Jason Plato has revealed the two drivers who will be part of the new KX Akademy for the remainder of the current season.
The programme launched at Oulton Park earlier this month sets out to support individuals who have already demonstrated their skill, determination, focus and display the raw talent and single-mindedness that is a pre-requisite in motorsport but lack the necessary funding and support.
Having looked at various drivers in different series, the pair chosen for 2012 are Ginetta GT Supercup front-runner Tom Ingram and Clio Cup racer Stefan Hodgetts who will now benefit from Akademy backing for the remainder of the season.
“Selecting two candidates for the remainder of this season has been incredibly tough,” Plato said. “There were a fair few drivers that we were interested in but ultimately after some lengthy debates and rigorous interviews we decided upon these two.
“Tom and Stefan are very different characters and each bring something unique to the KX Akademy but they both share one thing; namely talent. That said there is much for them to learn not just to improve their driving ability but more importantly their ability to create a paying-career and seamlessly move between racing-driver and commercial and astute businessmen.”
Ingram said he was delighted to secure his place on the new programme.
“It's a tremendous privilege and honour and an absolutely fantastic opportunity to be selected for the KX Akademy,” the 18-year-old said. “To be mentored by somebody as successful and experienced as Jason Plato – one of the true touring car greats – really is something money can't buy, and I know I will learn so much from his expertise.
“It will boost my profile tenfold, and it means we've now got the funding to see out the rest of the season; that is a huge weight off our minds, because despite the excellent support we've had from SKYCIG and Hansford Sensors this year, it was still very uncertain as to whether we would get through to the end of the championship.
“With the KX Akademy behind me, I can relax and concentrate fully on what I'm there to do – which is to drive a racing car and focus on winning the 2012 Ginetta GT Supercup!”