Aston Martin Racing launches young-driver GT programme

Aston Martin Racing is launching a young-driver programme to find a new factory racer for 2016

Aston Martin Racing launches young-driver GT programme

The Evolution Academy, which will be formally unveiled tomorrow at AUTOSPORT International in Birmingham, is open to a maximum of 10 drivers aged between 17 and 25 who will be racing Aston Martin GT3 or GT4 machinery in 2015.

They will each be assigned a mentor from AMR's existing roster of drivers and evaluated over the course of the season.

AMR boss John Gaw told AUTOSPORT: "We've always had a mix of experienced drivers and young talent, and are really just formalising what we have done in the past with guys like Jonny Adam and Richie Stanaway.

"We want to look a bit closer to find the next youngster to come along, at the same time as getting involved with them at an earlier stage to help their development."

Gaw stressed that the drivers would not be evaluated on just pure speed.

"Pace is not the only thing, but as always it is the key to the door," he explained.

The programme will only be open, said Gaw, to drivers "doing enough races for us to gather the proper amount of data".

AMR is not committing to where the successful Evolution Academy applicant will race in 2016.

"We aren't going to put them straight in the #97 car [AMR's lead World Endurance Championship entry], but this is real," said Gaw.

"Look at what we have done with Jonny: he will have a Blancpain programme this year and a British GT programme."

The 10 Evolution Academy drivers will be given advice and training on fitness and sessions in the Aston Martin simulator run by factory driver Darren Turner's Base Performance company as part of the programme.

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