Polyphony Digital has released a new patch for Gran Turismo 5 in preparation for the upcoming start of the GT Academy 2011 on March 4. The latest update, now available for download includes the following changes....

Major changes and new features:

GT Academy 2011
From 09.00 GMT on 4/03/2011 you will be able to enter GT Academy. To be able to do so, you will first have to register your details on gran-turismo.com and then fire up GT5. Full instructions will be posted here on PlayStation.Blog and gran-turismo.com. Terms and conditions apply, e.g. you must be aged 18+, a resident of FR/CH/AT/DE/ES/PT/NL/IT/UK and hold a full driving licence.You can view full terms on www.gran-turismo.com from the opening date.

Friend Rankings
In Drift Trials and Time Trials, you can now display leaderboards that shows only your friends. While it was difficult before to locate your friends in the general leaderboards, this now makes it easier to compare laptimes with them, allowing you to compete just between your friends for the best laps and scores.

Correction of Known Issues
The calculation of performance points (PP) which is an index of a car’s performance is now calculated without taking into account the tyre selection. You can now combine the performance point restriction and the tire restriction when setting the regulations for a lounge.

Other Changes
Cars worth over 1,000,000 Cr. (Including those in a gift car coupon form) are now prohibited from being traded to prevent troubles during the trading process. When lending and borrowing cars between friends, please utilize the rental car system.

To Check Your Current Version
To check the version of your software, press the “Manual” button at the bottom of the main menu screen. The version number will be located on the upper left of the index page in this manual. If the number starts with “Ver. 1.07″, you are playing the latest version of the game. If not, please press PS button and quit the game. The game will be updated automatically when you restart it with your PS3 connected to internet.

Since the competition began in early 2008, it has produced some genuine racing talents in the industry, from Lucas Ordonez, a Spanish MBA student, who entered the time trial competition within GT5 Prologue and three years later, became a full fledged international racing driver, with a very promising racing career.

In 2010, Jordan Tresson to took home the crown from a talented pool of GT gamers, and then went on to place a respectable fourth in the 2010 European GT4 Cup.

This year’s time trial will be hosted within the Seasonal Events section of Gran Turismo 5 and will officially commence at 09.00 GMT on Friday 4th March and will run until 23.59 Sunday 17th April.

The GT Academy 2011 competition will be open to residents of the following countries, with leader boards composed of the same regional groups as shown below.

UK & Ireland
France & Switzerland
Germany & Austria
Spain & Portugal