Cardiff teenager wins Nissan's GT Academy 2011

Jann Mardenborough, a 19-year-old from Cardiff, has been crowned as the 2011 GT Academy champion.

Jann was announced as the overall winner yesterday after seeing off challenges from three other finalists from France, Spain and Italy.
I am really buzzing, ecstatic," said Jann after he was announced as the winner by head judge Eddie Ervine.

"This competition is going to change my life massively. I can't imagine, but I'm looking forward to it. I'm not sure about the next Lewis Hamilton, but being the next Lucas Ordoñez would be a pretty good start."

Jann also thanked his mentor and teacher throughout the GT Academy process, former F1 driver Johnny Herbert, saying: "He is amazing. Such a great guy and a great teacher."

The Race Camp saw its participants take part in a series of different racing challenges, including driving Nissan 370Zs and GTRs, single seaters, go-karts and a full race spec GT4 car.

"Jann did a great job throughout and the final decision turned out to be fairly straightforward. He has been given an amazing opportunity by PlayStation and Nissan, but the hard work has only just begun for him," said Eddie Irvine of Jann's achievement. "Even with this head start, making a career in racing is tough and he'll have to have talent, determination and luck in pretty much equal measure if he is to make it. I'll keep an eye on him and hope he doesn't let me down."

Jann will now take part in a series of UK national races as part of an intensive preparation programme before taking part in the 24 Hours of Dubai next year.

Thibault Lacombe of France, Carlos Murillo of Spain, and Danilo Bordino of Italy were the other three finalists, so after running Jann so close, there is a high chance their names will be appearing on the sides of various race cars over the coming years as well.
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