Jann Mardenborough on Transitioning from Sim Racing to the Real Thing

Jann Mardenborough is a true sim racing trailblazer and in this edition of the Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup he talks to me exclusively about transitioning from sim racing to the real thing.

In addition to this, I have great features on the Williams Esports team, an amazing sim racing series focused on increasing the numbers of female sim racers, a look at the rigs that pro sim racers use and maximizing your iRacing experience.

All of this plus my roundup of sim racing tech reviews, general sim racing news and much more in this week’s Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup.

From Sim Racing to the Real Thing

Jann Mardenborough
Jann Mardenborough

As a trailblazer in being one of the first, if not the first sim racer to transition to real world racing, Jann Mardenborough knows what it takes both in the sim cockpit and in the real thing. I recently had the opportunity to ask this MFT-affiliated driver about the transition from sim racing to real world racing and you can read our exchange below.

Also keep a look out for the Gran Turismo film which charts Jann’s journey which has just wrapped up filming and is set for release on August 11, 2023. Traxion does a great job of explaining how this film about Jann could and should increase interest in sim racing in general. Hopefully it will also inspire more to follow in Jann’s footsteps.

Here is my brief interview with Jann. A big thank you to Ludovic Pezé of Motors Formula Team for making this happen.

Motorsport Prospects: What does sim racing do well?

Jann Mardenborough: What sims do well now is circuit modelling, laser scanned all the big bumps and kerbs very close to real life. Learning a new circuit on a sim before heading out there for real is common practice now. It’s a tool used to develop my own learning in motorsport

MP: What does sim racing not simulate properly at all? (fear factor, weather etc.)

JM: Yet to use a sim that has rain modeled correctly with the right amount of grip and racing line wise and even tyre temperature effect on the balance of car in those wet conditions. They all miss the mark and aren’t like real life at all. So many variables to consider.

MP: What new technologies are there in the pipeline that might improve the realism of sim racing?

JM: More information on the cars they’re modelling from the manufacturer. iRacing does this well with lots of new race cars with the manufacturers support in making them as close as possible to the real thing. 

MP: Is sim racing a legitimate way to break into the world of real-world racing?

JM: Yes I’m proof of that. 

MP: What advice would you give a sim racer who wants to graduate to the real thing?

JM: It’s a sport. Treating it as such will be in your benefit, no standing still having to constantly look for improvement within yourself. Have the ability to take criticism and to be humbled at times. You have to be ruthless in one’s approach. 

You can read more about Jann Mardenborough at his personal website here. For some background on the Gran Turismo movie, check out the article Gran Turismo movie tells story of gamer-turned-racer Mardenborough at Motor Authority.

You can also find out more about his new race team Motors Formula Team here.

UPDATE: The first trailer for the Gran Turismo film is now out and you can watch it above.

Competitive Sim Racing News

Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup for January 5, 2023

Autosport explains why Williams F1’s other racing team is one of the busiest in motorsport. With more than 45 drivers on its roster, spread over 18 countries, the official Williams Esports team has competed in more than 600 races throughout 2022, capturing 14 titles across all categories, with more than 70 wins and 170 podiums. With seven full-time staff, including an operations manager, team manager, press officer and broadcast producer, it’s a serious operation.

The underlying driving force of the team has been about raising awareness and engagement with a new audience, which will then hopefully follow through to the F1 team. It’s about taking the Williams name to places that would never have been anticipated before – or getting people to the factory that would never have done so previously.

Click here to read the full article at www.autosport.com

The NGK SPARK PLUGS Esports Cup will return in early 2023, following its debut last season, and two rounds will be live on the Traxion.GG YouTube channel. The GT3-based esports competition within RaceRoom Racing Experience, will offer unique prizes and closes competition – two rounds will be live on Traxion.GG too. The sim racing competition will once again be open to anyone with RaceRoom Racing Experience, and this time, three GT3 cars can be used: Mercedes AMG GT3, Audi R8 or Porsche 911 GT3. The top prize is two VIP tickets and accommodation to the ADAC TotalEnergies 24h Nürburgring, with Fanatec equipment and JBL headsets also up for grabs. Click here for all the details at traxion.gg

Screen to Speed iRacing Competition

In an effort to give a boost to female sim racers, the first-ever Screen to Speed iRacing competition will highlight women in esports through a unique online tournament. Female sim racers from all over the world are invited to participate in a first-of-its kind for women, by women event, with registration having kicked off on 19th December 2022. Click here for more details and background.

Sim Racing Tips & Techniques


If you have always wondered what kind of sim racing rigs the pros use you can wonder no longer. In Cop the set-up: The sim racing equipment the pros use, Traxion looks at the sim racing rigs used by 9 pro sim racers. Click here for all the details at traxion.gg.

Porsche enthusiast site Stuttcars asks the question: can racing simulators help you drive your Porsche better? The short answer is yes.

There are different degrees to which a racing simulator, or by extension, the activity which it allows—sim racing—can improve your game in the real world.

Can Racing Simulators Help You Drive Your Porsche Better?

Click here to read the full article at www.stuttcars.com

Traxion explains how steering lock is key to lap time in Assetto Corsa Competizione.

Assetto Corsa Competizione (ACC) is a sim that requires a little tinkering to get the most out of it. One of the things that can help transform the handling of a car in-game is ensuring the steering lock settings are at the correct values. Don’t scrub those tires too much now, easy on the steering lock!

Click here to read the original article at traxion.gg

Racing Games provides their top picks for the best wheels for iRacing that you can use to upgrade your setup.

With such an array of wheels to choose from though, narrowing things down to a handful of the best wheels for iRacing is a little tricky. However, we’ve rounded up a selection of wheels which we think stand out from the crowd based on their price, reviews, plus some of the advanced features they come with to take your setup to the next level.

Click here to read their recommendations.

Box This Lap gives their 5 best recommendations on maximizing your iRacing experience.

iRacing has changed a lot since the last buyer’s guide was published. New vehicles and tracks have been added, more free content has become available, and new series have been launched. While this is great for players, it can also make it harder to know which content will provide the most high-quality racing for the lowest cost. In this updated buyer’s guide for 2023, we will provide five golden rules to follow, some of which may surprise you.

Click here to read their recommendations.

It has been a long time since part 1 of our sim racing ultimate guide to racecraft was released. A lot has happened in that time, but none of it impacts the importance of the art of defense. In this episode, John talks you through some of the most important elements of good defensive driving, from positional awareness, to tactical defending and a case study of Jarno Trulli. Okay, not that last one, I lied.

The Ultimate Guide to Racecraft in Sim Racing – Part 2 | Defending

Auto Evolution has put together an excellent guide on how training on a budget sim rig can teach you things.

Inspired by a video made by the folks at Team O’Neill Rally school, I made a list of things that you can learn from sim racing, as well as what you can improve in your driving by using this tool, even on a budget. It is not going to make you the next Max Verstappen unless you start out incredibly young. Even if nobody needs to ask for your ID anymore before selling you alcohol, it does not mean that you cannot enjoy Sim racing.

Click here to read the full article.

Jordan Druber talks about how he made his sim rig more immersive with the Buttkicker Gamer Pro. You can watch his video above.

Speaking of hardware, Sam Hollier takes a look at hardware priorities for building a sim racing PC.

Whether you’re trying to stick to my hypothetical PS4 budget for a sim racing PC, or building the best monster of a gaming rig you can, there are a few things you should prioritise when it comes to hardware specs.

Click here to get all the details at www.goulburnpost.com.au.

Sim Racing Tech Roundup

Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup for January 5, 2023
Thrustmaster T818

Here is a roundup of the latest sim racing tech news and reviews from around the world.

General Sim Racing News

Jann Mardenborough on Transitioning from Sim Racing to the Real Thing

Here is a roundup of general sim racing news from around the globe.

Mark Boudreau
Author: Mark Boudreau

Mark is the publisher of Motorsport Prospects. As a former lawyer, he applies his legal background and research skills to assist race drivers by showcasing the resources they need to make their motorsport careers happen.