British rising talents from across touring car, GT and single-seater racing have been named as members of the BRDC SuperStars programme for 2018.
Seven champions from 2017 have been chosen to provide support from the programme, which includes workshops and training events to enhance media and marketing skills as well as support on physical and mental fitness.
A strong single-seater contingent in the programme is led by a pair of Formula 1 reserve drivers competing in FIA Formula Two this season; McLaren’s reigning FIA European Formula 3 champion Lando Norris and Mercedes’ reigning GP3 champion George Russell.
European F3 front-runner and Ferrari Driver Academy member Callum Ilott has been chosen as he graduates to GP3, where he will be team-mates with another SuperStar Jake Hughes, who is back in the series following a year in European F3.
Tackling the F3 series this year as Superstars will be reigning McLaren BRDC Autosport Award winner and Macau GP victor Dan Ticktum and 2017 BRDC Formula 3 champion Enaam Ahmed, while British F4 victor Jamie Caroline gets backing as he heads stateside to race in USF2000.
“I have been dreaming about being a BRDC SuperStar for many years. I never thought I would be a part of it,” said Ahmed. “I feel really proud to be selected and hope to represent the BRDC well. There’s lots of very good drivers in the programme so I am really happy to be among those names.”
In sportscar racing, Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion Charlie Eastwood is added to the roster as he races in the FIA World Endurance Championship and Blancpain Endurance Series for the first time this year with TF Sport.
British GT champion Seb Morris will also enjoy backing as he moves out of the UK into Blancpain GT and the International GT Open, while 2017/18 Asian Le Mans Series champion Harrison Newey joins the programme as he competes in the LMP2 class of the European Le Mans Series.
Newey commented: “It is an honour to be a BRDC SuperStar. Moving up in sports cars will be a big challenge for me and it’s going to be a tough year proving myself against very talented people but, with the help and support of the BRDC, hopefully it will be a positive one.”
The final two BRDC SuperStars will contest the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, with reigning champion Ashley Sutton on the list alongside one of his rivals in the series, two-time race-winner Jack Goff.
Of the twelve drivers supported by the programme, Ticktum, Ahmed, Newey, Caroline and Eastwood enter for the first time, while Alex Albon, Dan Cammsh, Ross Gunn, Will Palmer and Oliver Rowland are dropped from the 2017 contingent.