Jann Mardenborough is a British racer who has raced in several national and international racing tournaments. He was a racing video game player since his teenage years and became a racer by winning the GT Academy Competition. In 2023, a film, based on his life, was released titled Gran Turismo.
Jann Mardenborough was born on Monday, 9 September 1991 (age 32 years; as of 2023) in Darlington, County Durham, England. His zodiac sign is Virgo. His grandparents came to England from Saint Kitts and Nevis in the early 1960s. He later moved to Cardiff as his father played football for different clubs in the region. He completed his schooling at Radyr Comprehensive School, Cardiff. Facebook – Jann Mardenborough Jann was interested in cars and racing since his childhood and used to play Gran Turismo video game since the age of 8 years.
When he was 17, he made his own simulator rig as he could not afford a readymade rig. He attended Swansea Metropolitan University (renamed University of Wales Trinity Saint David Technium) to pursue a degree in motorsport engineering; however, he dropped out of the course after three weeks as he did not like the maths subject in the course. He came back to Cardiff and started living with his parents.
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Weight (approx.): 70 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Body Measurements (approx.): Chest 42″, Waist 32″, Biceps 15″
Parents & Siblings
His father is Steve Mardenborough, an English footballer, and his mother’s name is Lesely-Anne Mardenborough. He has a younger brother named Coby Mardenborough.
Wife & Children
He is unmarried and does not have any children.
He is single.
GT Academy Competition
In 2011, he participated in the GT Academy competition in Gran Turismo 5. He won a spot in the Top 20 in the time trial event by defeating 90,000 participants following which he won the 20-minute race at Silverstone National Circuit by 8 seconds. The race was done in a Nissan 370Z sports car. In an interview, he revealed that prior to the race, he had never driven any sports car and had never been to a racetrack.
He was given a professional racing contract with Nissan after winning the competition following which he underwent training and raced in national events, earning an international racing license.
He joined a Nissan 370Z GT4 team for the Dubai 24-Hour race in January 2012 alongside other GT Academy winners. In 2013, he competed in the Spa 24 Hours race, driving a Nissan GT-R GT3 car, and secured third place in the Pro-Am class and seventh overall. In May 2023, Mardenborough marked his comeback to racing by participating in the Fuji 24 Hours race of the Super Taikyu Series. He joined Helm Motorsports’ team, driving a Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3.
His return to the track was notable as he and his team secured pole position for the event. Throughout the race, they were in the lead for substantial periods; however, the race presented challenges, and they faced brake issues. As a result, despite their strong performance, they finished in the fourth position overall.
24 Hours of Le Mans
In 2013, he debuted at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving a Zytek Z11SN-Nissan car, securing third place in class and ninth overall; he raced for Greaves Motorsport. In 2014, he returned to Le Mans with OAK Racing, finishing ninth overall and fifth in class with a Ligier-Nissan LMP2 car. He also competed in the LMP1 class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015 for Nissan Motorsports, although their GT-R LM Nismo car faced difficulties.
Accident at Nürburgring Endurance Series
During the 2015 VLN endurance race on the Nordschleife circuit at the Nürburgring, Mardenborough was driving a Nissan GT3 Nismo sportscar on 28 March 2015 when the vehicle left the track and entered a spectator area. As a result of the incident, one spectator lost their life and multiple others sustained injuries, leading to their hospitalization. The exact cause of the accident was not revealed. Nissan, the manufacturer of the car, released a statement confirming the incident. According to their statement, the car left the track at the ‘Flugplatz’ section of the circuit and went over the catch fencing, landing on its roof in the spectator area. BBC
British GT Championship
In 2012, Mardenborough raced in the British GT Championship, for RJN Motorsport, with a Nissan GT-R GT3. He partnered with Alex Buncombe and won a race at Brands Hatch. They placed sixth in the GT3 championship despite facing challenges in the final race due to damper issues. Mardenborough also took part in the Blancpain Endurance Series.
Formula 3 Racing
In 2013, Mardenborough entered the world of Formula 3 racing. He competed in the 2013 Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand and finished as the best rookie, securing tenth place in the championship. He joined Carlin Motorsport for the 2013 FIA European Formula Three Championship and the 2013 British Formula 3 Championship. For the 2014 GP3 Series, Mardenborough raced with Arden International.
He won his first GP3 race in Germany, starting from pole position and setting the fastest lap in the reverse grid sprint race. In 2015, Mardenborough moved to Carlin for the GP3 Series. He achieved five top-five finishes, including two podiums, ending ninth overall despite missing some races. In the 2016 Japanese Formula 3 Championship with B-Max Racing, he secured four wins and multiple podiums, securing a runner-up spot closely behind Kenta Yamashita.
In 2016, Mardenborough moved to Japan and competed in the 2016 GT300 class of Super GT in a Nissan GT-R GT3 car. In NDDP Racing alongside Kazuki Hoshino, he achieved his first win in the Fuji 500km and secured another podium finish in Buriram. Going into the season finale, they were just two points away from the championship lead, ultimately finishing fourth overall.
In 2017, Mardenborough raced in the Super GT’s premier GT500 class with the Calsonic-sponsored Impul team. Despite Nissan facing challenges against Honda and Toyota, he and teammate Hironobu Yasuda secured a 15th-place finish in the standings. Their season included a strong contention for victory at Buriram, where the pit stop and car problems foiled their chances. Staying with Impul in 2018 alongside Daiki Sasaki, he secured three top-six finishes in the initial races.
A potential win at the Fuji 500-mile race was missed due to technical issues while leading; however, at Sugo, he claimed his first GT500 podium by finishing third, despite facing overheating issues. Mardenborough joined Kondo Racing in 2019, partnering with Mitsunori Takaboshi. Despite running on less competitive Yokohama tires compared to rivals, they finished narrowly behind Impul in the championship, securing multiple points finishes and a fourth-place result.
In 2020, Mardenborough and Takaboshi faced difficulties due to an uncompetitive Nissan GT-R and Yokohama tires. Though often quicker than his teammate, he finished 19th in the championship, marked by a near-podium finish denied by technical issues at Fuji. Despite his speed, Mardenborough was not retained by Nissan for the 2021 season following which he took a break for around 2 years.
Super Formula Championship
Mardenborough competed in the 2017 Super Formula Championship, where he achieved several top-eight finishes, finishing 14th overall.
Stimulator & Car Development Driver
In 2021 and 2022, during his break from racing, he worked as a simulator and car development driver for Nissan e.dams and its customer team, McLaren, in Formula E.
In Popular Media
In 2023, Jann Mardenborough’s biopic titled Gran Turismo was released which was directed by Neill Blomkamp. Jann’s portrayal was done by Archie Madekwe. Interestingly, he also worked in the film as a stunt driver.
He has a tattoo on his left arm.
- Colour: Purple
- Race Track: Nürburgring
- YouTube channel: Bald and Bankrupt
- Racers: Alain Menu, Tim Harvey, Colin McRae, Lewis Hamilton
- His first pet was a Goldfish named Sharky. He owns two dogs named Bentley and Heidi Hot Legs.
- He was named the 50th most marketable athlete in the world by Sports Pro Media in 2015.
- Interestingly, he failed the driving test for his Driving Licence as he was too hesitant on a roundabout. He passed the test on the second attempt.
- He likes to play football (soccer) during his free time.