Image credit: Aston Martin Racing.
The 2015 Aston Martin Racing Evolution Academy squad has been unveiled at the manufacturer’s state-of-the-art headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire UK and includes stars of the future who will race in four of the world’s top national and international GT championships.
The ten ‘up-and-coming’ drivers, selected by a panel of judges at Aston Martin Racing, have been named as: Matt Bell (GB); Jamie Chadwick (GB); Jade Edwards (GB); Jody Fannin (GB); Jake Giddings (GB); Ross Gunn (GB); Daniel Lloyd (GB); Devon Modell (GB); Dennis Strandberg (SE); and Jonathan Venter (AU).
“We are extremely pleased with the line-up of the inaugural Evolution Academy,” commented Aston Martin Racing’s Team Principal John Gaw. “There’s no doubting we have ten very talented participants but the question is, who will prove to us that they have what it takes to be an Aston Martin Racing works driver?”
All racing in Aston Martin Vantage GT4s and GT3s this season, the youngsters aged 16-25 will be competing in the British GT Championship, Blancpain Endurance Series, GT Asia and 24H Series. At the end of the season, the driver who has shown the most promise both on- and off-track will be offered an Aston Martin Racing works team contract.
“When looking at the applications we took a lot into consideration,” explained Aston Martin Racing Customer Programme Manager Andrew Williamson. “We looked at what racing ability, professionalism and dedication they have shown so far and then we tried to assess what potential they have.”
Starting with an introduction to the brand and communications workshop and pre-season fitness assessments, the Evolution Academy drivers were equipped to start their seasons in the Aston Martin Racing fold.
“We certainly weren’t looking for the finished article,” added Williamson. “Instead, we’re looking for someone who will become a well-rounded GT racer, someone who could be the team’s Darren Turner of the future. We have put together a programme of training that draws from our works team’s excellent pool of resources and continually assesses the participants’ development.”
The drivers will now start or continue with their 2015 season with the support of the Evolution Academy panel, the wider Aston Martin Racing team and the works drivers who will act as mentors. Each driver will be invited to attend World Endurance Championship races with the team and will be given access to confidential engineering and technical briefings.