Former British Touring Car Champion Tim Harvey has formally introduced the 13 single-seater, touring car and sportscar drivers who will make up the British Racing Drivers' Club's 2009 Superstars programme – or, as he refers to them, the 'Dirty Dozen'.
BRDC Superstars – cultivated out of the high-profile BRDC Rising Star programme and designed to unearth and nurture the most exciting young motor racing talent in the country – has been in existence since 2008, and in its inaugural year produced a brace of national champions (Wayne Boyd in Formula Ford UK and Jonny Adam in the SEAT Cupra Cup UK), two vice-champions (Mat Jackson in the BTCC and Oliver Turvey in British F3) and a whole host of fellow race-winners.
Following on from that success – which saw drivers supported in categories ranging from Formula Ford all the way to GP2 and from Le Mans to the BTCC – eight new up-and-coming stars have been selected to join five who remain on the scheme, representing series' from the BTCC to the newly-resurrected FIA Formula 2 Championship.
“It's a pleasure to be part of the programme looking after a great crop of young drivers,” enthused BRDC Superstars Director Harvey. “These guys are a part of the future of the BRDC, and the extent of the wealth of knowledge among the club membership is invaluable to them.
“Unless drivers show that they really want to be part of this and are willing to give it their all, there is really no point in them being here. All the drivers we have chosen deserve to be here. The whole thing is something we really feel very strongly and passionately about.”
The 1992 tin-top king was keen to point out that the disappearance of nine of the 2008 class was in no way a reflection on their on-track performance, explaining that the drivers no longer a part of the scheme had simply got as far as they could under the Superstars umbrella.
For those who are on-board in 2009, there will be physical and mental training, career guidance, team-building skills, sponsorship advice, media and sales training, PR and marketing, motorsport seminars and workshops with BRDC members. What's more, the prestigious BRDC badge lends added prestige and kudos to their portfolios, marking them out as the very cream of the current young crop in the UK.
The complete line-up of 2009 BRDC Superstars constitutes BTCC newcomer Jonny Adam and series sophomore Andrew Jordan, British F3 rookies Wayne Boyd and Riki Christodoulou, F3 Euroseries debutant Alexander Sims, Formula Two contender Jason Moore, World Series by Renault front-runner Oliver Turvey, Formula Renault UK challengers James Calado and Dean Stoneman, Star Mazda Championship race-winner Adam Christodoulou and sportscar aces Sean Edwards (Porsche Supercup), Stuart Hall (British GT Championship) and Andy Meyrick (Le Mans Series).
“Last year in Formula Ford went really well,” enthused Ulsterman Boyd, “and we pretty much dominated. I then had to raise my game to win the Formula Ford Festival. I got the chance to do British Formula 3, so I jumped at it. I've had limited testing and it hasn't been easy to jump from Formula Ford to Formula 3, but it'll be good to race here at Silverstone this weekend and see if I can get a couple of podiums.”