Red Bull signs Gran Turismo player for GP3 team


Red Bull signs Gran Turismo player for GP3 team
Red Bull signed Gran Turismo-turned-racer Jann Mardenborough as part of an "intensive driver development programme," which will see him race in GP3 with Arden International in 2014.

The 22-year-old Welshman has shown promise after coming close to winning the British GT title in 2012 and finishing on the LMP2 podium at Le Mans last year. More recently, Mardenborough competed in the FIA European F3 and British F3 Championships. He will now race for Christian Horner's Arden International team in GP3, and hopes that it will help him make the ultimate progression to Formula 1.

Speaking with Sky Sports Online, he said, “That will be the ultimate goal, but we are just trying to see how far we can go up the ladder and see if I can keep improving. If I keep improving then I think that is possible.”

"It is certainly a step up from Formula 3 last year. I tested the car in Abu Dhabi last November and we decided that this would be the best option for my development and my learning for this year. I am really looking forward to it and obviously they are closely linked to Red Bull," he added.

Mardenborough made his racing debut in the virtual world, rather than on track. He took part in Nissan’s online GT Academy competition in 2011 and made it to the final 12 of 90,000 applicants. From there, he took part in a week-long race camp at Silverstone and won the final race against three others by eight seconds.

His work with Red Bull will mainly revolve around its simulator programme. Mardenborough explained, “They were really interested in me because of where I have come from and the PlayStation side of things so they were quite interested in my thoughts on their simulator. We are going to be working quite closely together throughout the season and it will help me learn the new tracks like Russia and the Hungaroring that I haven't been to before and get me ready for GP3."

He is hoping to make the leap to F1, and while his programme is very different to the programme that has produced the likes of Daniel Ricciardo, Jean-Eric Vergne and, of course, Sebastian Vettel, he is hoping that the end result could be the same.

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