Young drivers can apply this week to enter the first three regional selection events for the 2014/15 Young Driver Excellence Academy. The first selection event will be for Sub-Saharan Africa and will take place from 21-24 September in South Africa. This will be closely followed by the South Western Europe selection event in Croatia from 22-25 September. The United Arab Emirates will play host to the third selection event from 28 September to 1 October for the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia region.
A record six selection events will be held this year, giving as many drivers as possible the opportunity to participate. The dates for the final three selection events – North Eastern Europe, Americas and Asia-Pacific – will be announced shortly.
Applications for the selection events in Croatia and the United Arab Emirates open today (1 August) with nominations for the Sub-Saharan Africa region being accepted from Monday (4 August).
Drivers should apply to their National Sporting Authority (ASN), which will choose one candidate to put forward to the selection event. The winner from each selection event will be guaranteed a place on the Academy with a further four wild card places up for grabs.
The Academy is open to drivers aged 15-23 that have demonstrated ability and excellence in racing competition so far.
FIA President Jean Todt said: “This selection process ensures that every FIA member country has the opportunity to nominate a driver and I encourage them all to do so. Each Selection Event is like a training programme in itself so all drivers benefit regardless of whether they make it through to the main Academy programme.”
FIA Institute President Gerard Saillant added: “Last year we trained drivers from 75 different countries through our selection and training events. With an extra regional event added this year we hope that even more will profit from the process.”
The Academy itself will follow a similar format to previous years, with participants receiving a fully-funded training programme to help develop their motor sport careers, whilst increasing safety skills and promoting fairness and responsibility on and off the track. Two-time Le Mans winner and former F1 Driver Alex Wurz, alongside former World Rally Champion Robert Reid, will be on hand to provide expert tuition throughout.