The concept behind GT Academy was pretty cool: if you’re the fastest Gran Turismo 5 player in your area (and, eventually, the world), you can win a shot at racing real cars, on a real track, with real benefits and consequences. Prove yourself behind the wheel, and you could be the next Lewis Hamilton. Even if you don’t ever make the big time, you’ll have one hell of a story to tell your friends and family. GT Academy is turning out to be more like real-life racing than anyone had considered: as Autoblog reports (via GT Planet), the top three contestants in GT Academy racing all admit to cutting the tracks short to reduce lap times. By cutting across the infield grass (and eliminating two corners), the current leaders have a distinct advantage over other drivers, who actually drive the track as Polyphony intended. The video below shows the fast-but-morally-reprehensible way around the track.
It’s not yet known in Polyphony will penalize the drivers in question, but let’s be honest here: cheating in racing is as old as the sport itself. In my SCCA days, one well-known competitor had a blatantly illegal car; it ran in the ITS class, but was quite a bit faster than anything else on the track (including SSGT cars). When asked about the car, the guy responded with “who in their right mind is going to call me for a tear-down?” In other words, anything goes as long as you don’t get caught.