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Bangalore-based racer Akhil Rabindra has become the only driver from Asia to be selected to join the Aston Martin Racing's (AMR) Young Driver Racing Academy. Rabindra joins 22 other young drivers from around the world who will compete for the reserve driver's spot in the Aston Martin Racing works team in the 2020 season of the World Endurance Championship.
The Aston Martin Racing Young Driver's Academy was launched in September 2018 and from the numerous applications, the final group of 23 racers were chosen. The 23 drivers selected for the program are from 12 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Luxembourg, Monaco, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The selection process for the Aston Martin Racing Young Driver's Academy was handled by a group of judges that included three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Darren Turner and drivers Jonny Adam and Maxime Martin who both race for the works AMR World Endurance Championship. The final member of the judging panel was Aston Martin Racing team principal Paul Howarth.
All 23 drivers selected for the Aston Martin Racing Your Driver's Academy including 22-year-old Rabindra will undergo training and assessment over the next year with AMR in the United Kingdom. The best performer of the year will be awarded a Junior Contract for 2020 with Aston Martin Racing and will take up the reserve driver spot for the works team in the World Endurance Championship.
Speaking of selection to the AMR Young Driver's Academy, Rabindra, who currently races an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 in the 2019 GT4 European Series for PROsport Performance stated, "I am very excited to be selected for the Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy. Being the only Indian and Asian in this group of elite drivers gives me a rush of excitement and pride to be a representative of my country as well as my continent to embark on this very prestigious journey. I look forward to a great season of learning and success."
Congratulating the selected young drivers, Aston Martin Racing President David King said: "We were highly impressed by the standard of the candidates that attended the Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy assessment days. All those who have been selected thoroughly deserve this opportunity. Their performances during the assessment highlights the strength and professionalism of the drivers we have racing in our customer teams around the world."