Jann Mardenborough secures Dubai 24 podium
Jann Mardenborough - the 2011 European winner of the Nissan Playstation GT Academy - secured a podium place at the Dubai 24 hours on Saturday.
19-year-old Mardenborough was part of a four-man team, with every driver a graduate of the GT Academy which has turned Playstation gamers in to professional racers. Driving a Nissan 370Z, the team came home third in class with Mardenborough bringing the car over the line with just six months of racing experience under his belt.
"That was without doubt the weekend of my life," said Mardenborough. "The only thing that compares to it is winning GT Academy last June. It feels like pure joy. This is just the first step for me and now I hope that my performance in Dubai can take me further."
Since winning the GT Academy in 2011, Mardenborough has undergone an intense driver development program and competed in a number of UK national races to earn his international race licence. He was joined at Dubai by 2011 USA winner Bryan Heitkotter, 2008 winner Lucas Ordonez and 2010's champion Jordan Tresson.
Bob Neville, boss of the RJN GT Academy team, said he was proud of the four drivers.
"This is the first time that all four of my graduates have raced together so it is a special moment for me," Neville said. "I couldn't have asked for two better guys when Jann and Bryan won the European and USA competitions last summer. Like Lucas and Jordan before them they came into this with their eyes and ears open and absorbed everything we taught them.
"It's particularly nice that we should do this in Dubai as it was here three years ago that an idea formed by Darren Cox of Nissan and Mark Bowles of Sony Computer Entertainment really came to life. This race was the toughest test and they all passed with flying colours. I'm proud of them all and proud to be part of GT Academy."