Nissan PlayStation GT Academy winner Jann Mardenborough received the biggest news of his career earlier this week with the announcement that he will contest Formula One feeder series, GP3 in 2014; but now the young star is also set to make his North American race debut.
The 22-year-old Mardenborough will join forces with back-to-back American Le Mans Series P1 championship-winning team, Muscle Milk Pickett Racing for the famous 12 Hours of Sebring in March.
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.
Mardenborough’s 2014 main program was confirmed on Monday. He will contest the GP3 series with Arden International while also joining an intensive driver development program with Infiniti Red Bull Racing, the most successful Formula One team of recent times.
The British driver will add the Sebring event to his schedule, joining forces with German stars Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr who have pushed the Pickett Racing squad to championship success over the past two years.
“It has been a very big week for me,” he said. “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.
“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.”
His prototype sportscar 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.
Mardenborough completed his first laps aboard the No.6 Nissan-powered Oreca chassis at Sebring International Raceway yesterday at the winter test for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
“Although Jann will focus on GP3 this year – it is important he continues to keep racing in various categories to speed up his development and to highlight our global motorsport activity to his new fans,” said Darren Cox, Nissan Global Motorsports Director.
“He will also learn by contesting Sebring with our partners at Muscle Milk Pickett Racing who are very strong on the engineering side of sportscars.”
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.
The 62nd running of the Florida endurance classic will feature a capacity field of 64 cars. The race will be staged on Saturday, March 15.