Aston Martin, who won the LMGTE Pro class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2017, is relaunching its efforts to find a young talent for the 2019 season. The marque's top candidate will be offered a professional driver's contract with the British manufacturer.
After a first attempt in 2015, Aston Martin has decided to restart the selection process aimed at finding a promising newcomer for its official GT program. Despite the success of the Evolution Academy in 2015, with the winner Ross Gunn joining the ranks of the marque's development and reserve drivers, the program had been shelved until now.
Like before, the AMR Young Driver Academy is seeking a driver between the ages of 17 and 25, but this time there is no preselection: the driver will simply need to have competed with an Aston Martin Vantage fielded by a private partner team. The ideal candidate must not only be talented at the wheel, but must be able to demonstrate aptitudes in several areas.
The driver will be chosen according to multiple criteria: in addition to good top speed, the candidate must be consistent, in good physical shape and capable of providing effective technical feedback. The panel will also evaluate the driver's budding ability to work within a team, a crucial element in endurance, a discipline in which several drivers share one car.
David King, president of Aston Martin Racing: "This programme will be invaluable to so many drivers with ambitions to race at Le Mans who have the talent but not always the means to reach their goal. We have seen plenty of them in our cars over the past two years and we relish the prospect of seeing them competing for our customer race teams throughout 2019 in pursuit of this prize."
Though last year the first version of the Vantage won the LMGTE Pro class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for its final appearance, its replacement finished the race in eighth and 13th places in the class in 2018.
Quotation from Aston Martin press release.
PHOTO: The two official Aston Martin Vantages at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans.