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Aston announces BRDC driver award tie-up. Image by Aston Martin.

Aston announces BRDC driver award tie-up
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What's all this about?

Aston Martin's president and CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, has announced at the Geneva Motor Show that the prestige brand will become the official partner of the Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award, from 2019 onwards. The British Racing Drivers' Club's long-running programme has aimed to promote young British racing talent to the highest motorsport roles and Aston is proud to be a part of that going forward.

What will these youngsters win as a result of picking up the award?

The winner of the 2019 AMABA, to give it its new acronym, will receive a test in an Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Formula 1 car at Silverstone - owned by the BRDC - as well as a run in an FIA World Endurance Championship Vantage GTE. The award also has an overall prize fund of 200,000.

How will the AMABA winner be picked?

Readers of Autosport will nominate four young British finalists, who are competing in championships that are below FIA-spec Formula 3 or its equivalent. These finalists will then undergo stringent fitness and simulator assessments at the Red Bull Racing HQ, culminating in a two-day shoot-out at Silverstone. The winner will be decided by a panel of judges, headed up by Derek Warwick - the 1992 World Sportscar Champion and current BRDC vice-president - and also including current Aston Martin works driver and three-times Le Mans 24 Hours class-winner Darren Turner. The winner's identity will be revealed at the gala Autosport Awards ceremony, held in early December.

Can you name me any former winners of the award?

Having run for 31 years, past victors include Jenson Button, David Coulthard, Dario Franchitti and also Turner himself, who triumphed in 1996. Two recent winners, George Russell (2014) and Lando Norris (2016), are set to make their F1 debuts at the Australian Grand Prix on March 17.

So, can I have some words from Dr Palmer himself?

Yes, Dr P said in Geneva: "I have always believed it a critical necessity to develop young talent across the automotive spectrum, whether that be in design, engineering or driving. This important new partnership represents the very best opportunity to play a significant role in the development of the next generation of British world champions. The award's roll-of-honour speaks for itself and we at Aston Martin, along with our partners at Red Bull Racing, Autosport and the BRDC, look forward to developing this programme in to the most exciting opportunity for rising talent in world motorsport."

And what about the BRDC itself?

Chairman John Grant added: "We're delighted that Aston Martin has agreed to join the BRDC and Autosport in supporting what is generally seen to be the most prestigious award in helping young British drivers reach the pinnacle of international motorsport. Developing British driving talent has always been at the heart of the BRDC, and to have a partner such as Aston Martin, which is equally committed to the importance of motor racing, can only enhance the value of this award."



Matt Robinson - 5 Mar 2019


Aston announces BRDC driver award tie-up. Image by Aston Martin.    








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