2011 GT Academy winner and inspiration for the upcoming Gran Turismo movie Jann Mardenborough is set for a return to the race track later this month in the gruelling Super Taikyu 24 Hours of Fuji on May 27-28.
The news, announced by Mardenborough’s sports management agency Motors Formula Team, will see the British driver take part in a competitive race for the first time since leaving Kondo Racing at the end of the 2020 Super Formula season.
Over the past couple of years Mardenborough has been working with the Nissan-backed e.dams team in Formula E, assisting it to seven podium finishes and two victories in 2021 and 2022. Mardenborough though belongs on the race track, and will take part in his first session in just under two weeks, on May 25.
Jann will be part of a four-driver team racing the #1 HELM Motorsports Nissan GT-R GT3, in the top ST-X category for the race. HELM is not only the defending Super Taikyu series champion, but also the defending 24 Hours of Fuji champion team after driving 760 laps in the 2022 race.
Having raced GT3-class GT-Rs for six seasons, including in the GT300 class in Japan’s Super GT, Mardenborough should slot into the team seamlessly, alongside brothers Yuya and Reiji Hiraki, and Yutaka Toriba who all drove in last year’s race win.
Fuji is also a circuit with which Mardenborough should be particularly familiar, having raced a dozen times there in Super GT and Super Formula — and scoring victory in GT300 for the NDDP Racing/B-Max team in 2016.
The elder Hiraki, Yuya, commented “We are very excited to have Jann, who has achieved a number of successes in Japan,” with Mardenborough adding “I am honored and excited to join HELM Motorsports for the Supertaikyu 24 Hours of Fuji. I want to thank Yuya and Reiji Hiraki for this opportunity and look forward to working with the team to achieve great results.”
Mardenborough’s story, going from gamer to racer as one of the biggest success of the GT Academy program, is being turned into a film — called “Gran Turismo“ — which is set to debut on August 11.
Ludovic Huon, international business development & marketing advisor at Motors Formula Team, commented “Jann’s story is truly inspiring and a testament to the power of perseverance and hard work. We have no doubt that he will continue to make significant impact in the motorsports world, both on and off the track.”
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