Nineteen-year-old Jann Mardenborough races to the finish line to claim the GT Academy 2011 title.
Last week Silverstone, the home of the British Grand Prix, hosted the 2011 GT Academy Race Camp. From a starting grid of over 90,000 Gran Turismo 5 players, and following a series of live Territory Finals, 12 finalists descended on the iconic British racetrack for a gruelling programme of physical contests, media interviews and real-life driving tests.
Under the watchful eye of head judge and four-time Formula One winner Eddie Irvine, Mardenborough took the chequered flag in a 20-minute race on Silverstone's national circuit.
Adding the race win to his earlier pole position, Mardenborough was a worthy winner and will now begin an intensive Driver Development Programme and compete in a number of UK national races to enable him to qualify for an international race licence.
In January 2012, he will line up on the grid of the Dubai 24 Hour race in a Nissan 370Z GT4 car – the ultimate prize in what has become the ultimate racing competition since it began in 2008.
"I am really buzzing, ecstatic," said a jubilant Jann. "This competition is going to change my life massively. This whole experience has been amazing and I would like to thank everyone involved, especially PlayStation and Nissan."
Eddie Irvine said: "I have been surprised by this experience. When I arrived, I saw there was some work to do, but the six that made it through to the final day did so because they reacted positively and showed some real grit and determination.
"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. 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."