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GT Academy winner Mardenborough gets his chance in Formula Renault 3.5

GT Academy winner Mardenborough gets his chance in Formula Renault 3.5

Nissan NISMO racing driver Jann Mardenborough has got behind the wheel of a Formula Renault 3.5 racing car for the first time today, putting him one step closer to a Formula 1 drive.

Mardenborough has taken advantage of the increasing motorsport co-operation between Nissan and Renault. The 23 year-old will drive the single-seater at the invitation of Renault Sport Technologies.

An invitation from Renault Sport to test a Formula Renault 3.5 machine is usually reserved for the winners of various racing series but special invitations are sometimes made to drivers who have shown high levels of potential. It is also considered one of the final stepping-stones ahead of Formula 1 as Formula Renault 3.5 is the ideal training ground for the F1 stars of the future.

Since winning GT Academy in 2011, Mardenborough has competed in a variety of racing series, from British GT to the Le Mans 24 Hours, Formula 3 and now the GP3 Series.

Mardenborough said: "It's great to have the opportunity to test the Formula Renault 3.5 and I'm grateful to Renault and Nissan for this opportunity. These cars have a lot more power and downforce than a GP3 car - more than a GP2 car too  so they are a lot of fun to drive. The tyres they have are good and the racing is flat out. In many ways it is very similar to F1, with things like DRS and carbon brakes. I will make sure I make the most of this test."

Jean-Pascal Dauce, Motorsport Director of Renault Sport said: "Jann's potential has become very apparent to us over the last two seasons, since he has been racing in single-seaters. With our close ties with Nissan it has been good for us to collaborate with NISMO's Darren Cox to offer opportunities to talented drivers like Jann."

Global Head of Brand, Marketing & Sales at NISMO Darren Cox said: "This is what having an alliance is all about. We are already collaborating with Renault  there is a NISMO engine in the Renault Sport R.S. 01 and the winners of the new Renault Sport Trophy will be given opportunities to drive our cars in Super GT and LM P2. Future collaborations could include using GT Academy to help get more drivers onto the single-seater ladder without having to rely on karting."

by: Rebecca Chaplin