The recent Sony film Gran Turismo follows the inspiring true story of Jann Mardenborough, a Gran Turismo gamer who went from playing in his bedroom to becoming a real professional race car driver. The ending shows Jann achieving his dream of competing at the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans race, but there’s more meaning behind his journey than just winning trophies. Let’s look at the themes and messages in the Gran Turismo ending.
At the end of Gran Turismo, Jann and his team secured third, earning a podium finish and proving all the doubters wrong about the GT Academy project. Gran Turismo does not reveal that Jann and his team finished ninth overall, yet the third-placed finish was within their class, which explains the podium celebrations. That said, a podium finish was all Jann and his other races needed to accomplish to prove Moore’s GT Academy idea a success.
1. Le Mans Race & Jann’s Placement Explained
Throughout the film, Jann progresses from racing simulations to actual track driving, eventually entering the GT Academy program, which bridges the gap between games and professional motorsports. After years of training and competing in junior events, Jann reaches the pinnacle, driving for Nissan at Le Mans in the LMP1 class.
In his first attempt at the grueling 24-hour race, Jann has an impressive showing, crossing the finish line in 2nd place for his class. This podium finish demonstrates that Jann has mastered endurance racing against world-class competition. However, it’s about more than just awards for Jann.
2. Why The Other GT Academy Drivers Race On Jann’s Team?
Jann isn’t the only GT Academy driver who achieves the dream of racing at Le Mans. Lucas Ordoñez, Jann’s mentor, competes alongside him while other academy graduates race in different classes.
This underscores the film’s message that the training and infrastructure provided by Nissan and Gran Turismo gave regular gamers the chance to prove themselves capable of excelling in motorsports.
Jann isn’t unique just because of raw talent. He seized an opportunity open to others as well. His fellow GT academy teammates racing at Le Mans, like Wolfgang Reip and Mark Shulzhitskiy, showed the same dedication and growth Jann did to reach an elite level.
Their placement around the track in the race also highlights how endurance racing depends on teamwork.
3. How does Gran Turismo’s Le Mans Race Compare To Real Life?
Gran Turismo’s true story changes the Le Mans race in that other racers besides Jann are GT Academy drivers. In the actual Le Mans 2013 race on which the film is based, Jann Mardenborough raced alongside Michael Krumm and Lucas Ordóñez.
The former was a professional racer who entered the sport through conventional means before racing in Le Mans 2013, while the latter had a similar background to Jann.
To dramatize the events of Gran Turismo’s ending, the decision was made to change both other racers into GT Academy drivers alongside Jann.
Regarding results, Gran Turismo accurately depicts Jann’s podium finish alongside his team. The film neglects to delve into all the details surrounding Le Mans positioning such as the competition being simultaneous between classes and every other car.
Instead, Gran Turismo simplifies things for general audiences by simply stating Jann must finish third and showing him doing so.
As it turns out, mentioning that Jann’s team finished ninth in the overall competition is unnecessary, as a third-place finish within their class was enough to secure their future in motorsport.
4. Did Jann Break A Le Mans Lap Record?
One of the film’s climactic moments comes when Jann sets the fastest lap during the race, seemingly breaking a long-standing Le Mans record. This shows Jann performing to the peak of his abilities on the biggest stage, cementing his growth into a top-tier racer.
However, the lap record plot point takes some creative license. In reality, Jann didn’t capture a new outright lap record at Le Mans.
The categorization of cars makes direct lap comparisons difficult. But he did drive impressively fast times, matching the pace of previous winners. The film tweaks the details to make for a more dramatic story moment.
Ultimately, Jann’s achievement comes from competing at Le Mans rather than any particular record. As Lucas tells him, finishing such a punishing race is a massive accomplishment.
5. The Real Meaning of Gran Turismo’s Ending Explained
On the surface, Gran Turismo’s ending is about Jann validating his racing talent by placing 2nd at Le Mans. But on a deeper level, it represents personal growth and fulfilling his dream.
Since childhood, Jann found purpose through Gran Turismo, improving his skills and learning an incredible amount about racing. His single-minded focus on joining the professional racing world sometimes made him appear detached or obsessed with others. However, sticking to his goal allowed Jann to transform his gaming passion into reality.
The ending mirrors Jann’s first time playing Gran Turismo as a boy, he sits in awe of the race track, now experiencing it for real rather than from behind a controller. The cyclical nature of this moment illustrates Jann’s completed hero’s journey from the virtual world to the real track.
Beyond just Jann’s story, the ending also shows the power of communities. From his family’s support to the GT Academy program, Jann wasn’t alone in his quest. The teamwork required in endurance racing parallels how others aided him.
Gran Turismo’s uplifting message comes through in the ending: Dreams can be achieved with enough heart. Jann took his interest further than anyone expected, proving judgments based purely on his hobby as a gamer were misplaced. Combined with the dramatic thrill of Le Mans, Jann’s victory places imagination, perseverance, and passion in the spotlight.
6. How Gran Turismo 2 Could Happen?
As an adaptation of a true story, Gran Turismo has a defined beginning, middle, and end following Jann Mardenborough’s career ascent. However, the film’s positive reception shows an appetite for more in this vein. Several potential avenues exist for a continuation or sequel.
The most obvious follow-up would be Jann striving for 1st place at Le Mans after his 2nd place finish previously. This could demonstrate his continued growth as a driver, battling back from disappointment to stand atop the podium finally. Along the way, more racing science and strategy could be spotlit, building on GT’s blend of education and excitement.
GT Academy’s ongoing efforts to transform gamers into racers also provide plenty of story potential. The training process and rivalry between new classes of Academy competitors could drive conflict and camaraderie. Nissan’s innovation in attracting talent from the gaming community deserves more focus.
A documentary approach chronicling real GT Academy drivers over a competition season would offer another true-life angle. Recent graduates like Matt Simmons, Josef Newgarden, and Ashley Freiberg show more examples of astonishing development worthy of the spotlight. Though dramatized in the first film, this talent pipeline is still going strong in real life.
Gran Turismo’s unique fusion of gaming wish fulfillment and racing thrills lends well to a sequel. Jann Mardenborough’s one-of-a-kind career will likely remain the focal point, but plenty of aspects around GT Academy and pro racing are rich with stories waiting to be told on screen. Gamers turned racers continue to be an incredible underdog narrative.
7. About Gran Turismo
Gran Turismo is a 2023 American biographical sports action-drama film directed by Neill Blomkamp from a screenplay by Jason Hall and Zach Baylin. Produced by Columbia Pictures, PlayStation Productions, and 2.0 Entertainment, it is based on the racing simulation video game series of the same name developed by Polyphony Digital.
It tells the true story of Jann Mardenborough, a teenage Gran Turismo player who became a professional race car driver. The film stars Archie Madekwe as Mardenborough alongside David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Darren Barnet, Emelia Hartford, Geri Halliwell Horner, and Djimon Hounsou.