A new competition to find top unsung driver talent has no less a goal than launching the winner into a career in Formula One.
Grand Prix Shootout is seeking entrants who think they can demonstrate that they are the best up-and-coming driver in the world by going head to head with their contemporaries.
They will start by doing their stuff in a saloon car – with the earliest applicants having just taken part in assessments – and opportunities remain open until October.
The field will be slimmed down to 25 drivers who will get the chance to test a Formulino car with the Carlin Motorsport team. The ten most promising contestants will be invited to take part in the final round.
Staged over two days in November at the Pembrey racing circuit in Wales, and featuring cars prepared by Carlin, it will include driving challenges in the KTM X-Bow and a Dallara Formula 3 car.
The Grand Prix Shootout team say are looking for candidates scoring highly on the key skills of driving ability, communication, stamina, technical understanding, problem-solving and the ability to learn.
The winning driver will take part in a full season of racing with Carlin Motorsport in the Formula BMW Europe Championship in 2010, including salary, expenses a fitness programme with a F1 driver fitness specialist
According to the GPS website: “It is hoped that, towards the end of the season, our driver will have demonstrated that they are a future Formula 1 star.”
The organisation then plans to offer shares in the future career earnings of our driver – a model pioneered by F1 and IRL star Justin Wilson – to raise the necessary budget to take them to Formula 1. The company behind Wilson’s share issue will also manage this project.
British Formula 3 beckons for 2011, with a World Series by Renault season planned for 2012, both with Carlin Motorsport.
GPS says: “By then we hope to have a budget big enough to give our driver a foothold in Formula One, assuming they have impressed in the other formulas.”
Big names involved in the project include Peter Windsor, a respected team manager and motorsport journalist who has recently been involved in setting up the new US Grand Prix Engineering venture which is aiming for a 2010 entry into Formula One.
Rob Wilson, who has helped coach drivers at McLaren and Ferrari as well as selecting the entrants for Honda’s young driver programme, and Swift Europe boss Frank Bradley are also involved.
For more details, including information on how to enter, visit the project’s website at http://grandprixshootout.com/