As the recently released movie Gran Turismo dramatised the real life tale of British teenage video game player Jann Mardenborough who made the transition to professional racing car driver, Joshua Brady made his first steps in a similar move at Dover Raceway, St Ann.
On Monday, October 16, at the Jamaica Race Drivers Club's Heroes of Speed event, the 22-year-old Jamaican found himself racing, for real.
"I couldn't be happier," Brady told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.
At his first-ever real life racing event, Brady suffered the highs and lows of motorsports across the three Super Street Naturally Aspirated (SSN) class races for the day driving his 2016 Subaru BRZ.
Designed for beginners, SSN allows rookie drivers in street cars to tackle the famous St Ann track at a restricted lap time of no faster than 1 minute and 45 seconds. After being disqualified from the first race, Brady finished fourth in the second, and tasted victory in the third.
"Luckily for me it began to rain and I think that made the track suit me best," said Brady.
The Florida-based driver admitted to using his sim racing skills in preparation for his big day, having practised it virtually beforehand.
"The sim is always the best tool for me to learn a track. I actually haven't beat my time on the sim in real life yet," he said.
Having loved cars since he was a child, Brady combined that love with his other passion, video games, diving heavily into the simulation racing scene. He most recently became a part of the Jamaica Simulation Racing Association (JSRA) through a friend and social media.
"I saw Michael Paisley at JSRA on my Instagram, and it was impossible not to participate. Their founder, Stephen Stewart, made it so easy to compete and improve my driving by racing with the other faster drivers," Brady said.
Leading up to his Dover début, Brady was one of the five Jamaicans sharing driving duties that took part in World Sim Series 24 Hours of the Nürburgring Endurance Race, a virtual version of the famous race. The Jamaican team took sixth in class having started ninth in the face of stiff international competition.
Brady hopes to continue on his path of success both in the driver's seat and behind the computer screen.
"Admittedly, I am a little late to the game but I'm ready to work hard and make up the time I've lost. Although this was my racing début, I'm not a stranger to race tracks. Sim racing has improved my driving significantly and the lap times are there to show it," said Brady.