21 February 2014
Mardenborough adds Sebring to busy 2014
Jann Mardenborough isn't done with sportscars, despite inking a GP3 deal, and will race in round two of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship.
Not content with inking a GP3 Series deal with Arden for the coming season, Nissan PlayStation GT Academy winner Jann Mardenborough will continue his sportscar links after agreeing to make his North American race debut at Sebring.
The young Welsh talent received the biggest news of his short career earlier this week, with the announcement that he is to contest GP3 as part of a development tie-in with Red Bull Racing, but, having starred in sportscars last year, he will now join forces with back-to-back American Le Mans Series P1 champions Muscle Milk Pickett Racing for the Sebring 12 Hours in March.
“It has been a very big week for me,” Mardenborough admitted, “On Monday it was announced that I am going to be racing in GP3 this year with Arden and I am really looking forward to that. I am also going to be working with Infiniti Red Bull Racing on their F1 simulator as well, so I am in a perfect position to progress this year, especially with the training and help from Red Bull that will add to my Nismo Driver Development Program.
“Now to be in Sebring and to be linked up with Muscle Milk Pickett Racing for the 12 Hours of Sebring is another great opportunity. I really like sportscars. That is where I started my racing and to now get the opportunity to race at Sebring for the first time is brilliant. This is such a historic venue and historic race. I have seen it so many times on TV and now I get the chance to race here. It looks like it is going to be a huge grid with the Daytona Prototype and P2 cars so that will be a first for me to race against those guys.”
The 22-year old's prototype experience peaked at last year's Le Mans 24 Hours, where he teamed up with Nissan veteran Michael Krumm and fellow GT Academy winner, Lucas Ordóñez to finish third in the P2 class, and the opportunity to race in the US for the first time comes through the Nismo Global Driver Exchange, which places members of Nissan's international driving squads into other championships and teams to gain experience on the world stage.
As a result, Mardenborough will join forces with German stars Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr in Florida, and completed his first laps aboard the #6 Nissan-powered ORECA chassis at Sebring on Thursday as part of the winter test for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
“I'm really fortunate to be part of the Nismo Exchange program – there are a number of Nismo Athletes who are getting the chance to race in different categories all over the world,” Mardenborough continued, “There have been guys down in Bathurst, others in Japan – it is great because we get to experience different championships, cars, teams, co-drivers and even different languages. We come out of it even stronger from the experience.
“To get the chance to race at Sebring with Muscle Milk Pickett Racing is a great opportunity. They have had great success with back-to-back ALMS championships and I'm looking forward to see what I can learn from Klaus and Lucas, who have both had tremendous success here in the US.”
Muscle Milk Pickett Racing will enter the Sebring event as the highest placed Le Mans-style prototype team after finishing fifth at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“It's incredible what Jann has accomplished in such a short period of time since winning the Nissan GT Academy only a few years ago and we're very excited to have him join us for the 12 Hours of Sebring and see what he can do aboard our Muscle Milk Nissan ORECA,” team manager Brandon Fry commented.
“Nissan has a great exchange program that allows drivers to test their skills on an international level, and by integrating them with drivers such as Klaus and Lucas, it allows them to learn even more by taking in the extra knowledge that such drivers have gained over the years. We're very happy to be a part of that program thanks to our partnership with Nissan and very much look forward to the upcoming 12 Hours of Sebring.”
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