The British Racing Drivers' Club has revealed the final four drivers to complete its 2009 Superstars young driver programme, with World Series by Renault aspirant Riki Christodoulou joining cousin Adam, sportscar convert Andy Meyrick and FRenault stand-out Dean Stoneman among the additions.
The quartet's inclusion marks a minor alteration to the programme for the coming year, with the BRDC admitting that it proved difficult to adhere to its previous policy of only allowing a dozen drivers onto the scheme.
“It was simply impossible to settle on just twelve drivers for 2009,” commented initiative director Tim Harvey, “There is such a wealth of British talent out there at the moment, we could not leave any of our chosen drivers off the programme. Besides, I have never been superstitious, so 13 will present no problem for me!”
The scheme, now in its second year, will support young drivers from a cross-section of racing disciplines and championships, ranging from the heights of F2 in single-seaters through the lower ranks and over to British Touring Cars, Le Mans and the various GT series.
Riki Christodoulou is currently evaluating options in both the World Series and F3, having joined this week's Barcelona test in the former after setting the pace at the first British F3 group test of the season at Snetterton last month. Cousin Adam joins the Superstars programme following his Formula Renault UK championship win in 2008, but looks set to ply his trade on the other side of the Atlantic this season, having committed himself to the US-based Star Mazda Championship after winning the opening round at Sebring on 20 March.
F3 National Class race winner Meyrick will step up to the highly-competitive Le Mans Series this year, having landed a plum seat following a successful test for the new Team Kolles Audi LMP squad. The 23-year old, who was looking likely to win the British F3 National Class before being forced to pull out with a serious illness last season,has been confirmed for the entire five-race LMS campaign, starting in Barcelona this weekend.
By contrast, Alpine Motorsport's Stoneman will continue to race for his family-run outfit in FRenault UK, where he looks set to upset the establishment once again having set the early pace in all four sessions of the first official group test at Rockingham. Now in his second season after winning the Graduate Cup last year, the 18-year old claimed the fastest time of the two-day session, and is joint title favourite with Fortec Motorsport driver - and fellow BRDC Superstar - James Calado.
The Christodoulous, Meyrick and Stoneman join the previous nine drivers announced by the BRDC, including Calado, Jonathan Adam, Wayne Boyd, Sean Edwards, Stuart Hall, Andrew Jordan, Jason Moore, Alexander Sims and Oliver Turvey.
“I am very much looking forward to commencing our second year of support for young British drivers and to developing the initiative even further," Harvey concluded, "As announced previously, each of the Superstars will continue to receive direct assistance in all aspects of professional motor sport. This includes help with physical
and mental training, career guidance, team building skills, marketing advice, access to industry seminars and workshops with BRDC Members and other influential people
Boyd, Hall, Jordan and Sims are all also involved with the MSA British race Elite scheme, underlining their talent, while others have been finalists in the McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award.