Jann Mardenborough took a step forward in his transition from gamer to racer this weekend as he claimed a class victory while placing third in the Welsh Sports and GT Championship.

The 19-year-old from Cardiff took to the track as part of his prize for winning the European Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy 2011, his American counterpart Bryan Heitkotter also entered the race. Mardenborough also gained the ‘driver of the day award’ after completing a rollercoaster weekend at Pembrey in Wales in the RJN Motorsport run Nissan 370Z.

A shock absorber problem ruled Mardenborough out of the first race while American Heitkotter took sixth place and the ‘driver of the day’ award on the Saturday. Sunday would see a sixth place overall for Mardenborough in the opening race of the day before continuing to his class victory.

“It was an excellent start and a very impressive debut for Jann,” said PlayStation Nissan team boss Bob Neville. “He was very smooth, he wasn't over braking, his lines were good and his times were excellent throughout the day. It's proved a valuable lesson, getting Jann used to having lots of cars around him. He was out there racing for real for the first time and he could not have done any better!”  

“I really enjoyed the two races on Sunday,” enthused Mardenborough. “I finished in good places and got two signatures, so I am really pleased. It’s been a real learning curve to work out where the limit is on the track. With the races taking place in Wales, my Mum, Dad, friends and half my neighbours turned up to support me, so that made the weekend even more special.”

With the weekend out of the way the young Welshman will continue entering national races in a bid to qualify for an international race licence in time for the Dubai 24 Hour race in January 2012. The next outing will see him take to track at Donington Park in a World Touring Car Championship support race.

The progress of Jann's training can be followed on various platforms including: www.facebook.com/GTAcademy | http://eu.gran-turismo.com / | www.twitter.com/GTAcademy