Jann Mardenborough's first foray into racing games started on the PS1 with the original Gran Turismo. Little did he know that this very series would shape his future career as a real life professional racing driver.
It was all thanks to the GT Academy, Sony's annual competition where players compete to set the fastest times in Gran Turismo and earn a chance to win a place with Nissan's real life racing team.
After competing with 90,000 entrants and enduring a series of grueling physical and mental tests, the young hopeful became the winner of the 2011 GT Academy, and went on to participate in the Dubai 24 Hour where he finished in third place with Nissan. This year he secured podium for his class at the 2013 Le Mans and is now looking for further success in single seater and Formula 3.
As another crop of drivers enter this year's GT Academy, Alan popped along to the London O2 Wildcard event where some last minute hopefuls were competing for a coveted spot in the GT Academy 2013 UK finals. Jann was on-hand to talk to us about his first experience with racing games, reflect on his memorable time with the GT Academy 2011 and muse about his future aspirations as a young racing driver.
We'll have more in part 2 of this exclusive interview, where we learn more about Jean and find out his personal tips for talented young drivers in the future.