As the BRDC SuperStars driver support programme reaches its tenth year, four new driver have been announced for the 2017 season.
The British Racing Drivers’ Club founded the programme in 2008 under the then BRDC president Damon Hill OBE and programme director Tim Harvey; Since then over 60 drivers have received assistance and guidance from the scheme including past and present Formula 1 drivers Jolyon Palmer, Max Chilton and Will Stevens as well as British GT champion Jonny Adam and 2013 British Touring Car champion Andrew Jordan.
Heading up the line up for 2017 is the Prema Powerteam FIA European Formula 3 racer Callum Ilott along with BTCC driver Ashley Sutton, Bentley’s Seb Morris and the 2016 McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year, Lando Norris.
“Having been on the Rising Stars programme for a year the SuperStars is where I wanted to be and I feel like it’s my time to step up. You get more contact with the BRDC and you can build relationships so you always have someone you can turn to when you need assistance. Being one of the 12 SuperStars makes it easier to get access so I am really grateful.” said Ilott.
The four new additions join Oliver Rowland who will be chasing championship victory in GP2 this year with the DAMS squad with Alex Albon joining him in the series. Mercedes Junior driver George Russell heads in to GP3 while Jake Hughes switches from GP3 to European F3 with Hitech GP; Will Palmer returns to the Formula Renault Eurocup with R-ace.
Daniel Cammish will be chasing an historic third title in a row in Porsche Carrera Cup GB along with making his full season debut in the F1 supporting Porsche Supercup series. Ross Gunn heads to the European Le Mans Series with Beechdean and Jack Goff moves to Eurotech for another season in BTCC.
All the SuperStars will benefit from the range of advice the programme has to offer to enhance their physical and mental fitness. Workshops and training events will also be run to enhance their communication, media and marketing skills to cover every aspect of professional racing driver development.
“It’s been a long journey to get to where I am and I’ve worked hard to get the drive this year.” commented Morris. “To have the phone call from Tim [Harvey] before Daytona telling me I was going to be joining the SuperStars scheme gave me extra confidence going into the race. I’ll definitely be taking advantage of the access the programme gives me and will be calling Tim. I’m at the time in my career where I’m getting opportunities coming my way so I can benefit from the expertise and experience of the BRDC Members as they’ve already been there so I can learn from them.”
Ashley sutton added, “Getting picked was a big thing for me. I was selected to become a Rising Star in 2014 so the goal was to step up to being a SuperStar. We put some work in to tick the boxes so I could move up so it’s great to be a part of the programme. The networking and connections available now are fantastic and there are certain people that could be a big support in my future career.”
“Most of all it’s an honour to be part of something with such a great history. The Members of the BRDC are all drivers that I have looked up to in the past; they are drivers people always talk about. To be accepted and to be seen as the best of the best is an honour.” said Norris.