Jann Mardenborough, the 2011 GT Academy Champion, will compete in the 2014 GP3 Series with Arden International as he eyes a future in Formula 1.
Mardenborough, who has also joined the intensive driver development with Infiniti Red Bull Racing, has achieved strong results in GT cars, Le Mans Prototypes and single-seaters, finishing runner-up in the New Zealand-based TRS single-seater championship, and achieving a podium finish at the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hour race.
“I feel ready for GP3,” said Mardenborough. “I’ve prepared well and I have all the right people around me to help my development so I can fully focus on my racing. Formula 3 has taught me so many things, both in the car and out of the car, both mentally and physically.
“It was a great stage in my development and I’m sure the skills I’ve learnt there will help me in GP3 and beyond. I’m excited to work with Arden. My initial impressions of them are excellent; they have a lot of experience and great success over the years. I’m looking forward to working with my race engineer Sean McGill.”
Arden International was chosen for Mardenborough’s development due to its championship-winning pedigree, taking Daniil Kvyat to the 2013 title. Kvyat will race for Toro Rosso in the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship.
Mardenborough learnt his craft as part of the GT Academy, where the Nissan driver development programme helped him make the switch to real-world racing from the virtual world. He will now receive bespoke development with Red Bull Racing to push him as far up the ladder as possible.
“We’re delighted to welcome Jann onto our programme,” said Andy Damerum, Red Bull Racing’s driver development manager. “We have been tracking Nissan’s innovative approach to motorsport and in particular GT Academy that challenges the status quo of motorsport.
“The traditional route to F1 of karting and single-seaters is a tried and tested success but Nissan and PlayStation have gone down a very different road and started to find some very talented drivers who have been doing all their practicing on a games console.”
“I have been mightily impressed with what Jann has achieved since winning GT Academy,” said Mardenborough’s mentor, Johnny Herbert. “For someone with Jann’s experience doing so well is very rare to see. Last year he raced in the European F3 series which is hell of a tough challenge during your first season; the fact that it was Jann’s first season in any kind of single-seaters is incredible.
“Whilst he has had a very successful first year in GT racing and he has now got an amazing result at Le Mans 24 Hours under his belt, he is competing against drivers that have grown up with seasons of karting and single-seater experience behind them. I’m very interested to see how Jann fares on our programme and in GP3 this season and I look forward to taking him under the Infiniti Red Bull Racing wing to further progress his career. ”