2019 Youngster Programs: Lamborghini Squadra Corse seeks new talent – best drivers will participate in a Shoot-out in Vallelunga at the end of September
Lamborghini Squadra Corse confirms its continued commitment to supporting global young driver talent, by announcing the line-up of drivers selected for its 2019 Youngster Programs. Since 2014, Automobili Lamborghini’s Motorsport Division has supported the professional growth of the most promising drivers with two different projects: the Young Drivers Program and the GT3 Junior Program.
The Young Drivers Program is dedicated to drivers under 26 engaged in each of the four Lamborghini Super Trofeo championships held globally; the GT3 Junior Program is the next step, reserved to drivers racing in the GT championships worldwide behind the wheel of the Huracán GT3 Evo. The meteoric career progression of Lamborghini driver Dennis Lind demonstrates perfectly the opportunities offered by the Youngster Programs: in just three seasons he moved from the Young Driver to the GT3 Junior Program, and was then promoted to the role of Lamborghini Factory Driver for the 2019 season.
The selected drivers will be assessed throughout the season, under the watchful eye of Raffaele Giammaria, Head of the Squadra Corse training programs, and his team. The most impressive drivers within the programs will be invited to participate in a final selection shoot-out held from 30 September through 2 October in Italy. And the drivers of each program who impress the selection panel the most during the three day evaluation, will go on to receive official support from Lamborghini Squadra Corse for the 2020 season.
Thirteen promising young drivers from all over the World, have been selected from the four Super Trofeo championships to participate in the Young Driver Program. Seven drivers come from Super Trofeo Europe, including Jack Bartholomew (Bonaldi Motorsport), second place in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia 2018, along with Kikko Galbiati and teammate Bartosz Paziewski (Imperiale Racing) and Davide Venditti (Target Racing). Joining them are newcomers Dennis Kroes, Stuart Middleton (both driving for Bonaldi motorsport) and Anthony Lambert (Leipert Motorsport).
Four drivers were selected from Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia: Well-known Australian driver, Richard Muscat (GDL Racing) returns for 2019, along with 2018 Super Trofeo Asia Pro-Am Class Champion, Juuso Puhakka (FFF Racing Team). The roster is completed by Taiwan’s Evan Chen (Gama Racing), already having bagged two victories in the Asian one-make championship for 2019, as well as Kiwi hotshot and Super Trofeo Asia newcomer Brendon Leitch (Leipert Motorsport). Two young drivers were selected from the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America: first-timer Jake Eidson and Patrick Liddy (both from US RaceTronics), in his second season in the American championship.
Drivers showing the highest levels of around talent and professionalism throughout the season will be invited to participate in the tests. During the shootout their skills will be assessed not only on-track, but also during challenging sessions to evaluate their psycho-physical status as well as during workshops on motorsport communication. The best all round contender will enjoy the 2020 season behind the wheel of a Huracán GT3 placed in a team Supported By Lamborghini Squadra Corse, as well as direct access to the GT3 Junior Program, following the path of Giacomo Altoè, who won the 2018 Young Driver Program, as well as becoming 2018 Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Champion, and is now officially supported by Lamborghini Squadra Corse on Team Emil Frey Racing in the GT-Open Championship.
In the GT3 Junior Program, twenty one drivers were selected: in addition to the already mentioned Giacomo Altoè, the group includes Corey Lewis, winner of the 2018 12 Hours of Sebring in the Huracán GT3 of Paul Miller Racing. Stepping up to GT3 means that the assessment criteria are even more rigorous and selective than the Young Driver Program for the hopeful GT3 drivers, and the prize up for grabs is one of the most sought-after: the opportunity to become a fully-fledged Lamborghini Factory Driver.
Giacomo Altoé (Italy) – Emil Frey Racing – GT Open
Michele Beretta (Italy) – FFF Racing Team – Blancpain GT Series
Daniele Cazzaniga (Italy) – LP Racing – GT Italiano
Riccardo Cazzaniga (Italy) – LP Racing – GT Italiano
Alberto Di Folco (Italy) – Raton Racing by Target – GT Open
Alex Frassineti (Italy) – Imperiale Racing – GT Italiano
Brandon Gdovic (USA) – Precision Performance Motorsports, PPM – IMSA
Ben Gersekowski (Australia) – Imperiale Racing – GT Italiano
Alex Jiatong (China) – Raton Racing by Target – GT Open
Corey Lewis (USA) – Paul Miller Racing – IMSA
Kang Ling (China) – Vincenzo Sospiri Racing – GT Open e GT Italiano
Lucas Mauron (Switzerland) – GRT Grasser Racing Team – Blancpain GT Series
Diego Menchaca (Mexico) – FFF Racing Team – Blancpain GT Series
Sandy Mitchell (UK) – Barwell Motorsport – Blancpain GT Series
Jeroen Mul (Netherlands) – Imperiale Racing – GT Italiano
Nicholas Pohler (Germany) – Lazarus Racing – Blancpain GT Series
Taylor Proto (UK) – FFF Racing Team – Blancpain GT Series
James Pull (UK) – Barwell Motorsport – Blancpain GT Series
Najiy Razak (Malaysia) – Ombra Racing – GT Open
Frederick Shandorff (Denmark) – Vincenzo Sospiri Racing – GT Open
Tuomas Tujula (Finland) – Vincenzo Sospiri Racing – GT Italiano