When playing your favourite video games it is easy to get completely immersed with a gaming environment, so much so you may even wish to become an elf slaying warrior, a marine killing machine or a lone survivor in a post-apocalyptic world, but sadly we just have to accept that these dreams will never become a reality. I for example would love to captain my beloved football team Leeds United but as a plus 20 stone man with two left feet and as much sense of direction as a carrier bag in a tornado I have unwillingly had to let go of my dream. However this hasn’t been the case for one avid Gran Turismo gamer.
Jann Mardenborough from Darlington has taken two major steps in fulfilling his dream. Firstly Jann has just signed with Arden Motorsport in the GP3 series for the 2014 season. GP3 follows the entire European leg of the Formula One series and the GP2 series as a support race for the two. Like the GP2 series, GP3 gives drivers the experience of the Grand Prix environment, and takes advantage of the infrastructure, such as marshals and medical facilities, in place for the Formula One events.
Secondly Jann has been rewarded for the skills he has honed within the gaming world with a place on an intensive driver development program with four time F1 world constructors champions Red Bull. The 22 year old beat off competition from 90,000 other gamers to win Nissan’s GT Academy in 2011, a completion in which gamers played Gran Turismo 5.
The racer got his first ever virtual racing experience from playing Gran Turismo on the PlayStation and has not stopped playing since. Jann told the BBC, “I still play Gran Turismo, play a few shooting games, It’s not quite the same, but you can’t always be in a racing car! But even for new tracks, I still use it as a bit of testing, to learn the tracks.”
Could Jann follow in the footsteps of fellow Brits Lewis Hamilton and Jensen Button and become an F1 champ, only time will tell.