The Fuji 500 last weekend looked set to provide a breakthrough race for Jann Mardenborough in his Super GT career after he played a full part in a dominant display alongside team-mate Daiki Sasaki in taking the #12 Calsonic Nissan GT-R GT500 not only to the lead of the race but also opening up a substantial advantage. A broken intercooler pipe spoiled their day in the final hour, dropping the car out of the top 10 in a race it looked set to win, and the TV pictures showed clearly how Jann felt about their efforts coming, effectively, to nought.
How disappointed are you by the race result at Fuji?
“I’m obviously very disappointed with what happened but I know if we keep rolling out with that kind of speed, then our day will come.
“The team, Nissan, Daiki and Bridgestone all did an incredible job and it is pretty shattering that we lost the race by a small pipe coming loose in the engine bay.
“Once we had opened up a lead of about 25 seconds we really were in cruise mode and concentrating on not making mistakes and or getting caught in traffic.
“Everyone was pretty shattered but we proved we had the pace to be real contenders and I can’t wait to get back in the car next month in Sugo.”
How hungry are you for that first Super GT Podium?
“I had a car that was almost this strong in Thailand last year but we had a refueling issue, and now this.
“That bad luck is going to come to an end one day soon.
“I really wanted that first podium before, but after last weekend, I really want that win.
Are you still enjoying Japan?
“I still have to pinch myself that seven years ago I entered a PlayStation gaming competition and now I’m out on track racing against guys like Jenson Button, Heikki Kovalainen, Kazuki Nakajima and Kamui Kobayashi who I used to watch racing in F1.
“And to race the Calsonic car which I used to drove on PlayStation is quite remarkable.
“But once I’m strapped in and the team closes the door, I’m ready to race and what happened at Fuji only makes me more determined and more hungry.”
Are there still aspirations outside of Japan?
“Nissan is going Formula E racing from season five and I’d also love to be involved in that programme as well.
“The calendar makes it a bit tricky as there are some clashes.
“But I’d also love to go back to Le Mans. I absolutely love that track and really enjoyed my time in the P2 car there.
“The calendar is open for that so I would jump at the chance to get back in a prototype, either in P2 or LMP1.
“We’ve got a busy schedule in Japan with testing and the Super GT races but any opportunity, either in the WEC or IMSA, I’d love to do it.
“The long-distance races in the US would also be awesome. I’ve had one go at Sebring with the Muscle Milk guys a few years ago so I’d love to go back and the Rolex 24 also looks awesome.”