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Renault Clio Cup's Ignas Gelzinis wins FIA Institute Academy place

Ignas GelzidisRenault Clio Cup racer Ignas Gelzinis has been voted Europe's most promising young driver by the FIA Institute.

The Institute's Young Driver Excellence Academy European selection event ran in Austria earlier this week and the 22-year-old Lithuanian has won a guaranteed place on the programme ahead of 24 other drivers from the continent.

The scheme is judged by ex-Formula 1 driver Alex Wurz and 2001 world rally champion co-driver Robert Reid.

"It's incredible," said Gelzinis. "I still can't believe it. I didn't do so well on the first day in the fitness and after that I thought: 'OK, you are in the top 25 drivers in Europe, this is good, now just try to enjoy it.'

"I tried to relax and stay away from the limit in the driving and now I have been chosen.

"This means so much to my career - the chance to work with people like Alex and Robert and all the others is amazing."

Volkswagen WRC driver Andreas Mikkelsen and F1 test drivers Alexander Rossi and Robin Frijns are all graduates of the programme.

The workshops start at the end of the year, following four more regional selection events around the world.

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