New Delhi: Indian driver Akhil Rabindra earned himself a place in the FIA Institute Young Drivers Excellence Academy after passing an intensive three days of tests and evaluations at the FIA Institute Asia-Pacific Selection Event.
The 17-year-old Rabindra, who races in the JK Racing India Series (Formula BMW) won his place on the fully-funded Academy program after beating Petr Borodin from Kazakhstan and Mark Gibson from New Zealand in a three-way battle.
On the final day of the selection event the 12 drivers were whittled down to three and ultimately Rabindra was selected not only on the shoot-out result but on all-round skills displayed over the three days.
The event was hosted by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) and there were three judges on the selection panel with the Gus Glover from the FIA Institute, Academy Instructor Tony Turner and Lead Driving Instructor Cameron McConville.
"I am honoured to have been selected I would like to thank the FIA Institute, CAMS and my ASN The FMSCI for making this possible. I am looking forward to taking on the other drivers from across the world. The Academy should be great and I hope to lean a lot," Rabindra said.
FMSCI President Vicky Chandhok said,"This is a great initiative by the FIA to develop young drivers across the world. On behalf of the FMSCI, I would like to congratulate Akhil on winning the APAC selection, and wish him all the best in the Academy. There are so many young drivers with so much potential that the future of Indian motorsport looks promising."
Rabindra has joined Venezuelan Diego Ferreira who won the Americas region selection event, South Africa`s Kelvin Van der Linde as the winner of the African regional event, Lithuania`s Ignas Gelzinis, the winner of the European regional event, and Saudi Arabia`s Abdullah Bamogaddam, winner of the Middle East and Mediterranean event, on the Academy programme.
They in turn will join three additional wild card entries to form the eight of the Academy and training will begin in December.
The academy provides a fully-funded training programme which aims to help drivers develop their motor sport careers, whilst increasing safety skills and actively promoting the principles of safety, fairness and responsibility on and off the track.