A bunch of Australian karters make up the majority of the 24 young drivers heading to the Sepang International Circuit, trying out for a place in the Ferrari Driver Academy.
The three day event in Malaysia is the Asia Pacific and Oceania regional selection program for the 2022 Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA). The 24 fourteen to seventeen-year-olds were selected from a pool of more than 60 applicants and will be evaluated on their driving, fitness and media skills.
From there, up to two of them may be selected to attend the FDA’s Scouting World Finals in Maranello, where they will go up against drivers from other regions in a bid for a potential place in the FDA for 2023.
For this year, Motorsport Australia ran the Asia Pacific and Oceania regional selection program. Seven countries are represented, namely drivers from Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan.
“A big congratulations to all 24 drivers for being selected for this year’s FDA Asia Pacific and Oceania regional selection program, which is a massive achievement in itself,” said Michael Smith, Motorsport Australia’s Director of Motorsport & Commercial Operations.
“We are thrilled with the huge amount of interest shown in the application process and I feel there is very little in it with all 24 drivers a good chance of progressing through to the next phase.”
There are a couple of familiar names on the list (see below) with last year’s two winners of the Asia Pacific and Oceania regional selection program, Costa Toparis and Jesse Lacey, both entered again.
Although Lacey ended up attending Maranello last year to compete in the Scouting World Finals, Toparis was unable to go due to Australia’s border restrictions. Both enter this year’s regional selection program having gained a lot more experience in a Formula 4 car in the past 12 months.
Another driver of note is the youngest of the 24, Lincoln Taylor. The just-turned 14-year-old enters the program having also been named as one of two new drivers for Indigenous youth motorsport program, Racing Together.
Hailing from Queensland, Taylor, whose family is from the Kooma people of St George, has enjoyed a stellar karting career thus far with his most recent success being in the opening round of the 2020 Australian Kart Championship in the Cadet 12 Class.
The FDA’s Asia Pacific and Oceania regional selection program takes place Sepang International Circuit on 26-28 September.
Ruhaan Alva – India
Hayden Bakkerus – New Zealand
Jack Beeton – Australia
Akshay Bohra – Singapore
Jarrad Bottomly – Australia
Christian Cowie – Australia
Alex Crosbie – New Zealand
Hayden Crossland – Australia
Christian Estay – Australia
Anshul Gandhi – India
Alex Gardner – Australia
Patrick Heuzenroeder – Australia
Zarah Horn – Australia
Kristian Janev – Australia
Gael Julien – Indonesia
Jesse Lacey – Australia
Max Mason – Australia
Chase Parks – Thailand
James Piszcyk – Australia
Gianmarco Pradel – Australia
Beau Russell – Australia
Ryuma Sako – Japan
Lincoln Taylor – Australia
Costa Toparis – Australia