Jann Mardenborough – Keynote Speaker

Gamer to Racer, British Professional Racing Driver, Inspiration for the "Gran Turismo"

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Specialist Subjects

  • From Virtual Racing to Real-World success
  • Mastering the Real and Virtual Worlds
  • Formula 1


  • English


Jann Mardenborough’s remarkable journey from computer gamer to professional racing driver has captured the imagination of millions of fans around the world. Ultimately his ‘gamer-to-racer’ life story inspiring the 2023 Sony Pictures film Gran Turismo Movie starring David Harbour and Orlando Bloom. Born in Darlington, England, Jann’s journey into the world of international single seater and sports car racing began when his passion for cars and motorsport led him to the world of on-line gaming, specifically the Gran Turismo game which was available on platforms including Sony Playstation. A tie-up between Gran Turismo and Nissan Motorsport led to the creation of the Nissan GT Academy, an on-line tournament which was hotly contested by legions of would-be racers.

Jann won the series in 2011, the prize for which was his dream of becoming a professional racing driver in one of Nissan’s highly sought after GT teams. Jann’s skill behind the wheel resulted in him expanding his career to include both GT and sports car racing alongside single seater programmes including Formula 3, GP3 and GP2, the important feeder categories to Formula 1.

In 2013 Jann made the first of three appearances at the world famous Le Mans 24 Hours sports car race, finishing 3rd in the competitive LMP2 class at the wheel of the Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan. He returned to the French classic in 2014 and 2015, but in 2016 he focused his racing career in Japan, scoring 2nd place in the national Formula 3 series with six pole positions and four victories to his credit. Since then Jann has focused primarily on Japan’s ultra competitive GT500 sports car series and become involved with the highly innovative, all-electric Formula E series as both a test and simulator driver. His was closely involved in the 2023 production and promotion of the Grand Turismo Movie by Sony Pictures. Jann’s role in the film was played by London-born actor Archie Madekwe.

As a speaker Jann is uniquely placed to give a remarkable insight into the convergence of computer gaming and motorsports as the digital landscape blurs the boundaries between virtual and real world racing. He knows better than anyone the opportunities which the connected world is creating for both fans and would-be competitors alike. His journey has been inspiring, a young man whose passion for motorsport led to a ground breaking career path which has captured the imagination of fans around the world, not to mention the attention of Hollywood.

Popular Talks by Jann Mardenborough

From Virtual Racing to Real-World success

Jann Mardenborough’s remarkable journey is a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and the exciting fusion of virtual gaming, motorsports, and relentless innovation. Born on September 9, 1991, in Darlington, England, Jann Mardenborough has carved a unique path that has captivated audiences around the world.

Mastering the Real and Virtual Worlds

  • Beyond his racing accomplishments, Jann has played a pivotal role in the production and promotion of the Gran Turismo Movie by Sony Pictures helping with the script and serving as stunt double for his own character, where he bridged the gap between the virtual and real racing realms. He’s achieved podium finish at the prestigious 24h LeMans race, competed in the highly competitive GT500 class of Super GT Japan, has held the strategic position of development driver for Nissan’s motorsport programs, earning a reputation as one of the top talents in the sport. Jann’s ability to seamlessly transition between the digital and physical worlds of racing sets him apart as a true pioneer.

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