SUPER GT - GT500
After a brilliant debut season in Japan for Nissan in the GT300 class in Super GT in 2016, former Nissan GT Academy winner Jann Mardenborough has been promoted to the GT500 class for 2017 where he will drive the No.12 Calsonic IMPUL Nissan GT-R GT 500 alongside Hironobu Yasuda
For 2017, the new-look GT500 class this season features new cars with less downforce than was used previously compared to the 2014-2016 spec cars. The championship features 10 rounds featuring classic tracks like Fuji, Suzuka and Twin Ring Motegi.
Jann Mardenborough enjoyed a brilliant race-winning season in the Japanese Formula 3 championship in 2016. After finishing second in the championship, he earned the chance to graduate to Japan's premiere open wheel championship in 2017 - Super Formula..
Mardenborough will drive for the same team he competes for in the Super GT Championship - Team IMPUL. The Super Formula cars utilise the same engines as used in Super GT and produce speeds that are only slightly slower then Formula 1.
Nissan’s revolutionary driver discovery and development programme, GT Academy, struck gold in 2011 when it unearthed the raw talent of Jann Mardenborough. Mardenborough was a student on a gap year when he heard about GT Academy. He knew he was pretty handy with his PS3 but could his skills in the virtual world be transferred just as successfully onto the race track? You bet they could.
HOW IT BEGAN
Since winning Season Three of GT Academy in June 2011 Mardenborough has proved to be every inch the professional racing driver and one of the most exciting young racing talents to appear in recent years.
The raw talent that caught the eye of the GT Academy judges soon attracted a lot of attention from the motorsport industry. Mardenborough’s speed was such in the British GT Championship that he was given a penalty for being “too fast”.
When EVO magazine presented its Emerging Talent award to Mardenborough they said that he was: “blessed with star quality without the swagger, abundant aptitude without the attitude, and the kind of blistering pace that makes you want to weep.”
SINGLE SEATER STAR
Jann is the first GT Academy winner to race in single-seaters and in 2014 he became a GP3 race winner with Arden Motorsport, while on the Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver development programme. Away from single-seaters, Jann’s performance in the Ligier-Nissan LM P2 car at the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours was incredible.
Such is Mardenborough’s talent the motorsport establishment became convinced that he had done a lot of karting as a child. The bad news for them is that he didn’t, in fact he went to his local kart track a total of six times over the course of a year when he was 10 years old.
BIG IN JAPAN
In 2015 Mardenborough completes the transition from PS3 to P1, became one of the first GT Academy winners to race in LM P1 for Nissan and also continued his single seater career in GP3.
Making the move to Japan in 2016, Mardenborough made a strong impression as a championship contender in the GT300 class in Super GT and Japanese Formula 3. Winning races in both championships, the ultimate “gamer-to-racer” graduates to GT500 in Super GT and Japan’s premiere single seater championship, Super Formula, in 2017.