The FIA Institute Young Drivers Excellence Academy Asia-Pacific Selection Event is underway in Sydney in a quest to uncover the best driver in the region.
Eleven drivers have gathered in the harbour city to find out if they have what it takes to make one of eight spots up for grabs in the FIA Institute Academy.
This is the fifth and final qualifying event across the world and is being hosted by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) on 20-23 October at Sydney Motorsport Park and is being powered by Mazda.
Each FIA National Sporting Authority (ASN) in the region was asked to put forward their nomination, which was then assessed by the FIA Institute. To qualify, drivers had to meet a set of minimum criteria, as well as having demonstrated strong performance in competition so far.
On the final shortlist are some of the top young drivers in motor racing and rallying across the Asia-Pacific region, including competitors from Australian Formula Ford, the Sri Lankan Supercross Championship and the V8 Challenge Cup Championship.
The drivers will undergo exercises designed to evaluate fitness, driving performance, media techniques, teamwork and psychology over three days.
The winner will receive a place on the Academy's training program.
One guaranteed winner will progress to the 2013/14 Young Driver Excellence Academy and a further three drivers will be selected using a wildcard system, making a total of eight participants in the final Academy group.
The next Academy, which will begin in December, provides a training program 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.
CAMS President Andrew Papadopoulos urged all the drivers to make the most of their time at the Academy Selection Event.
“This is competition at its highest. It's competition for one of you to reach the top and go to the Academy in Europe, but it's also competition amongst yourselves.”
Papadopoulos said he is confident no matter who wins, all drivers will come away from this once in a lifetime opportunity with a better skill set to continue their motor sport careers.
The drivers for the Asia-Pacific Selection Event
|Anton de Pasquale
|Australian Formula Ford
|Hu An Zhu
|European F3 Open
|Formula Masters China Series
|JK Racing India Series (Formula BMW)
|2013 Motegi Endurance Championship
|Kazakhstan Auto Cross Championship
|Medarlo Emilio Rivera
|Philippine Touring Car Championship
|V8 Challenge Cup Championship
|Ju Won Seo
|Japan Kota SL Series DD2
|Damith Sanjay Weerasinghe
|Sri Lankan Supercross Championship
|Pro Racing Thailand Championship