The Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy returns for 2022 as the British ultra-luxury sports car manufacturer continues its quest to uncover the next generation of GT endurance superstars.
The successful initiative is designed to fast-track talent from within Aston Martin Racing’s thriving partner team network and is a way for AMR to contribute back to motorsport by investing in and honing future talent. The popular scheme has a high success rate and is proud to have furthered the careers of several rising GT stars including IMSA Sprint Cup champion Ross Gunn (GBR), British GT4 champion Tom Canning (GBR), recently signed works driver Valentin Hasse-Clot (FRA), and 2021 winner Roman De Angelis (CDN). This year a massive intake of 22 candidates has signed up to participate in a range of championships around the world.
A unique and unrivaled platform for learning and development with an established manufacturer, this essential initiative is fine-tuned every year and improved to effectively coach drivers in the early stages of their careers. Competitors aged between 17 and 26 with Vantage GT3 and GT4 race programs in recognized championships are eligible. The prize on offer for the successful graduate includes financial support towards their 2023 race program, as well as assistance and guidance from the factory, tailored to their season plans.
As always, the contestants are judged on a wide range of criteria including pace, performance consistency, and technical feedback. The candidates have also gone through an intensive series of seminars that included PR and Media training, simulator coaching, and a full fitness assessment prior to the season beginning.
The judging panel, which includes AMR Managing Director John Gaw, three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner Darren Turner (GB), former winner Hasse-Clot, AMR Head of Performance Gus Beteli, and Head of AMR Partner Racing Huw Tasker, will also evaluate each drivers’ ability to manage the strategic, teamwork, commercial and public relations aspects of their role. Finally, the outstanding candidate will demonstrate the most potential to develop their talent for the future.
The reigning IMSA Sprint Cup champion and Petit Le Mans GTD class race-winner De Angelis emerged top of the class in the 2021 AMR Driver Academy. The 21-year-old, from Canada, who follows in in the recent footsteps of Beechdean AMR GTWC Europe Endurance Cup racer Hasse-Clot, continues with The Heart of Racing team in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship GTD class in 2022.
Head of AMR Partner Racing, Huw Tasker said: “The Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy is an excellent tool for assessing the level of talent within our partner ranks and is the ideal way for the brand to give back to the sport in a constructive and meaningful way. As our former winners have proven, and I’m sure Roman will too, this initiative holds enormous value to us, to the drivers who participate, and to the wider sport in general. We hope to continue this tradition as we look to support our partners across the GT racing around the world.”