Jann Mardenborough to make racing return in Fuji 24 Hours

Jann Mardenborough will return to racing competition in this month’s Fuji 24 Hours after two seasons on the sidelines.

Jann Mardenborough

The British driver will make his first outing since he lost his Nissan SUPER GT drive at the end of 2020 with Helm Motorsports for the blue riband round of Japan’s second-tier Super Taikyu series on 27-28 May.

Mardenborough joins team founders and brothers Yuya and Reiji Hiraki, as well as gentleman racer Yutaka Toriba, as the fourth driver at the wheel of Helm’s #1 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 as the team seeks to defend its 2022 victory.

The announcement follows the release of the trailer for the forthcoming Gran Turismo movie, the plot of which is based on Mardenborough’s rise to stardom via the Nissan GT Academy competition in 2011.

The 31-year-old spent most of last year lending his assistance to the production of the film, which is due for release in August, while working on his own racing comeback and undertaking Formula E simulator duties.

“I am honoured and excited to join Helm Motorsports for the Super Taikyu Fuji 24 Hours,” said Mardenborough. “I want to thank Yuya and Reiji Hiraki for this opportunity and I look forward to working with the team to achieve great results.

“It has been an incredible journey so far, and I also hope that my story being brought to life on the big screen with the Gran Turismo movie will inspire others to chase their dreams.”


Mardenborough has been openly targeting a return to the Japanese scene, where he spent five seasons as part of his decade-long association with Nissan.

He initially combined Japanese Formula 3 and a campaign in SUPER GT’s lower GT300 class before stepping up to the marque’s GT500 stable for 2017 with Team Impul, with which he also contested a season of Super Formula that year.

In 2019 he switched to Kondo Racing before being dropped for 2021 to make way for Nissan to sign Nobuharu Matsushita.

Motegi-based outfit Helm is set to be one of eight teams vying for glory at Fuji in the top ST-X class for FIA GT3 machinery, and one of three squads using the Nissan GT-R alongside GTNET Motor Sports and top-class newcomers 5Zigen.

Helm's Nissan GT-R en route to Fuji victory in 2022

Helm's Nissan GT-R en route to Fuji victory in 2022

Toyota SUPER GT/Super Formula squad Rookie Racing and Tatsuya Kataoka’s TKRI team are both present with Mercedes-AMG GT3s, while apr (Lexus RC F GT3), KCMG (Honda NSX GT3) and D’station Racing (Aston Martin Vantage GT3) make up the top-class entry.

Nissan, Honda to field works entries at Fuji

Further down the entry list, both Honda and Nissan will field works teams in the ST-Q class for cars not conforming to any specific technical regulations.

Honda is fielding a Civic Type R powered by carbon-neutral fuel for Hideki Mutoh, Takuya Izawa and Hiroki Otsu (plus one TBA driver), while Nissan is entering a concept version its Z GT4 racer for Kohei Hirate, Tsugio Matsuda, Mitsunori Takaboshi and Daiki Sasaki.

Toyota’s liquid hydrogen-powered Corolla racer is also scheduled to return to action having skipped the opening round of the Super Taikyu season at Suzuka in March due to a testing fire.

Two-time Super Formula champion Tomoki Nojiri will also be taking part at Fuji with the works-supported Honda R&D Challenge team in the ST-2 class in a conventionally-powered Civic Type R.

Also in action will be three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Kazuki Nakajima, who joins namesakes Kazuki Hoshino and Kazuki Hiramine in a Nissan Z GT4 run by Team Impul in the ST-X class.


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