Tag Archives: Jann Mardenborough

Super Formula returns with Okayama double-header

The second round of the 2017 Japanese Super Formula Championship will feature the first of two double-header weekends on the season, held at the former home of the Formula 1 Pacific Grand Prix, the Okayama International Circuit.

A maximum twelve points will be on offer over the weekend’s two races, a 110 kilometer, 30-lap sprint on Saturday, May 27, and the 190km, 51-lap “feature” race on Sunday, May 28 – just hours before the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500, and the conclusion of the 24 Hours of the N├╝rburgring on a busy, busy weekend of racing.

And after Kazuki Nakajima opened his busy 2017 campaign with back to back WEC victories, won the most recent Autobacs Super GT Series round in Autopolis, and went wire-to-wire to take the first Super Formula round at Suzuka, the question is – who can stop the two-time Super Formula champion?

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Super GT star Mardenborough’s racing journey featured on ESPN SportsCenter

To diehard motorsport fans, Jann Mardenborough’s journey from playing video games, to winning the Nissan GT Academy in 2011, to becoming one of the most accomplished and versatile young racing drivers on the planet, is a tale that is well-known.

But to most sports fans, the idea that a young person could become a pro athlete in a given sport just from playing a video game based on that sport is something that would seem unfathomable. And it’s that incredible story┬áthat’s now been chronicled in a feature story for ESPN’s SportsCenter, the longest-running sports news and entertainment show in the United States.

Featuring interviews with Jann, along with his father Steve, his mother Lesley, and former Nissan Motorsport director Darren Cox, the SportsCenter Featured story on Mardenborough’s journey from “gamer to racer” is chronicled in an exceptionally produced mini-documentary, narrated by longtime ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi.

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#TBT: Fuji GT 500km Race, 2012-2016

It’s time for another Throwback Tuesday segment, this time, reviewing the last five runnings of the Fuji GT 500km Race, the Golden Week classic at Fuji International Speedway.

In these last five years, we’ve seen historic milestones – from the first wins for a hybrid vehicle and a Super GT star of the future, to the final career victory for a legend of the series – and many incredible battles for the win in between.

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2017 Japanese Super Formula Championship Preview: The best rookie class ever?

Ask any fan of basketball what the greatest rookie class in the history of the NBA was, and you’ll likely end up split between one of three choices. 1984’s class was headlined by four future Hall of Fame players – Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, John Stockton, and Michael Jordan. 1996 saw a total of one-third of the first round picks become NBA All-Stars in their career, led by Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant. And 2003 gave us the class of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Carmelo Anthony – all perennial NBA All-Stars in a league dominated by larger-than-life superstars.

Skip over to 2017, across the Pacific Ocean from North America to Japan, and switch sports entirely from basketball to auto racing. As the 2017 Japanese Super Formula Championship is set to begin this weekend with the season opener at Suzuka Circuit on April 23, Japan’s premier single-seater racing category, and the fastest spec-formula series in the world, welcomes in a rookie class that has the potential to be the greatest ever.

Young newcomers Pierre Gasly, Nick Cassidy, Kenta Yamashita, Jann Mardenborough, and Felix Rosenqvist all combine to have won ten major junior formula racing titles, and they are all poised to make an immediate impact in one of the highest-quality championship fields that Super Formula has seen in a long time.

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