After more than a month of time to rest on their laurels, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship returns to action next weekend at the storied Sebring International Raceway. One of the favorites at the speedway has to be Muscle Milk Pickett Racing, which recently announced that Nissan Playstation GT Academy winner Jann Mardenborough will be added to its driver lineup aboard the #6 Muscle Milk Nissan ORECA for the 12 Hours of Sebring.
"It's incredible what Jann has accomplished in such a short period of time since winning the Nissan GT Academy only a few years ago and we're very excited to have him join us for the 12 Hours of Sebring and see what he can do aboard our Muscle Milk Nissan ORECA," stated Brandon Fry, Muscle Milk Pickett Racing Team Manager.
The 22-year old Brit will be making his North American race debut at Sebring International Raceway thanks to the Nismo Global Driver Exchange which places members of Nissan's international driving squad into different championships and teams to gain experience on the world stage. Mardenborough won the 2011 Nissan GT Academy and has quickly made his way up the ranks.
His top sports car moment came at last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans where he placed third in class with fellow GT Academy winner Lucas Ordóñez and Nissan veteran Michael Krumm.
"I really like sportscars. That is where I started my racing and to now get the opportunity to race at Sebring for the first time is brilliant," stated Mardenborough. "This is such a historic venue and historic race. I have seen it so many times on TV and now I get the chance to race here. It looks like it is going to be a huge grid with the Daytona Prototype and P2 cars so that will be a first for me to race against those guys."
Earlier last month it was announced that he would be competing full-time this season in the Formula One feeder series - GP3 - while also joining an intensive driver development program with Red Bull Racing.
"Although Jann will focus on GP3 this year - it is important he continues to keep racing in various categories to speed up his development and to highlight our global motorsport activity to his new fans," added Darren Cox, Nissan Global Motorsports Director.
After turning some more laps on Friday, the Brit will return to the team next month for the 60th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida, which takes place March 15, 2014.
"To get the chance to race at Sebring with Muscle Milk Pickett Racing is a great opportunity," Mardenborough concluded. "They have had great success with back-to-back ALMS championships and I'm looking forward to see what I can learn from Klaus (Graf) and Lucas (Luhr) who have both had tremendous success here in the US."
Stay tuned to this column for news and updates from the IMSA garage leading up to the second endurance race of the season, as well as interviews and insights from some of the major players in the sport.
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