GT Academy Grads’ 2013 Programs: Endurance & Formula 3

February 26th, 2013 by Andrew Evans

As part of a large Nissan Motorsport announcement at the opening of the new Nismo headquarters, the most recent graduates have had their 2013 seasons revealed.

The most significant announcement is that of Jann Mardenborough. Jann’s recent experience in the 2013 Toyota Racing Series, where he finished as the series’ top rookie, has been a precursor to a full season seat at Carlin Motorsport in FIA European Formula 3. Jann becomes the first GTA winner to move to a full season at an international, open-wheeled series, hinting at a possible future F1 seat. Indeed Carlin’s graduates include two F1 world champions – Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastien Vettel – the latter of which sits in a Renault-Nissan powered and sponsored car…

Meanwhile the four 2012 graduates, reeling from the news they’re too fast for British GT, find themselves taking over the Nissan Nismo GT-R GT3 Jann has vacated for the Blancpain Endurance Series. Though the specific driving pairings have not yet been revealed, Wolfgang Reip, Mark Shulzhitskiy, Peter Pyzera and Steve Doherty are to drive two GT-Rs in the series. Nissan have also announced intention to race the car in the rejuvenated FIA GT GT3 class, but no driver line-up has been given.

As yet no programmes have been confirmed for previous winners Jordan Tresson, Lucas Ordoñez and Bryan Heitkotter, but watch this space!

Images courtesy of Nissan Motorsport and Toyota Racing Series.

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  1. Feb. 27, 12:43pm

    GT5 needs formula 3s. I’ve been saying for a long time, GT5 needs more open wheeled cars

  2. Feb. 27, 2:06am

    In my opinion BES is on of the biggest league’s there is in Europe. It is the main endurance championship with the best endurance race in the world (24hrs of Spa) Offcourse we will be following Wolfgang in his first steps here in the ‘Godzilla’. Good luck to him !!!

  3. Feb. 27, 1:51am

    Oh man I would die to have an opportunity like this! I’m still trying to figure out how to even take the first step in to a racing career! No race tracks are reasonably close to me. Got New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but that is still like an hour trip, and I don’t think they hold am races, at least ones I could get in to.

    • Feb. 27, 10:34am

      Hey man I live easily 300 miles from the nearest registered racing license test centre which is knockhill and I went last November to sit my test and past!
      I am currently working on a car to race at the end of this season while looking ahead to race all of next season.

      It is very worth while and only having a one hour trip there is not a bad thing at all!
      It took me easily 6-8 hours as I had to get a ferry then drive 200+ miles, I stayed somewhere overnight obviously :)

    • Feb. 27, 10:35am


  4. Feb. 26, 5:35pm

    Banned for being to fast? You mean not following the Pro/Am format with a Pro/Pro entry.

    • Feb. 26, 5:57pm


      BGT happily admitted that Jann – and the 2013 guys – are amateurs and ungradeable as professionals due to lack of experience. They’ll have done around nine races of any kind before sitting in the GT3 cars used in the lead group of BGT. But the driver training program gives them an edge that moves them above the amateurs, so they’re professional-level amateurs – they’re clearly amateurs, but too fast.

      As a result, they have to be given a seemingly arbitrary time penalty to even the field out. No fan wants to see races decided anywhere but on the track. BGT are amongst them – and credit to them for it.

  5. Feb. 26, 5:33pm

    Raikkonen is also in a Renault-Nissan powered car… although Vettel is more sponsored by Nissan via Infinity.

    • Feb. 26, 5:44pm

      Doesn’t Renault make the racing engine on their own?

    • Feb. 26, 5:49pm

      You’re quite right of course – I was just playing up the Nissan sponsorship of the Red Bull to join the dots to the Nissan sponsored Jann Mardenborough.

      But yes, Renault, Nissan and Renault-Nissan all have the same CEO, Carlos Ghosn, and so the connection to Raikonnen is also there. It’s worth noting that Carlin has also given single seat drives to STR’s Vergne, Ricciardo and Alguersuari, along with ex-Williams driver Bruno Senna, one-time future WDC (and Renault driver) Robert Kubica and perennial, but loveable, backmarker Narain Karthikeyan.

  6. Feb. 26, 5:13pm

    Lol, what if they get kicked out from the Blancpain Endurance Series as well?

    • Feb. 26, 5:33pm

      BES has a different driver grading system – Bronze (gentlemen, rookies, novices), Silver (young drivers with a couple of seasons’ experience), Gold (pro endurance drivers) and Platinum (champions, ex-F1/LM and guest F1/LM drivers) – without the Pro-Am requirement of BGT.

    • Feb. 26, 5:42pm

      I see. I hope that the latest GT Academy graduates make a big impact on BES. Good luck guys :)

  7. Feb. 26, 5:09pm

    wow… all i can do now is wait for 2014 and see what NISMO does at Le Mans..

    PUT THE FRIGGIN R18 in GT5 ALREADY!!!!!… no, actually just put all of them in GT6 and make it availible for gt5 people…

    • Feb. 26, 10:37pm

      Remember, they’ll sound awful in-game

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