Aston Martin Racing have set up a new young driver programme with the ambition to sign a hotshot for a factory drive in the World Endurance Championship for 2016.

The programme will be known as the Evolution Academy and operate from Aston Martin's Banbury base. The academy is open to drivers aged 17-25 competing for Aston Martin Racing this season, with a maximum of 10 youngster being chosen.

The plan is to produce and support the future driving talents and help them maintain a lengthy motorsport career.

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Team Principal John Gaw pointed to Aston Martin's recent success in young drivers and hopes the academy will continue this work.

"We've been very supportive of young drivers at Aston Martin Racing for several years now," Gaw said. "We had seven young drivers in our team at Spa 24 Hours last year and have signed two young drivers to our works team for the past two years."

"However, this is the first time we have offered a full programme designed specifically to develop some of the sport's top upcoming stars, focusing not just on on-track activities but all areas required to become a successful driver with a long and lucrative career."