Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy Is Back On

The Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy returns for 2021 as the British luxury sportscar manufacturer renews its search to uncover the next generation of GT endurance superstars.

Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy - Young Driver
2019 / 2020 FIA World Endurance Championship Bahrain 11th – 14th November 2020 Photo: Drew Gibson

The initiative, designed to fast-track talent within Aston Martin Racing’s thriving customer team network has already uncovered three rising stars in Ross Gunn (GB), Tom Canning (GB), and 2020 graduate Valentin Hasse-Clot (FR). This year another 15 candidates have signed up to participate from a range of championships around the world.

An unrivaled platform for learning and development with an established manufacturer, this essential initiative is continuously fine-tuned and improved to effectively coach drivers in the early stages of their careers. Drivers aged between 17 and 26 with Vantage GT3 and GT4 race programs in recognized championships are eligible. The prize on offer for the successful graduate includes financial support towards their 2022 race program, as well as assistance and guidance from the factory, tailored to their season plans.

Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy - Ross Gunn - The Heart of Racing

As always, the contestants are judged on a wide range of criteria including pace, consistency, and technical feedback. The judging panel, which includes AMR President David King, Managing Director John Gaw, two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Jonny Adam (GB), works star Ross Gunn (GB), and Hasse-Clot, will also evaluate each drivers’ ability to manage the strategic, teamwork, commercial and public relations aspects of their role. Finally, the outstanding candidate will demonstrate the most potential to develop their talent for the future.

Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy - Canning and Adam

The reigning GT4 European Series Silver Cup champion and GT World Challenge Europe Silver Cup race-winner Hasse-Clot emerged top of the class in the 2020 AMR Driver Academy. The 25-year-old, from Paris, who follows in the recent footsteps of British GT4 champions Gunn and Canning, is contesting the GTWC Europe Endurance Cup for Garage 59 as well as the FFSA GT Silver Cup with AGS Events where he leads the points standings after two rounds.

The Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy has proven itself a key indicator of talent in recent years, and we see it as a vital development tool. As Ross, Tom and now Valentin are proving, this initiative holds great value both to us and to the drivers who participate, as we seek to build on the talent that exists inside our network of customer teams. We intend to continue this tradition as we look to support our partners across the GT racing spectrum in every way that we can.

Aston Martin Racing President David King
Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy -  Tom Canning Mirage
GT World Challenge Europe Monza, Italy 15th – 18th April 2021 Photo: Drew Gibson

2021 Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy Candidates

Hugo Conde (FR)AGS EventsGT4 European SeriesVantage GT4
Roman De Angelis (CA)Heart of RacingIMSA GTDVantage GT3
Ruben Del Sarte (NL)MirageGT4 European SeriesVantage GT4
Phil Dörr (DE)Dörr RacingADAC GT4Vantage GT4
César Gazeau (FR)AGS EventsGT4 European SeriesVantage GT4
Tim Heinemann (DE)PROsportDTM TrophyVantage GT4
Nicolai Kjærgaard (DN)Garage 59GTWC EuropeVantage GT3
Kenton Koch (US)BSport RacingGT4 AmericaVantage GT4
Konstantin Lachenauer (CH)AGS EventsGT4 European SeriesVantage GT4
Antonio Ledesma (MX)VirageUltimate Cup SeriesVantage GT4
Romain Leroux (FR)AGS EventsFFSA GT4Vantage GT4
Matthew Lewis (GB)DerangedGT CupVantage GT4
Akhil Rabindra (IN)AGS EventsGT4 European SeriesVantage GT4
Paul Theysgens (BE)Street ArtGT4 European SeriesVantage GT4
Tuomas Tujula (FI)Garage 59GTWC EuropeVantage GT3

Note: Press release courtesy of Aston Martin Racing.