Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

Newgarden and Rossi make FIA Academy shortlist

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted January 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm open wheel racing news

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) announced the names of 19 finalists for the inaugural Young Driver Excellence Academy.

The international program, which is led by ex-Formula 1 driver Alex Wurz and 2001 World Rally champion co-driver Robert Reid, is designed to offer additional support for today’s up-and-coming drivers.



The whittled-down list contains two Americans, both GP3 drivers: Alexander Rossi, 19, and Josef Newgarden, 20. The Netherlands and France are the only other countries to have two drivers named on the list.

After a three-day shootout, 10 of the 19 finalists will be chosen to take part in the academy. During the event, drivers will be evaluated on in-car performance, fitness, media relations, teamwork and psychology.

The average age of the finalists is just under 20-years old (19.895 years).

The list is fairly diverse, although three drivers were chosen from the Formula 4 Eurocup 1.6 championship – formerly known as the Formula Renault Campus France. None of the finalists are from the sports car ranks, all were chosen from a rally or open-wheel background. Not surprising, perhaps, when you look at who’s heading the program.

The full list of 19 drivers after the jump…

Drivers chosen for FIA Excellence Academy Shootout

Kevin Abbring, 21, Netherlands – WRC, IRC
Hamad Ahmed Al Fardan, 23, Bahrain – Formula BMW Asia
Paul-Loup Chatin, 19, France – Formula 4 Eurocup 1.6
Albert Costa, 20, Spain – World Series by Renault
Alon Day, 19, Israel – German F3
Philipp Eng, 20, Austria – FIA Formula 2
Robin Frijns, 19, Netherlands – Formula BMW Europe
Adam Gould, 23, UK – British Rally Championship
Timmy Hansen, 18, Sweden – Formula BMW Europe
Egon Kaur, 23, Estonia – Estonian Rally
Andreas Mikkelsen, 21, Norway – IRC
Josef Newgarden, 20, USA – GP3
Norman Nato, 18, France – Formula 4 Eurocup 1.6
Alexander Rossi, 19, USA – GP3
Jan Skala, 19,Czech Republic – Formula Renault
Richie Stanaway, 19, New Zealand – Formula Masters
Molly Taylor, 22, Australia – British Rally Championship
Stoffel Vandoorne, 18, Belgium – Formula 4 Eurocup 1.6
Joni Wiman, 17, Finland – Formula Masters


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