Teen Computer Gamer Drives Into Record Book

Teen Computer Gamer Drives Into Record Book

A Cardiff teenager who trained himself to become an international racing driver by playing a computer game in his bedroom has entered the record books.

Jann Mardenborough had always wanted to be a racing driver and was told by the owner of his local kart circuit that he was a natural at the age of 11.

But when the circuit closed down, he could no longer afford to pursue his dream on the track so instead started taking part in virtual races on the videogame Gran Turismo.

His years of playing the game paid off when in the middle of 2011, Jann, whose father Steve was a professional footballer, beat 90,000 other gamers to win the European round of GT Academy.

The competition was set up by Sony and Nissan to find the fastest player on Gran Turismo 5 and see if it was possible to transform them into a real racing car driver.

It was, and after six months of driver and fitness training at Silverstone, Jann went on to finish third in class at last year's Dubai 24 Hour race.

He described his achievement, at the age of just 19, as the "weekend of my life".

With his victory, he also cemented his name in the Guinness World Records Gamers Edition 2013 as the Youngest Gran Turismo Academy Winner Turned Pro Racing Driver.

His talents also won him a place driving for Nissan in the Blancpain endurance Series.

Another British entry featured in the Guinness World Records Gamers Edition 2013 is 15-year-old Jacob Gaby from Bushey, Hertfordshire.

He has taken the title as the Highest Score on FIFA after scoring 189 goals in one game – nearly five goals a minute.

He was playing as Barcelona against Fulham.

Jacob, who spends seven hours a week playing FIFA, said: "It's incredible to have the record but I can't let it go to my head – I've got my school exams coming up."

The record for the Largest Collection of Videogame Memorabilia went to Brett Martin, 31, from Colorado in the US, who has amassed more than 8,000 items.

Mark Slevinsky, 30, a computer engineer from Alberta, Canada, took the record for the Smallest Arcade Machine for his device which is smaller than an iPhone.