Yamauchi and Polyphony Digital Inc. in Japan have revolutionized the racing category as we know it today. His offerings provide the most realistic driving simulation in the industry and a unique medium for automotive manufacturers to showcase their products.

The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has rated all Gran Turismo properties “E” for Everyone. For more information about the ESRB, please visit http://www.esrb.org/.

About Sony Computer Entertainment America

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation(R) and PS one(R) game console, the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, the PSP(R) (PlayStation(R)Portable) handheld entertainment system, and the ground-breaking PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(TM)) computer entertainment system and its online and network services PLAYSTATION(R)Network and PLAYSTATION(R)Store.

Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets, and distributes software for the PS one game console, the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, the PSP system and the PS3 system for the North American market. Based in Foster City, Calif. Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc. serves as headquarters for all North American operations and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

Visit us on the Web at http://www.us.playstation.com/

“PlayStation”, “PS one”, “PSP” and “PLAYSTATION” are registered trademarks and “PS3″ is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

Gran Turismo (R)/ (C) 2008 Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Manufacturers, cars, names, brands and associated imagery featured in this game in some cases include trademarks and/or copyrighted materials of their respective owners.

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.

CONTACT: Scott Goryl of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.,+1-858-824-5792, scott_goryl@playstation.sony.com; or Jim Redner,+1-310-854-4870, jredner@bncpr.com, for Sony Computer Entertainment AmericaInc.

Web site: http://www.us.playstation.com/