Sports dramas as a genre is something that has finally found its audience. Thanks to shows like Formula 1: Drive to Survive, Ted Lasso and movies like Hustle, people have gotten pretty keen about discovering this genre. Interestingly, this Friday, another sports drama is coming your way. Gran Turismo, which is based on a true story, is hitting the theatres on 10 August.

The film is a biographical sports drama helmed by Neill Blomkamp. Produced by Columbia Pictures, PlayStation Productions, and 2.0 Entertainment, Gran Turismo is based on the true story of Jann Mardenborough. The young teenage Gran Turismo player became a proficient race car driver, and the movie will showcase his journey to reaching this point. The film stars Archie Madekwe in the titular role of Mardenborough alongside David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Darren Barnet, Geri Halliwell Horner, and Djimon Hounsou in key roles. Let’s get to know the true story that inspired the plot of Gran Turismo.

Who is the Gran Turismo player Jann Mardenborough?


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Born in 1991, Jann Mardenborough is a well-known, skilled racing driver from Darlington. Now contesting in the Japanese Super GT series, he is the son of English footballer Steve Mardenborough. Mardenborough has played a great role in the making of the film. He is co-producing the film and has worked as the stunt driver and consultant on the movie.

How did he get into racing?

Gran Turismo True Story

Up until 2011, Jann had never thought that he would be competing in motorsports. When he was just 19, he took part in the Gran Turismo Academy contest and managed to beat 90,000 other entrants. He became the third and youngest winner of the GT Academy competition. He was awarded a drive with Nissan at the Dubai 24 Hour for this win. This victory landed him an opportunity of a lifetime. Jann along with British racing driver, Alex Buncombe won his first race in 2012 during the British GT Championship. He ended the GT3 championship season in sixth place and went on to take part in four rounds of the Blancpain Endurance Series.

His entry into Formula races

Gran Turismo movie 2023

The racer switched to formula racing in 2013. He marked his entry with the 2013 season of the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand. The newcomer managed to finish the season in the tenth place, and became the best-placed rookie during this championship. Later in 2013, he returned to Europe for another race. He represented Carlin Motorsport in the FIA European Formula Three Championship, as well as the British Formula 3 Championship. He then moved on to join Arden International to compete in the 2014 GP3 Series season. It was during this time when Red Bull signed him up for their Junior Team driver development programme.

Victories and other races he took part in

Gran Turismo True Story

Jann won his first GP3 race in Germany with a record of the fastest lap. He along with Wolfgang Reip, Lucas Ordonez and Peter Pyzera, were also a part of the Spa 24 Hours in a Nissan GT-R GT3. The team secured the third position in ProAm Category and seventh overall position during the competition. The racer switched to Carlin for the 2015 season.

Sports Pro Media ranked him in the 50th position on their 2015 list of the 50 most marketable athletes in the world. The racer has also competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and finished third in the LMP2 class in 2013. He has raced in Japan in the Super GT and Super Formula championships as well. In 2016, he was in championship contention in the GT300 class of Super GT after he won a race. He went on to join the GT500 class in 2017, where he still competes. He scored a podium the same year and it was the only season in Super Formula, where he scored a pole position.

The traumatic accident

Gran Turismo 2023

Jann’s GT3-class Nissan GT-R Nismo caught air at the Flugplatz section of the Nürburgring Nordschleife during a 2015 race. The car cartwheeled and crossed the fence to reach the area where spectators were sitting. A person was killed during this accident, while the racer did not get any serious injuries. Jann wanted to include the true story of this incident in the Gran Turismo movie and hence allowed the maker to include this 2015 horror crash in the plot. He noted that it “would have been a disservice for the audience for that not to be in there.”

After this incident, he raced in Japan with Toyota for the Super Formula Series. Between 2017 to 2018, he competed for Team Impul in Super GT. He raced for Kondō Racing in 2019.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the true story behind the Gran Turismo movie?
– The film is based on the racing simulation video game series of the same name. It is also based on the true story of Jann Mardenborough.
Is there going to be a Gran Turismo movie?
– Yes, the film is releasing on 10 August in theatres.
Where can I stream the Gran Turismo movie?
– The Gran Turismo movie is only available in theatres.
How long is the movie Gran Turismo?
– The film’s duration is 2 hours 16 minutes.

All Images: Jann Mardenborough/Instagram

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India

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