The Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy returns for 2021 as the British luxury sportscar manufacturer renews its search to uncover the next generation of GT endurance superstars.
The initiative, designed to fast-track talent within Aston Martin Racing’s thriving customer team network has already uncovered three rising stars in Ross Gunn (GB), Tom Canning (GB) and 2020 graduate Valentin Hasse-Clot (FR). This year another 15 candidates have signed up to participate from a range of championships around the world.
An unrivalled platform for learning and development with an established manufacturer, this essential initiative is continuously fine-tuned and improved to effectively coach drivers in the early stages of their careers. Drivers aged between 17 and 26 with Vantage GT3 and GT4 race programmes in recognised championships are eligible. The prize on offer for the successful graduate includes financial support towards their 2022 race programme, 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, consistency and technical feedback. The judging panel, which includes AMR President David King, Managing Director John Gaw, two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Jonny Adam (GB), works star Ross Gunn (GB), and Hasse-Clot, 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 GT4 European Series Silver Cup champion and GT World Challenge Europe Silver Cup race-winner Hasse-Clot emerged top of the class in the 2020 AMR Driver Academy. The 25-year-old, from Paris, who follows in in the recent footsteps of British GT4 champions Gunn and Canning, is contesting the GTWC Europe Endurance Cup for Garage 59 as well as the FFSA GT Silver Cup with AGS Events where he leads the points standings after two rounds.
Aston Martin Racing President David King added: “The Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy has proven itself a key indicator of talent in recent years, and we see it as a vital development tool. As Ross, Tom and now Valentin are proving, this initiative holds great value both to us and to the drivers who participate, as we seek to build on the talent that exists inside our network of customer teams. We intend to continue this tradition as we look to support our partners across the GT racing spectrum in every way that we can.”
Driver Team Series Car
Hugo Conde (FR) AGS Events GT4 European Series Vantage GT4
Roman De Angelis (CA) Heart of Racing IMSA GTD Vantage GT3
Ruben Del Sarte (NL) Mirage GT4 European Series Vantage GT4
Phil Dörr (DE) Dörr ADAC GT4 Vantage GT4
César Gazeau (FR) AGS Events GT4 European Series Vantage GT4
Tim Heinemann (DE) PROsport DTM Trophy Vantage GT4
Nicolai Kjærgaard (DN) Garage 59 GTWC Europe Vantage GT3
Kenton Koch (US) BSport Racing GT4 America Vantage GT4
Konstantin Lachenauer (CH) AGS Events GT4 European Series Vantage GT4
Antonio Ledesma (MX) Virage Ultimate Cup Series Vantage GT4
Romain Leroux (FR) AGS Events FFSA GT4 Vantage GT4
Matthew Lewis (GB) Deranged GT Cup Vantage GT4
Akhil Rabindra (IN) AGS Events GT4 European Series Vantage GT4
Paul Theyagens (LU) Street Art GT4 European Series Vantage GT4
Tuomas Tujala (FI) Garage 59 GTWC Europe Vantage GT3