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One of the highest honors a car builder can receive these days is inclusion into the best-selling racing video game franchise, Gran Turismo. Marcel Horn’s 2007 Audi TT will be the latest to enjoy a coveted place in the game as a feature vehicle that enthusiasts can select and race.

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., publisher of the Gran Turismo series, awarded Horn, president of British Columbia-based HPA Motorsports, both the Best European Import and coveted Best in Show honor at its fifth annual Gran Turismo awards held in conjunction with the 2007 SEMA Show. This year's event featured a distinguished lineup of automotive entries from top SEMA Show exhibitors representing five categories.

"The 2007 Gran Turismo Awards showcases the collaboration between the automotive culture and the gaming industry," said Kazunori Yamauchi, creator of the racing franchise and president of developer Polyphony Digital, Inc. "We are proud to honor auto enthusiasts for their passion of cars and to celebrate the automotive lifestyle that Gran Turismo embodies." 

Horn’s Audi TT will feature, along with last year's Best in Show award-winning '60 Chevrolet Corvette, in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, available on Playstation 3 in North America in 2008.

Prior to the SEMA Show, exhibitors are invited to register their car for the Gran Turismo Awards, which honor five automotive categories including Best Domestic, Best European Import, Best Hot Rod, Best Japanese Import and Best Truck/SUV. The winners of each category go head-to-head in a final round of competition for Best in Show.

The judging panel consists of respected automotive journalists who have been chosen for their individual expertise to evaluate contestants. Best of Class winners are determined by each judge solely on their choice for the vehicle with the most well-balanced performance, style and speed. The Best in Show award is selected from the five category winners by Gran Turismo creator Yamauchi. 

This is Horn’s second Best in Show award; his Volkswagen R32 took top honors in 2004 and can be seen in the current Gran Turismo 4 game.

Other category winners included:
Best Domestic Automobile: Gary Cheney, 2007 Factory Five GTM
Best Hot Rod: Jim and Mike Ring, '67 Ford Mustang Fastback
Best Japanese Import: Michael Chung, 2007 Nissan 350Z
Best Truck/SUV: Mike DeFord, 2007 Dodge Ram

Best of Show winner Marcel Horn hoists his trophy—a custom-designed Playstation3 console—alongside Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi.

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