The five years and estimated $80 million that went into developing Gran Turismo 5 has resulted in a real-world payoff for series producer Kazunori Yamauchi, who earned a class victory at this year's 24 Hours of Nürburgring event in Germany.

Yamauchi was one of four drivers in the Nissan GT-R's Team Schulze, which raced for 24 continuous hours on the famed 15-mile Nürburgring course. Though the team didn't place first overall, it still managed a victory in its vehicle class, overcoming a series of mechanical setbacks.

Gran Turismo 5 is notorious for its lengthy development cycle, which included extensive travel, research, and vehicle testing for the Polyphony Digital team. Perhaps the Nürburgring win will somehow make for a better Gran Turismo 6?

[via Joystiq]