Being an expert at car games doesn't make you a virtuoso behind the wheel of a real car, but it sure can help, as one petrolhead recently proved.
Professional racing driver and instructor Denis Malevanyi completed a blisteringly quick lap of the Nurburgring in Gran Turismo 5 using a BMW M3 E92, then suited up and hopped into a real-life E92 to complete the same lap on the actual track. Malevanyi then stitched both laps together in video-editing software to compare his virtual and real performances.
Having watched the footage, what stands out most is how realistic Gran Turismo 5 is. Every bend and camber of the real Nordschleife (the Nurburgring's north circuit) is mirrored to perfection, and even the virtual car matches its physical counterpart down to the smallest detail.
What the game can't quite capture, however, is how incredibly dangerous and exciting it is to reach triple mph figures on a race track, and how much work is required to keep the tyres from passing the limit of their adhesion. Malevanyi is an accomplished wheelman, but he has to fight the steering more aggressively in the real world than he does in the game.
In the real world, he also has to contend with a significant amount of traffic, overtaking cars and motorbikes in pulse-racing manoeuvres that would end horrifically were they to go wrong.
Malevanyi ended up putting in a faster lap in Gran Turismo 5 than he did on the race track, but we think the real-life lap is by far the most entertaining of the two, as there's simply more to lose.