With the resumption of motorsport around the world, various driver development programs have also resumed, including Aston Martin Racing’s Driver Academy. According to the outfit, 13 candidates have signed up to the 2020 scheme from a range of championships.
Intended as a platform with which to give drivers an opportunity to learn and develop their skills as progression racers, both on and off track, the operating model has been further refined by AMR. The academy is open to drivers aged between 17 and 25 with planned Vantage GT3 and GT4 race programs in recognized championships. The prize on offer for the successful graduate at the end of the season will be financial support toward their 2021 race program, simulator time and fitness sessions.
AMR said contestants will be judged on a wide range of criteria including pace, consistency and technical feedback. The judging panel will also evaluate drivers’ ability to manage the strategic, teamwork, commercial and public relations aspects of their role. Finally, the outstanding candidate will be the one that demonstrates the most potential to develop their talent in the future.
The 2019 British GT4 champion Tom Canning emerged top of the class in 2019. The 17-year-old, from Bath in the UK, who follows in the footsteps of 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours class-winner Jonny Adam and works with FIA World Endurance Championship driver Ross Gunn, has since undertaken a test in a works Aston Martin Vantage GTE in Bahrain last December and will receive support from the factory throughout his campaign this year.
Aston Martin Racing president David King said, “That there is a fresh group of talented individuals ready and eager to participate in the 2020 Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy, in spite of the difficulties presented by the coronavirus pandemic, demonstrating the value of this initiative and the importance of the junior GT racing ecosystem.
“It remains our mission to uncover the best young talent emerging through our customer network, so that we may both assist them in their future careers and protect the competitive prospects for Aston Martin Racing and the teams that race our cars in the long-term.”