The full throttle story
Jann Mardenborough went from tearing up the competition in Gran Turismo, the ultimate driving simulator on PlayStation to living the dream as a professional racing driver. Now the Nissan Nismo athlete travels the world doing what he loves, and this year he’ll be competing in the world-renowned GP3 series.
When GT Academy began, many people thought Nissan and PlayStation® were crazy for believing they could turn a Gran Turismo® gamer into a real life racing driver.
But the programme was carefully designed to find the gamer with the most natural talent and then to work with them to refine that into top class race craft. Beginning with a Gran Turismo gaming competition, the fastest gamers are then put through their paces at National Final events before the final few head to Race Camp where they are evaluated on their natural car control, fitness and mental attitude.
This is followed by an intensive Driver Development Programme for the winners, training them in the skills they need to compete with the best international drivers out on track. With this rigorous qualifying system, GT Academy has continuously unearthed incredible racing drivers who otherwise would have remained undiscovered.
Between them, the GT Academy graduates have won gruelling endurance races, scored two Le Mans 24 Hours podium results in Le Mans prototype sports cars, won GT championships and raced in single seater GP3 and F3 cars. As NISMO Athletes, Lucas Ordoñez, Jann Mardenborough, Wolfgang Reip, Miguel Faisca, Florian Strauss, Stanislav Aksenov and Nick McMillen are performing exceptionally for Nissan in races across the globe.
Those who doubted the programme in 2008 are now some of GT Academy’s strongest advocates.