Ferreira Earns Seat In Young Driver Academy
PUEBLA, Mexico – After an intensive three days of tests and evaluations at the Autódromo Miguel E. Abed in Mexico, 19-year old Venezuelan Diego Ferreira has earned selection to the FIA Institute’s 2013/14 Young Driver Excellence Academy.
Ferreira won his place on the fully-funded Academy program after demonstrating his ability on the track as well as his fitness and understanding of safety matters.
There were three judges on the selection panel – Gus Glover, representing the FIA Institute, Norbert Filippits, representing Academy training partner TTI, and Memo Rojas, representing event host Organizacion Mexicana Del Deporte Automovilistico Internacional (OMDAI).
Ferreira, who currently drives in the U.S.-based Pro Mazda Championship, now has the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of previous participants in the Academy who have gone on to drive in Formula One and World Rally.
“I’m really proud to have been selected to represent, not only Venezuela, but the Americas in the FIA Institute’s Young Driver Excellence Academy,” said Ferreira. “The competition was really tough and the other drivers pushed really hard. Even during the selection I felt I was learning a lot and I can’t wait to start on the full Academy program.”
“My congratulations go out to Diego,” said OMDAI President Jose Abed. “It is certainly an achievement to be selected as the best young driver from the Americas, which also comes as a result of his focus, determination, perseverance, effort and earnest and hard work.
“OMDAI is proud to have hosted the Americas selection event and having spoken to the drivers I feel that all of them benefited from the event even if they did not win. The success of the event was made possible, in part, by the effort and hard work OMDAI has been investing in education, through OMDAI Institute’s Roger Peart Driving School.”
On the final day of the selection event the 12 drivers were whittled down to six, who competed in a shoot-out on track. They were Edson Martins Coelho Jr. (18, Brazil), Mauricio Hernandez (18, Costa Rica), Juan Diego Hernàndez Leiva (17, Guatemala), Jorge Cevallos (19, Mexico), Skylar Robinson (17, USA) and Ferreira.
Ultimately, the choice of the Ferreira as the regional winner was based not only on the shoot-out result but on all-round skills displayed over the three days. He now joins Lithuania’s Ignas Gelzinis, Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Bamogaddam and South Africa’s Kevin van der Linde on the Academy program. They in turn will join the winner of the Asia-Pacific selection event taking place next week and three additional wild card entries to form the eight of the Academy.
Beginning in December, the next Academy provides a fully-funded 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.