This gamer has succeeded in showing the world that he can become a professional racer
GRAN TURISMO (2023) Jann Mardenborough – Jack Salter – Danny – Kazunori Yamauchi – Steve – Matty – Antonio – Nicholas – Schulin – Coby – Audrey – Persol The film begins with a brief history of the Gran Turismo game where 25 years ago, Kazunori Yamauchi wanted to make motorsports accessible to everyone. Therefore, he created the most accurate racing simulator in the world which is none other than Gran Turismo. In 2010 in the city of Cardiff, Wales, a teenager named Jann Mardenborough was a clerk in a clothing and games shop who had a hobby of playing the Gran Turismo simulator game, even his love for this racing game came from an early age. His room was full of displays of the completed series of this game, from the very first series to the latest one.
That day, Jann was very happy because he bought a new simulator steering wheel. On the other hand, his father, Steve, a former Cardiff City football player, wanted Jann to continue his dreams, but Jann refused him and said that he didn’t like football and only loved the world of racing. After that, Jann immediately tried out his new steering wheel. He modified his car in the game and will race on the 24-hour Le Mans circuit. He could imagine himself inside the game because he played it so often.
At dinner, the family discussed Jann's career. Steve tried to persuade his son to become a professional footballer, while his mother wanted Jann to continue studying in the automotive field but Jann himself wanted to be a professional racer and said that he could start his career from zero, like working in car maintenance at a pitstop. He said that because racing was the only thing that he loved and was good at. Somewhere else in Tokyo, Japan, Danny, an executive marketing for Nissan sports motorbikes from England, visited the Nissan office there for a presentation in front of Nissan officials in Japan. Danny explained about the Gran Turismo racing simulator game which was very accurate both in terms of the car and its spare parts and had provided the experience of driving realistically to its 80 million players, therefore, he had the idea to give the best Gran Turismo players in the world the opportunity to compete in professional races. If one of them succeeded in becoming champion, it would inspire 80 million other players as well as other people who saw it and would have a big impact on the company itself.
Fortunately, the higher-ups agreed with Danny's idea but with one condition, namely that Danny had to find a certified and very reliable mechanic to train the gamers so that there would be no danger. Several potentials were contacted but all of them refused, until finally, Danny went to a mechanic named Jack Salter who was also a former racer. Currently, he was a mechanic on the Capa team, one of the best teams at that time with a racer named Nicholas.
Danny also explained his plan to hold a competition for the best Gran Turismo gamers throughout the world and then they would compete to win the FIA License for themselves and become professional racer who would represent the Nissan team on the international stage. Hearing that idea, Jack was skeptical, not to mention the dangerous track, other racers who were more experienced, and some who liked to play dirty, moreover, the high risk of accidents and there was no reset button like in the game, but Danny assured that there were definitely a handful of players out there who were capable and they must be given a chance. Even though, Jack still rejected this offer. That night, the Capa racing team was having dinner together. Jack gave advice to Nicholas, but Nicholas, who was arrogant and felt that he was the greatest, didn't like being advised by his mechanic like that, because according to him, only the team leader had the right to give advice. What's more, was that Jack used to be a failed racer in the past.
Hearing Nicholas' ridicule and his co-workers who laughed at it was a hard enough hit for Jack to resign that very moment and leave there. Then he accepted Danny's offer to become the head mechanic for Nissan. The next day at the game station, Persol, Jann's best friend, gave the surprising news that Jann had been selected to compete at GT Academy.
Jann immediately went to his friend's game station after he finished his work that day. Since Jann often played in that place, his Gran Turismo account was still connected to the simulator. After Jann clicked, a short video message appeared from Danny that Jann was one of the few people selected because he had achieved the fastest lap time on the Gran Turismo.
There would be a virtual race in the game and the people who were selected would compete to get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join the GT academy and become a professional racer. That night, Jann went straight to practice where he experimented with overtaking the enemy without going through the tire lines on the track and this method was quite effective. Then, when he was going to sleep, Coby, his younger brother asked him to join a party at the pier. At first, Jann refused because he had to practice, but when he found out that Audrey was joining, Jann changed his mind because he secretly had a crush on Audrey.
They secretly went out of the window and went in his father's car. Everyone there enjoyed their time while Jann was chatting with Audrey. Audrey said that she really wanted to go to New York while Jann wanted to go to Tokyo. When they were on their way home, Jann drove the car because his brother and his friends were drunk. The police stopped them because they had been driving recklessly and Jann immediately sped up so that his competition tomorrow wouldn't be hampered. Jann even imagined running away from the police like he was playing Gran Turismo.
The next morning, Jann helped his father work at the station. His father said that playing video games was ridiculous. Jann was given the choice to continue studying or work as a laborer at the station with his father.
Obviously, Jann was disappointed with his father's attitude and he immediately went to the game station because the GT Academy competition would be starting soon. Fortunately, Jann arrived just as the competition started and he had to race against nineteen of the best players in Europe in order to qualify. Jann who was in the last position slowly started to overtake player after player until finally, in the final lap, Jann was still in third position, but Jann managed to overtake the first and second-place players to finish first. After succeeding in becoming the best in Europe, Jann officially entered the GT Academy and would soon gather with the other winners to train, but Steve was worried about his son because real racing was very, very dangerous and Jann was just a gamer. Jann convinced his father that this was his only chance.
He also showed a photo when he was 5 years old at the Ferrari exhibition and was photographed by his father. Since then, all Jann wanted was to become a professional racer, and in the end, Steve let Jann go. Long story short, Jann finally arrived at the GT Academy which was located at the Silverstone Circuit in England with 9 other winners from all over the world. Only one person would be the winner and get a seat on the Nissan team to make history as the first gamer to become a professional racer. Jack as the chief mechanic would train them.
He was introduced as well as all the Nissan officials who wanted to prove that the impossible could become real. Jack said that during a race, the gravitational force would be double that experienced by an astronaut when taking off. A race would clearly be much different from a game because they could endanger their own or other people's lives. The risk was very big and the training must be done very, very hard. Jack gave the 10 participants a final chance to withdraw from the GT Academy right away if they couldn't, but none of them backed down. After that, the training immediately started.
Even though the way to drive, taking corners, and looking for a path to overtake were more or less the same as in the simulator, the practice was not that simple. Apart from the practice, they were also interviewed to train their readiness in front of the press later and it was seen that Jann had the most nervous press performance. Of course, that would be bad for Nissan’s marketing, which was different from Matty, who answered with confidence, directly, and was sure that he would win the contest. The practice continued to be carried out.
Driving, physical, focus, theory, and many other trainings were done. Jack monitored and gave directions on the helicopter so that the view could be clearer and continued shouting and ridiculing them to strengthen their mentality. Not only that but Jack would also expel 5 people who were considered to have the worst overall training scores and only the top 5 people would compete in the final race. 4 people have been expelled.
When everyone was tested for the race, Jann who at that time had his turn to be monitored directly by Jack, made a fatal mistake. Jann, who initially intended to overtake Matty, lost control. He tried to brake, but the car skidded and hit the tire barrier. Thankfully none was harmed.
Jann said that he had tried to brake but for some reason, his car skidded. As a result of this incident, Jann was at the bottom place. During class, Jack played Jann's recording and said that if he was hesitant or afraid to overtake then he should hit the brake earlier but he still didn’t budge he wasn't afraid at all and had stepped on the brake but for some reason, it didn't work and felt slippery. Jack threatened to fail Jann because he didn't want to accept the blame and made excuses, but when the mechanic team tested Jann's car, it turned out what was said was true that his car brakes had problems and felt slippery.
Knowing that, Jack immediately went to Jann and asked how he knew the condition of his car brakes. Jann said that he had spent hours daily on the game to maintain his cars and completely understand the mechanics. He knew that Jack might have underestimated the simulator, but the Gran Turismo simulator was really accurate. With that answer, Jann managed to convince Jack. He didn't get kicked out and entered the top 5, where they would have the final race tomorrow morning to determine the champion.
The next day on the final day of the GT Academy event, the 5 best participants would have the final race with a total of 10 laps where the winner would become Nissan's representative in the international racing competition. All Nissan officials watched the competition and the decisive race finally began. In the first lap, Jann immediately overtook 2 cars in front of him and was in third place, but this position continued until the 7th lap and there were 3 more laps left with Antonio in second place while Matty was in first place, until finally, Jann managed to overtake Antonio and now Matty was left. They had all entered the final lap and there was fierce competition between Jann and Matty, fighting for first place.
Initially, Matty was able to go faster, but right at the last corner before the finish line, Jann took an unusual route in order to overtake Matty and finished at almost the same time as Matty. Because the distance was so small, Jack, Danny, and the top officials from Nissan watched the slow-mo replay. It turned out that Jann was the winner but Danny asked for the announcement to be postponed and asked to have a private chat with Jack first. Danny said that Jann couldn't provide good marketing for Nissan because he was nervous in front of the camera, but Jack didn't care. For him, even if it was only a few centimeters or one in a million seconds, the winner was still the winner and Jann was finally announced as the winner.
Jann immediately told his mother that he managed to win GT Academy, but unfortunately, at that time, his father was watching his brother's football match and his mother would convey the happy news later. Jann, Jack, and Danny flew to Austria on a private jet for further preparations. Nissan agreed to contract Jann if he had obtained a racing FIA license, a valid license for racers. Jann would compete in the European series against real professional racers and must finish at least in fourth position at least in one race out of the 7 races he would compete in.
Jack warned that Jann had to train much harder because his stamina and mental strength were still not as strong as those of professional racers. Apart from that, because he was a new kid and had not yet been officially contracted by Nissan, he would definitely be insulted, belittled, and hated by other racers, even his own pit stop crew mechanics. After Jack went to bed, Danny chatted with Jann and said that Jack was once one of the best racers in America, but he chose to stop for an unknown reason. in Austria, the first day of the competition finally came, and as usual, Jann always listened to classical songs, especially the saxophone instrument from Kenny G to calm his mind before the race. Jack suddenly came and said that nobody expected Jann to get the license and that was good news for them. Jack then said that he believed in Jann and that he would manage to pass this phase.
The first race finally started. Jack warned Jann about two racers he had to watch out for, namely Jack’s former teammate, Nicholas from Capa, and another racer named Schulin from Audi. In the first lap, Jann was in the 8th position. Jack asked him to stay focused and calm. Obviously, in his first professional match, Jann’s mental was tested.
He had to go back to 10th place and was seen the Ferrari car beside him smoking. Jack told Jann to stay focused because cars exploding on the circuit was a common thing. In the 20th lab, Jann filled up his fuel and as Jack said, there were no mechanics there who respected him. They ridiculed Jann for not being able to get a license because he was just a gamer. From 13th place, Jann continued to overtake up to 5th place and was one step away from getting a license. Jann could finally overtake Nicholas and rise to 4th place in the last lap.
Jack then warned that Jann had to stay in 4th position until the finish line and be careful with Nicholas who tended to play dirty, but suddenly, Nicholas bumped Jann’s car from behind and Jann lost his control. In the end, he finished in 27th position. Despite finishing in a poor position, Jack praised Jann for performing well in his first match and Jann still had 6 more chances to race to get the FIA license. The next race was in Germany and Jann finished in 23rd place.
Race after race continued but he still didn't get 4th place. He finished 17th in Italy, 8th in Turkey, and even in Spain, Jann was D.N.F. after an accident The last race which was located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates was the last chance for Jann to get a license. Nicholas, who was interviewed by the media, said that Jann would never climb to the championship podium. When the race started, Nicholas played dirty again by pushing Jann to the edge of the circuit to the point that his rearview mirror was knocked off. Fortunately, the car was still functioning normally and Jack asked Jann to focus so he could finish at least in 4th place to get his license.
Jann was now in sixth place with Schulin in 5th place and Nicholas in 4th place. When Jann was about to overtake Nicholas and Schulin, Jann was boxed by the two of them, but Jann, whose mentality had returned, cleverly slightly braked right at the corner and immediately overtook both. Nicholas was really annoyed and was so eager to overtake Jann. He was going too fast, until finally, he had an accident with the car in front of him.
Jann went straight to the pitstop to check the condition of his car and the race continued with Jann in 4th place and had to defend his position from Schulin who was trying to overtake. Jack continued to give directions and asked Jann not to have the urge to overtake but just stay in 4th position, until finally in the final lap, Jann only had to go through one last corner and the last straight line before the finish line, but Schulin continued to stick right next to him. Thankfully, his calmness managed to take him to 4th position., and he finally got his FIA license even though he was cheated many times until his rearview mirror broke.
After the race was over, Jann warned Nicholas not to do something stupid like that again because it could kill him and Nicholas himself. In the evening, Jann chatted with Jack. Jack said that Jann had very sharp instincts which cannot be taught. Apart from that, Jack reminisced about the times when he was a racer when there was a moment when time felt slow and he couldn’t make mistakes. Everything went smoothly and that must have been felt by Jann. Jann asked what Jack's favorite circuit was and he answered Le Mans circuit because Le Mans was a well-known circuit that drained energy and anyone who could win at that circuit would always be remembered, but Jack had never been on the podium there.
Not long after that, two ladies came and asked Jann for an autograph and also a selfie. According to Jack's advice, that night, Jann called Audrey to invite her to come see the contract signing with Nissan in Tokyo. Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of Gran Turismo, gave his speech, followed by the contract signing with the Nissan team. Jann’s dream finally came true. Jann and Audrey then went on a trip to Tokyo and Jann was very happy because Tokyo was a place that he had always wanted to visit.
After traveling with Audrey, Jann then continued to the next competition at the Nürburgring Circuit in Germany, where this circuit was the deadliest circuit and the most feared by all racers because of its very dangerous track As usual, Jann listened to the classic song before the race. He also gave a gift to Jack which he could open later after the race. The race on Nürburgring finally started and Jann’s family watched it from home. In the 6th lap, Jann was in 5th position.
Everything went smoothly. Jann continued to overtake at a stable speed up to the second place, passing Nicholas, but Jann was too ambitious to overtake the Ferrari who was in first place. His speed was excessive until he passed one of the most terrifying corners on the Nürburgring circuit, the infamous Flugplatz section. His car caught air and a terrible accident happened. Jack, Danny, and the team panicked, as did Jann's parents who were watching from home.
Jann was immediately rushed to the hospital by helicopter and everyone could only hope that he was okay. After waking up in the hospital, Jann asked if anyone else was a victim and Jack was forced to tell that a spectator had died but it wasn't Jann's fault. Danny also said that the road was usually called an airfield because cars could take off there due to the fairly high incline and the headwind.
Jann was shocked to hear that someone had died because of that accident. He immediately told Jack and Danny out of the room so he could calm himself. A press conference was held. On behalf of Nissan, Danny expressed his deepest condolences to the family of the deceased. Apart from that, the racing committee would also investigate this case so that the same incident wouldn’t happen again.
Meanwhile, Jann, who initially only wanted to talk to Audrey, finally wanted to answer the phone from his mother. His mother said that none of this was Jann's fault and it could happen to anyone. On the other hand, Jack opened a gift from Jann which contained the newest music player because all this time, Jack had been using the old-school one.
Not long after that, Jack invited Jann to go to the place where Jann had a brutal accident. When he got there, Jack told him the reason why he had stopped as a racer. It turned out that Jack also had a serious accident when he was in Le Mans.
He rolled over three times until his car was destroyed and caught fire. Luckily, Jack was saved. Jack, who was traumatized and had lost his courage, decided to stop as a racer. Jack said this because he didn't want Jann to suffer the same fate as him and Jann had to prove that he was a racer who had potential. Jack then gave his car keys to Jann and asked him to complete the track to the finish line so that he could be calmer and his enthusiasm would rekindle.
After that, Jann, Jack, and Denny met. The good news was that the racing commission had cleared Jann of being accused, but the bad news was that Nicholas from Capa made a tweet to get Jann's license revoked and was campaigning against simulator drivers. Because of this tweet, several other teams were also joining the campaign and independently filed a case against the Nissan Team. That was why, Nissan also intended to dismiss them, and according to Danny, the only way for them to survive was to prove themselves, namely to occupy the podium or at least become 3rd place at the Le Mans 24 Hours Circuit with a team that consisted of the finalists of GT Academy. The race was an endurance race where each team prepared three racers to compete for 24 hours non-stop with the same car, or in short, a relay race.
The Le Mans Circuit was not only a prestigious circuit but also the most challenging endurance race in the world, because what was tested was not only the quality and performance of the engines of each car manufacturer, but also the physical and mental endurance of the three racers. Danny also planned to invite the two GT Academy finalists with the highest ranking, namely Matty and Antonio, to join a team with Jann, where they both had their own careers in lower-level competitions since GT Academy finished. Matty and Antonio were finally flown to France and then Jack introduced the best racing car that they would use, namely the Zytek Z11SN, which was basically lighter and faster than the GTR that Jann had driven so far. Long story short, the 24-hour race of Le Mans would start and millions of spectators have filled the tribune. Jann who was getting ready was shocked to see his father who came to see him. Steve said that he regretted not supporting his son's wishes because he was too worried.
Steve was so proud to see his son there, as was Jann, who was very proud of his father and even put Cardiff City football club stickers on his helmet. The race would start promptly at 3 p.m. and would finish at the same time the next day with the Nissan team changing shifts every 3 hours at the start. Jann’s parents and Coby as well as friends at GT Academy come to provide support, including Jann’s friend, Persol, as well as his girlfriend, Audrey. After the ceremonial, 24-hour non-stop race in Le Mans finally started. When the race just started, there were already cars skidding, and Jann, who started the race in the Nissan team, stepped on the gas.
One by one, he passed the opponents and was about to overtake Schulin who tried to keep his distance, but he was too reckless and didn't estimate the Ferrari in front of him, then a terrible accident occurred right in front of Jann. Seeing what had just happened, it was clear that Jann immediately remembered the accident which happened to him and he didn't concentrate until he was overtaken by many other cars, even Jack, who was trying to communicate, was not heard by him, his continued losing his position from 5th to the 10th position, but Jack cleverly played Jann’s favorite classical instrument so that he could focus again and remember his dream. Jack said that he knew Jann was scared, but whether he liked it or not, Jann had participated in the race, and that proving himself as a professional racer was just one step away. Thankfully, Jann’s focus and fighting spirit returned.
One by one, the opponents were overtaken in a very epic way. Jann also kept changing shifts with Matty and Antonio. The Nissan team crawled up to ninth position. 9 hours had passed. Jann returned to take over the race. Early that morning, it was raining very hard and all the drivers had to be more careful.
Long story short, 19 hours passed and the Nissan team is in fifth position. Jann would be Nissan’s racer in the last 4 hours, but when he changed positions with Antonio at the pit stop, a mechanic accidentally made a blunder. Thanks to that, Nissan dropped to 9th position, but Jann was able to catch up because he remembered his experiment when he played the Gran Turismo simulator where he took a different line than most racers even though it was risky. Not just overtaking from 9th to 4th position in a short time, but Jann also set a new record for the fastest lap in one lap. At the final lap, Jann was still 4 seconds behind Nicholas who was in third position.
He remembered that he had to finish at least in 3rd place as proof that simulator gamers were worthy of being professional racers. The distance between Jann and Nicholas was getting closer, then right at the last corner before the finish line, Jann maximized the speed of his car to overtake Nicholas to be in third place, until finally, Jann extraordinarily overtook Nicholas. Finally, Jann and his team were able to prove what had been considered impossible. Everyone was so moved and proud of the achievements of the Nissan team.
Finally, Jann Mardenborough, Matty, and Antonio rose to the podium in third place. At the end of the film was shown real portraits of Jann Mardenborough, starting from him playing the simulator, when he was accepted as a GT Academy participant, until he succeeded in finishing third place in Le Mans in 2013 and continued his career as a professional racer. It was revealed that his success had changed the view of motorsports forever. To date, he has raced more than 200 races and always listens to classical music before the race. The original Jann also acted as his own stuntman during races in the film.