MSA Team UK drivers Alex Lynn and Lewis Williamson have been selected to join the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy, following a four-day selection event in Austria last week.Lynn and Williamson were nominated by the Motor Sports Association to compete with 26 drivers from 25 countries in a gruelling series of physical and mental aptitude tests, culminating in an on-track shootout to secure one of 18 places available on the FIA Institute-backed programme.
Lynn, aged 18 from Essex, has dominated Formula Renault UK this year, taking a record 12 race victories and the championship title. Williamson, aged 21 from Sutherland, won the McLaren Autosport Award in 2010 and this year progressed into the GP3 Series, winning the British Grand Prix support race at Silverstone in July.
Lynn said: "It was a rigorous and intensive four days of training and competition in Austria, so it was a real achievement to be chosen to join the programme. It was great to spend time with some of the world’s best young drivers and I am very much looking forward to working with them next year and moving my career forwards.”
Williamson said: “Just being nominated by the MSA and then chosen to go to Austria was a great achievement, but being picked for the final 18 is the next step on the ladder for me. Whatever category I move into it will be important to be strong in all areas, not just behind the wheel, and this is a massive opportunity to build on what I’ve learnt on Team UK and to develop my career as a racing driver.”
MSA Chief Executive Colin Hilton said: “I’m delighted for Alex and Lewis, whose selection for the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy is testament to the success of MSA Team UK in equipping our young drivers with the knowledge and skills they need to develop into world-class athletes.”
The 18 drivers selected for the FIA programme are (in alphabetical order):
Mohamed Al Mutawaa, 18, UAE Klaus Bachler, 20, Austria Andrea Bate, 22, South Africa Craig Breen, 21, Ireland Andrea Caldarelli, 21, Italy Gabriel Chaves, 18, Columbia Jonas Gelzinis, 23, Lithuania Michael Klitgaard Christensen, 21, Denmark Jack Le Brocq, 19, Australia Michael Lewis, 20, USA Alexander Lynn, 18, UK Jose Andres Montalto, 21, Costa Rica Ramon Pineiro, 19, Spain Brendan Reeves, 23, AustraliaPontus Tidemand, 20, Sweden Timo van der Marel, 22, Holland Sepp Wiegand, 20, Germany Lewis Williamson, 21, UK
Overseen by Performance Managers Alex Wurz, a former F1 driver, and Robert Reid, the 2001 World Rally Champion co-driver, the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy is designed to prepare young drivers to compete at the pinnacle of the sport, to increase skills in the area of driver and road safety, and to actively promote the principles of safety, fairness and responsibility both on and off the track.
Over the next year the drivers will attend a series of workshops covering all aspects of driver performance and safety. The driving elements of the course include the development of technical skills, safety training, attitudes and awareness. The human performance aspect will feature physiology, psychology, nutrition, media skills and career management.