Aston Martin Racing has revealed the 10 drivers that will take part in its Evolution Academy development programme.
Matt Bell, Jamie Chadwick, Jade Edwards, Jody Fannin, Jake Giddings, Ross Gunn, Daniel Lloyd, Devon Modell, Denis Strandberg and Jonathan Venter will all drive Aston Martin GT3 and GT4 machinery in a selection of the world’s top GT championships this year.
The youngest of the group is 16 year old Chadwick, who will be making her British GT Championship debut with Beechdean Motorsport this year alongside fellow academy member Gunn. The eight other drivers will take part in a number of high-level competitions, including the Blancpain Endurance Series, Hankook 24H Series and GT Asia Series.
The team’s management, led by team principal John Gaw, will assess the progress of the candidates over the course of the year, with one driver receiving the offer of an Aston Martin Racing works team contract.
“We are extremely pleased with the line-up of the inaugural Evolution Academy,” said 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?”
Having already experienced an introduction to the Aston Martin Racing ethos through a fitness and communications programme, the academy members are ready to embark on their respective championships with the primary intention of impressing the panel.
Aston Martin Racing’s current works drivers will assist with the academy members’ development as the season progresses. In addition, the drivers will have access to exclusive data and technical briefings at a selection of the FIA World Endurance Championship race weekend.
“We certainly weren’t looking for the finished article,” commented Aston Martin Racing customer programme manager Andrew 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.”