AMR Drivers Academy winner still to be declared

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Having been first announced in early January but not formerly started until the resumption of global motor racing later towards the end of July, the 2020 Aston Martin Racing Drivers Academy process has still yet to be finalised.

With applications being requested from qualifying drivers prior to the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic back in February, AMR eventually selected a reduced list of participants of just thirteen drivers who would be receiving the benefits of this factory assisted driver development programme although ultimately, some of these would falter even before they could even begin as racing opportunities diminished as the pandemic took a firmer hold across Europe.

With most driver’s bar two racing with AMR’s V8 Vantage GT4 car in series across Europe and the USA, such has been the success of the AMR Vantage GT3 and GT4 in 2020 that has made this process far from easy to predict.

Jamie Caroline (UK) TF Sport British GT Vantage GT4
Dan Vaughan (UK) TF Sport British GT Vantage GT4
Valentin Hasse Clot (FR) Garage 59 GT World Challenge Europe Vantage GT3
Theo Nouet (FR) AGS GT4 European Series Vantage GT4
Nate Stacey (USA) KohR Motorsport Michelin Pilot Challenge Vantage GT4
Patrick Kibble (UK) TF Sport British GT Vantage GT4
Kenton Koch (USA) Bsport Racing GT4 Vantage GT4
Roman DeAngelis (CAN) Heart of Racing IMSA Vantage GT3
Connor O’Brien (UK) TF Sport British GT Vantage GT4
Akhil Rabindra (IND) AGS GT4 European Series Vantage GT4
Robert Hefler (HUN) Virage GT Cup Open Vantage GT4
Cedric Freiburghaus (CHE) ProSport GT4 European Series Vantage GT4
Antonio Ledesma (MEX) Virage Ultimate Cup Series Vantage GT4

With GT4 Championship winning drivers including Jamie Caroline and Dan Vaughan from British GT, Valentine Hasse-Clot and Theo Nouet in GT4 European Series and Nate Stacey from IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, winning may not be the only attribute that the Academy selection panel will be looking for this time around before ultimately choosing their winner.

Soon to be following in the footsteps of the first Academy winner in 2015 (Ross Gunn) and Tom Canning from last year, this year’s winner will again see a significant financial contribution towards their 2021 racing plans as well as continued simulator and fitness training with the factory team and drivers as well as a TAG Heuer watch.

Whilst Gunn has since progressed to enjoy a full season World Endurance Championship campaign with the AMR factory supported GTE Am car of Paul Dalla Lana, Canning sadly saw his chance of progressing up to the Vantage GT3 in British GT fall through before the season had even started but at least he had a class winning debut in the International GT Open Series at Spa Francorchamps practising before a season within the Asian Le Mans Series in February with Oman Racing by TF Sport.

Photo credits - AMR / IMSA / GT4 European / Jacob Ebrey
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