The Young Drivers Program, established in 2014, was the first of the four talent programs created by Lamborghini Squadra Corse to give young drivers the opportunity to build a career in Motorsport. Now in its fourth edition, the Young Drivers Program is the “scholarship” for drivers (aged 17-26) already racing in the Super Trofeo one-make series in Europe, Asia and North America.
After examining the potential members to be included in the 2017 program during winter tests and the first races of the three continental series of the Super Trofeo, Lamborghini Squadra Corse has selected the 23 participants who will take part in the 2017 edition. Some drivers of the past edition have been reconfirmed, such as Ben Gersekowski, Loris Spinelli, Nicolas Costa, Bar Baruch and Rik Breukers.
Some others have been promoted and have gained access to the upper level, the GT3 Junior Program, starting from the 2016 Super Trofeo world champion, Dennis Lind.
Many, instead, are the new entries who are going to become part of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse family: for example the young drivers who emerged during the winter in the new Super Trofeo Middle East series, such as the champion of the series Axcil Jefferies, the German Carrie Schreiner and her teammates Jack Bartholomew and Richard Goddard, to continue with the promising Jonathan Cecotto, Kikko Galbiati, Mikael Grenier, Jan Kisiel, Christopher Dreyspring and Yuki Nemoto, who are demonstrating their potential in the Super Trofeo Europe. Brandon Gdovic and Trent Hindman are instead standing out in the North American series.
Here is the complete member list of the 2017 Young Drivers Program of Lamborghini Squadra Corse.
Alex Jia Tong Liang
Young Drivers’ activities during the Super Trofeo weekends
Being a member of the Young Drivers Program of Lamborghini Squadra Corse means having access to a wide range of professional growth opportunities. During every round of the Super Trofeo, for example, the young drivers are assisted on track by a new staff specifically set up by Lamborghini Squadra Corse for this season: Raffaele Giammaria, director of the Federal School ACI Sport, is the new supervisor of the youth programs of the Motorsport department. The experienced Italian driver, together with the Federal School instructors, has the task of teaching all the necessary know-how to young drivers. Before each race, drivers receive a dossier specifically prepared to inform them about the sporting regulations and race track. Over the weekend, they attend meetings to discuss the course of free practice and qualifying sessions and another fixture is the track walk, i.e. a walk on track to discover, centimeter by centimeter, all the secrets of the circuit where they are going to race.
After each round, drivers are required to compile a report, identical to that written by the Lamborghini Factory Drivers, in which everyone makes a technical and personal account of the race weekend, to look for any minimum improvement margin for the following races.
Training camp in Imola and Sant’Agata Bolognese
But the most important events are the training camps organized by Lamborghini Squadra Corse throughout the year, namely specific sessions involving both the drivers of the Young Drivers Program and those of the GT3 Junior Program. The sessions take place in Imola and Sant’Agata Bolognese in June and September, with three days of full immersion in the Lamborghini world. In the factory, the drivers have the opportunity to get to know the brand, by visiting the production lines, the museum and the various departments. The Imola circuit is where training takes place: the young drivers have the opportunity to participate in test sessions and in the development of Huracán Super Trofeos and GT3s, together with the engineers of Lamborghini Squadra Corse and Pirelli. By driving cars on track for development purposes and not for competing, drivers can sharpen their sensitivity and learn how to best communicate their sensations to race engineers, which is a crucial aspect in the training of drivers.
Then there is athletic preparation, under the supervision of performance coaches specialized in Motorsport, who have the task of monitoring and improving the drivers’ physical preparation through targeted training sessions. Lastly, there is also theory, with classroom sessions about communication, behavioral notions, racecar engineering and Lamborghini road cars. In this way, drivers can become complete professionals.
Certified Lamborghini Accademia instructors
One of the opportunities offered to youth program drivers is to become instructor drivers of the Lamborghini Accademia, the official driving school open not only to Lamborghini customers but also to all enthusiasts. Those who prove to have the right attitude to carry out this parallel activity are further trained to practice this profession, which is different from being a professional driver. To increase the quality of its services, Lamborghini Squadra Corse obtained the certification of all its Accademia drivers/instructors through a practical and theoretical training course held in Vallelunga at the Federal School ACI Sport last January.
Lamborghini Squadra Corse certified Tüv ISO 9001
Since the beginning of 2017, Lamborghini Squadra Corse, the Motorsport department of Automobili Lamborghini, has been certified ISO 9001. To award this certification, the TÜV Italia team verified the certification, development, manufacturing and assistance processes of race cars as well as the organizational and management aspects of competitions during sporting events on European tracks.
By handing in the certification to Stefano Domenicali, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Automobili Lamborghini, the Managing Director of TÜV Italia, Oliver Jacob, wanted to emphasize how Lamborghini Squadra Corse dealt with the complexity of this certification with a high level of commitment, a characteristic of the sporting tradition of Automobili Lamborghini.
Photo Courtesy: (Jamey Price Photography)
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