Red Bull have signed gamer-turned-racer Jann Mardenborough and he will race in GP3 World Champions to put Briton on driver development programme
By William Esler. Last Updated: 17/02/14 4:29pm
Red Bull have signed PlayStation gamer-turned-racer Jann Mardenborough to an "intensive driver development programme" and the Welshman will race in GP3 with Arden International in 2014.
The 22-year-old won Nissan's GT Academy in 2011, an online competition which saw him compete against over 90,000 other gamers before the players were whittled down to a final 12 for a week-long race camp at Silverstone.
The Briton got his first virtual racing experience when he was just eight years old when he sampled the original Gran Turismo game at a friend's house. Mardenborough was immediately hooked and continued to play the games, entering the online competition on Gran Turismo 5 whilst on a gap year from university.
Having made it into the final 12, the decisive race camp began at the Le Mans 24 Hours where Mardenborough met former competition winner Lucas Ordonez, who was making his debut in the famous event. The competitors then took part in an endurance event of their own on the kart track.
The next leg of the event took the competitors to Silverstone where marines put them through their paces with military-style training, resulting in three competitors dropping out of the session.
They were then put through various driving tests along with further fitness assessments before the competitors were whittled down to six for a final day of competition. That was then reduced to four after the drivers sampled a GT4 Nissan 370z race car ahead of a final race on the Silverstone National Circuit which Mardenborough won by eight seconds.