Aston Martin Racing has named its latest AMR Driver Academy graduate Romain Leroux. The 20-year-old Parisian joins a growing list of Aston Martin star graduates, including IMSA GTD Pro front-runner Ross Gunn, reigning IMSA GTD champion Roman De Angelis, and works driver Valentin Hasse Clot and former British GT4 champion Tom Canning.
Leroux, the 2021 FFSA GT4 champion and a runner-up in last year’s ADAC GT4 series, stood out among the 22 candidates in 2022 for his extraordinary consistency in all categories and his attitude towards the Academy processes, as well as his willingness to mentor other younger and less experienced AMR Academy drivers.
The Frenchman now steps up to the Vantage GT3 in 2023, racing alongside two of this year’s AMR Academy candidates, Jacob Riegel (DEU) and Jeff Kingsley (USA), in BULLITT Racing’s new GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup programme.
Leroux said of his AMR Academy graduation: “I am honoured to be recognised by Aston Martin for my success over the past two seasons. My objective when I enrolled in the AMR Academy in 2021 was establishing a relationship with a manufacturer. Being named the 2022 AMR Academy winner is a significant achievement that reflects my hard work and improvement as a driver.
I look forward to building on this with the Vantage GT3 this season.”
Aston Martin Racing has also announced this year’s candidates for the annual initiative to fast-track talent from within its thriving partner team network. It is a way for AMR to contribute back to motorsport by investing in and honing future skills.
A unique and unrivalled platform for learning and development with an established manufacturer, this critical initiative is fine-tuned every year and improved to coach drivers in the early stages of their careers effectively. Competitors aged between 17 and 26 with Vantage GT3 and GT4 race programmes in recognised championships are eligible.
The prize on offer for the successful graduate includes financial support towards their 2024 race programme, as well as assistance and guidance from the factory tailored to their season plans. Further evaluation of the most outstanding candidates may also include a test in a Vantage GT3 at the end of the 2023 season.
The candidates benefit from a three-day seminar that includes media training with FIA World Endurance Championship commentator Louise Beckett, simulator training at Base Performance, a DNAFit assessment including a bespoke training programme and nutrition plan, Aston Martin Racing in-house commercial training and a factory-based engineering workshop to further their understanding of how to competitively set-up Vantage.
The judging panel, which includes three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner and 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona GTD class champion Darren Turner (GB), four-times British GT champion Jonny Adam, former Academy winner and works driver Valentin Hasse Clot, AMR Head of Performance Gus Beteli and Head of AMR Partner Racing Huw Tasker, will evaluate each drivers’ ability to manage the strategic, teamwork, commercial and public relations aspects of their role. Finally, the outstanding candidate will demonstrate the most potential to develop their talent for the future.
Huw Tasker, AMR Head of Partner Racing, said: “We are delighted for Romain, who has produced two outstanding seasons of racing in Vantage and has shown all the qualities and characteristics that made his predecessors stand out as AMR Driver Academy graduates – and we’re certain that he will continue to flourish as a driver within our ranks through 2023 and beyond. As a mechanism for assessing and identifying outstanding talent within our partner ranks, the AMR Driver Academy remains instructive and essential. Looking at the list of candidates lined up for 2023, we’re certain that tradition is set to continue.”
2023 Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy Candidates
|Hugo Bac (FRA)||AGS Events||GT4 European Series||GT4|
|Florian Briche (FRA)||JSB||GT4 European Series||GT4|
|Jessica Backman (SWE)
Vincent Bouteiller (FRA)
GT4 European Series
|Jamie Day (GBR)||Mirage Racing||GT4 European Series||GT4|
|Alex Denning (IRL)||Newbridge Racing||GT4 European Series||GT4|
|Email Heyerdahl (NOR)||Mirage Racing||GT4 European Series||GT4|
|Seb Hopkins (GBR)||R-Racing||British GT||GT4|
|Jeff Kingsley (CAN)||BULLITT Racing||GTWC Europe||GT3|
|David Kullman (CHE)||Mirage Racing||FFSA GT4||GT4|
|Konstantin Lachenauer (CHE)||Racing Spirit of Léman||GT4 European Series||GT4|
|Giovanni Maschio (ITA)
Josh Miller (GBR)
|Mike David Ortmann (DEU)||PROsport||NLS||GT3|
|Jacob Riegel (DEU)||Bullitt Racing||GTWC Europe||GT3|
|Maxime Robin (FRA)||TF Sport||European Le Mans||GTE|
|Ruben del Sarte (FRA)||Mirage Racing||GT4 European Series||GT4|
|Hugo Sasse (DEU)||PROsport||NLS||GT3|
|Kajus Siksnelis (LIT)||GPA||GT4 European Series||GT4|
|Rory van der Steur (USA)||Van der Steur Racing||IMPC||GT4|
|Casper Stevenson (GBR)||TF Sport||FIA WEC||GTE|
|Ben Tuck (GBR)||TF Sport||European Le Mans||GTE|
|Matteo Villagomez (COL)||Racing Spirit of Léman||FFSA GT4||GT4|
|Victor Weyrich (FRA)||Racing Spirit of Léman||GT4 European Series||GT4|
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