Force India announce driver academy winners 28 Oct 2011
Force India have revealed the winners of their driver academy search. The team launched their One from a Billion Hunt back in April to find and support young Indian talent. Following regional and then national finals, the remaining ten participants were whittled down to three at a grand finale at Silverstone last week.
Fourteen year-old Arjun Maini from Bangalore was chosen as the winner, while Chennai-born Tarun Reddy, also 14, took the first runner-up slot. The second runner-up slot was claimed by 13 year-old Jehan Daruvala from Mumbai.
The trio were selected by an expert panel which included Force India deputy team principal, Robert Fernley, former team boss Eddie Jordan, Lewis Hamilton's father Anthony Hamilton and Force India reserve Nico Hulkenberg.
We have discovered three extremely talented participants during the Silverstone finals of the One from a Billion Hunt, explained team principal Dr Vijay Mallya. We are delighted with the response the programme has received up to now and we wish the winners all the very best.
Through the Sahara Force India Formula One Team Academy, we look forward to helping nurture and groom this young talent while providing them with the necessary skills required to be future Formula One drivers for the Sahara Force India Formula One Team.
The Silverstone grand finale saw the ten finalists complete a week-long intensive stint at the British track. They completed sessions of driver tuition on Dmax Karts, a day at the Porsche Human Performance Centre to assess and develop fitness for motorsports, and media training with Goodman Media. They then completed their experience with a race in Senior Dmax karts at the Daytona Kart Circuit in Milton Keynes.
The top three were very close in the race for the championship and I have decided that all three will be sent to Europe for a comprehensive driver development programme, concluded Mallya. The decision to be taken in consultation with their parents will ensure their education, lodging and training by Sahara Force India.
Maini, Reddy and Daravala will receive a fully-funded European-based driver programme preparing them to become Formula One drivers. They will commence their journey with a go-karting programme in Europe. It is hoped they will then advance to an appropriate single-seater Formula series before progressing to GP3, GP2 and then finally Formula One racing.
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