GP2 Series frontrunner and multiple junior championship winner Carlin has launched its own development academy for young drivers wishing to make the next step in single-seater racing.
The Carlin Academy will focus on engaging, teaching and developing drivers in both a classroom and on-track environment – giving them the skills they need to progress through the motorsport ranks – with a permanent base at the renowned test track at Pembrey.
Boasting an unrivalled pedigree throughout the junior formulae, Carlin has already played a key part in nurturing the careers of many high-calibre drivers, including multiple F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
The Academy has been set up with the help of former single-seater racer, now Eurosport
commentator, Tom Gaymor, who will head up the scheme, which aims to school young drivers looking to make the jump from karting to their first full season within motorsport.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for drivers to learn as much as they possibly can during the time that they spend with us,” Gaymor said, “Our aim is to take a young driver and deliver to them the necessary learning programmes in order to support them at being as good as they can possibly be.
“Having the Academy within Carlin means that we are able to welcome these young drivers into the Carlin family from a younger age and allow them to work closely with engineers, develop relationships and skills to take them further; giving them long term development and stability which will in turn provide a great platform for high performance.”
The majority of Carlin's hot-shoes cut their teeth and conducted much of their formative development at Pembrey - F1 runners Jean-Eric Vergne, Max Chilton, Daniil Kvyat and Kevin Magnussen all spent many hours at the home of Welsh motorsport - and that collaboration is now set to intensify as the team places its faith in the Carmarthenshire circuit to help it hone the motorsport heroes of the future.
“I'm delighted that Carlin has chosen to set up its Academy at Pembrey,” circuit manager Phil Davies remarked, “We have a long association with Trevor Carlin and his team through their permanent facility here, and are confident we can help to produce many more world-class drivers together. It's a great coup for the circuit and I'm sure will prove to be an extremely beneficial partnership for both sides.
“Over the years, so many leading teams have tested at Pembrey. The nature of the circuit truly brings out the best of people's driving ability. It's quite technical, meaning it requires a substantial degree of driver input over the 1.5-mile lap, whilst also placing a high priority on physical fitness. There is so much here that relates to a lot of other tracks, and as such, it is an ideal training circuit.”
Running alongside education commitments, the Carlin programme aims to provide a solid foundation for young drivers to develop in their driving skills, fitness and importantly their mental ability within a classroom environment. While focusing on both the technical and tactical breakdown of the skill sets required to deliver good performance, the Carlin Academy will also pay attention to a drivers' communication and ownership abilities.
Lessons will include brake and steering training with Carlin engineer Stefan de Groot, together with a structured simulator programme. As the drivers develop, there will also be bespoke track sessions at Pembrey, where the drivers will have the opportunity to take to the circuit in order to hone their new found skills with a range of Carlin engineers and mechanics guiding them through the process.
With Pembrey having been granted its FIA track licence to allow it to continue hosting international testing, Trevor Carlin is enthusiastic about the potential of the new joint project.
“We're pleased to have this exciting Academy within the Carlin fold,” he stated, “The motorsport industry can be quite daunting, but the aim of the Academy is to assist and equip young drivers with the skills they need to step into single-seaters. We hope this will be something that produces some great talents over the coming years.”