The Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy returns for 2021 as the British 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.
The initiative has been developed 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 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, 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 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: “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.”
2021 ASTON MARTIN RACING DRIVER ACADEMY CANDIDATES
- Hugo Conde (FR) AGS Events Vantage GT4 GT4 European Series
- Roman De Angelis (CA) Heart of Racing Vantage GT3 IMSA GTD
- Ruben Del Sarte (NL) Mirage Vantage GT4 GT4 European Series
- Phil Dörr (DE) Dörr Vantage GT4 ADAC GT4
- César Gazeau (FR) AGS Events Vantage GT4 GT4 European Series
- Tim Heinemann (DE) PROsport Vantage GT4 DTM Trophy
- Nicolai Kjærgaard (DN) Garage 59 Vantage GT3 GTWC Europe
- Kenton Koch (US) BSport Racing Vantage GT4 GT4 America
- Konstantin Lachenauer (CH) AGS Events Vantage GT4 GT4 European Series
- Antonio Ledesma (MX) Virage Vantage GT4 Ultimate Cup Series
- Romain Leroux (FR) AGS Events Vantage GT4 FFSA GT4
- Matthew Lewis (GB) Deranged Vantage GT4 GT Cup
- Akhil Rabindra (IN) AGS Events Vantage GT4 GT4 European Series
- Paul Theyagens (LU) Street Art Vantage GT4 GT4 European Series
- Tuomas Tujula (FI) Garage 59 Vantage GT3 GTWC Europe