Gran Turismo Movie: Is the Story of Jann Mardenborough Accurate?

Gran Turismo Jann Mardenborough

Over the past few years, there has been a noticeable trend of turning video games into movies. One highly anticipated film is based on the popular game Gran Turismo. This movie portrays the true story of Jann Mardenborough, who transitioned from being a gamer to becoming a professional racer. However, a question arises: How accurately does the movie depict the real-life character? This article aims to explore this aspect thoroughly.

Who is Jann Mardenborough in the Gran Turismo Movie?

Jann Mardenborough is an accomplished racing driver whose journey in motorsports began during his childhood when he first engaged with the Gran Turismo game.

  • Over the years, he immersed himself in various versions of the game.
  • He even initiated studies in motorsports engineering at university, although he didn’t complete the program.
  • In 2011, while with Gran Turismo 5, Mardenborough came across a call for a time trial in the GT Academy. 
  • This unique competition aimed to discover new racing talents through the video game, offering the victor a promising racing contract with Nissan.
  • Mardenborough qualified in the time trial phase and received training through the Academy.
  • Eventually, he triumphed in the final 20-minute race, marking the beginning of his career as a professional racing driver.

Considering the movie’s depiction of these events, it’s worth examining how accurately it portrays real-life occurrences. Let’s delve into some interesting details.

Nissan GT Challenge’s youngest winner

Gran Turismo Jann Accurate
Screengrab courtesy of Sony Pictures via YouTube

Yes, Jann Mardenborough, born in Britain, achieved victory in the third edition of the GT Academy in 2011. Remarkably, he secured this title at the age of 19, making him the youngest winner in its history.

  • Notably, the initial winner of the Nissan GT Challenge, which marked the inception of the GT Academy, was Lucas Ordoñez from Spain.
  • Ordoñez went on to have a successful racing career over several years.

Le Mans third-place winner

Gran Turismo Jann Accurate
Screengrab courtesy of Sony Pictures via YouTube

The movie concludes with Jann Mardenborough and his sim-racing team securing the third position at Le Mans. This scenario really happened in reality, albeit with a few distinctions.

  • In 2013, Mardenborough participated in the Le Mans race. He collaborated with Lucas Ordóñez, an earlier GT Academy victor, and Michael Krumm, an established professional racer from Germany.
  • It’s important to note that Krumm wasn’t affiliated with the GT Academy.
  • Furthermore, their team wasn’t representing Team Nissan during the race. They were associated with Greaves Motorsport.

Nürburgring crash

Gran Turismo Jann Nissan Crash
Screengrab courtesy of Sony Pictures via YouTube

In the Gran Turismo movie, the event of Mardenborough’s horror crash at the Nürburgring is included, and regrettably, it resulted in the tragic loss of a spectator’s life. Nonetheless, the authenticity of this incident is preserved, even though its timing has been notably adjusted.

  • In the movie adaptation, Mardenborough engages in a race on the infamous Nürburgring track as part of his mission to obtain his racing license. 
  • During the race, his vehicle becomes airborne at a section called Flugplatz. This incident translates to “airfield” due to the propensity of cars’ front ends to lift off on this part of the track.
  • The aftermath of the crash lands him in the hospital, where he learns that this “freak accident” caused the death of a spectator.

This event occurred at the Nürburgring in 2015, two years after Mardenborough’s achievement at Le Mans.

  • Critics have voiced their disapproval of the movie’s manipulation of the timeline.
  • They accuse the filmmakers of capitalizing on a tragedy to add greater depth to the story depicted in the film.

Despite tweaking a few details in the motion picture, Gran Turismo made sure to tell Jann Mardenborough’s story as accurately as possible. Have you had the chance to catch this film in theaters? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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