‘Faultless’ weekend sees Jann Mardenborough and Bryan Heitkotter secure a top ten class finishEuropean GT Academy winner Jann Mardenborough and his American counterpart, Bryan Heitkotter, are now one race weekend away from gaining their International race licences after a metronomic performance in the Britcar Dunlop Production GTN championship race at the newly-refurbished Snetterton circuit in Norfolk.
After a string of podiums, including a second in class at the previous Britcar race at Castle Combe, the Britcar organisers promoted the PlayStation® Nissan Team 370Z to the Production GTN Class 1. Competing against ‘winged’ BMWs and Ginettas, the pair rose to the challenge of the competitive class by 26th overall in what proved to be a fast and frantic session.
Bryan Heitkotter started the race and put in a prodigious stint before handing the car over to Jann, who demonstrated his ever improving race craft by battling against the more experienced field and overtaking a number of cars. The Brit raced the GT Academy PlayStation Nissan 370Z to the flag in 17th place (eighth in class).Jann Mardenborough, the 19-year-old from Cardiff, said: “It was wicked to race on the new Snetterton. The tight infield is a lot of fun. It was a real experience racing in the GTN Class 1 and Bryan and I knew we needed to be more consistent than ever to put in a decent result. It was a really satisfying race as we were the underdogs in the class and had to work really hard for a decent result.”Bob Neville, the PlayStation Nissan team boss, said: “Both Jann and Bryan drove a really impressive race weekend. They didn’t put a foot wrong and they had a great result against a much stronger opposition. They were not flustered by the promotion into Class 1 and took the opportunity to demonstrate they are learning all the time. No podium this weekend but a very good, well-executed race.” Two race finishes in next weekend’s (20 & 21 August) Nippon Challenge at the Rockingham Circuit will see the pair gain all the required signatures on their National A licence to be upgraded to an International licence. With it, the two latest winners of Nissan and PlayStation’s innovative competition to turn a Gran Turismo® gamer into a pro racing driver will get considerably closer to competing in the 2012 Dubai 24 Hour endurance race in a full race-spec 370Z GT4 car.