Aston Martin academy scheme winner Ross Gunn given factory deal

British GT4 champion Ross Gunn has landed an Aston Martin factory contract after winning the British manufacturer's academy scheme

The 18-year-old Briton was chosen as the winner of the inaugural Aston Martin Racing Evolution Academy after six of the 10 entrants were given a try-out in an Aston Vantage GTE at the Bahrain World Endurance Championship rookie test in November.

Gunn's first assignment as a factory driver will be with the AMR-run Beechdean Aston Martin V12 Vantage in the 2016 British GT Championship alongside reigning champion Andrew Howard.

AMR boss John Gaw told Autosport: "Ross impressed us over the season, but he was also as fast as anyone else in the GTE car in Bahrain, and speed is always the key to the door.

"He doesn't have as much experience of that kind of car as some of the others, so that shows he has a lot of room to grow.

"He's a guy who listens and has an appetite to learn, and he's also a well-rounded individual."

Gunn, who is taking the place of fellow AMR driver Jonny Adam at Beechdean, added: "It's been a fantastic season and I couldn't have asked for a more perfect outcome.

"I'm really looking forward to building on everything I've learnt next year with Andrew in the V12 Vantage."

Gaw stressed there will be other drives for Gunn during the 2016 season.

Gunn, who claimed the class title in British GTs alongside Jamie Chadwick aboard the Beechdean Vantage GT4, was chosen for a factory deal over his 2015 team-mate, as well as Matt Bell, Dan Lloyd, Jody Fannin, Dennis Strandberg and Devon Modell.

The AMR academy will continue next season.

It is open to drivers aged between 18 and 25 who are undertaking a full season at the wheel of an Aston Martin GT car.

Each successful applicant will be assigned an AMR factory driver as a mentor, will work with team engineers over the course of the season and spend time on the simulator.

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