YRDA Alumni 2019 Review

December 30, 2019

It has been a fantastic season for our alumni drivers with some throwing themselves into the spotlight of the Motorsport World. Our goal is to prepare drivers for these opportunities so they are able to excel once they get there. It has been great to see some our alumni making a name for themselves in 2019 and in this article we will summarise some of the stand out performances.

Ayrton Simmons named Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award finalist

Ayrton Simmons had a brilliant season racing in the BRDC British F3 Championship. In 24 races Ayrton scored three wins and ten podiums taking him to an impressive 3rd in the championship. After some strong performances in the F3 Asian Championship as well, Ayrton’s efforts were recognised as he was one of four finalists in this year’s Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award where battle it out for a career changing prize which includes a test in a Red Bull F1 car, £200,000 and a run in an Aston Martin GTE World Endurance Championship challenger.

Last year’s F3 Asian Champion was another former YRDA member, Raoul Hyman. Raoul has had an encouraging 2019 after signing with the Sauber Junior Team in the FIA F3 Championship finishing 22nd with a top ten at the season finale in Sochi.

Big steps forward for Olli Caldwell

Olli Caldwell continued his fast rise through the ranks as he graduated to the Formula Regional European Championship. The Prema Powerteam driver finished 5th in his debut season with a win and seven podiums along the way. His rapid adjustment to the F3 car would see him invited to the official FIA F3 test in Valencia with Trident. Having quickly got up to speed Olli would join the Italian team at the 66th Macau Grand Prix showing top ten pace.

Also racing in the Formula Regional European Championship was another one of our alumni drivers Dan Ticktum. Dan has had a busy year racing all around the World and even fulfilling test duties with the Red Bull F1 Team.

Ross Gunn to race in FIA World Endurance Championship

Having raced in all corners of the globe in 2019 in various GT championships, Ross has done a great job at representing Aston Martin worldwide. His results, which included 3rd overall in the Michelin Le Mans Cup, have seen Ross named in the Aston Martin racing team for the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship! Ross will partner Darren Turner and Paul Dalla Lana in the GTE Am class and has already taken two podiums in the opening three rounds.

Oscar Piastri wins Formula Renault Eurocup!

Having come through the YRDA and raced with Arden Motorsport, Oscar used all his previous experience going on to win the super competitive Formula Renault Eurocup. Oscar took seven wins and eleven podiums in just 19 races to become the first ever Australian champion. It was no surprise that he had eyes on him from there and he joined Prema Racing in the official FIA F3 in Valencia going quickest on day two in the afternoon session.

Bartholomew and Mitchell on fire in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo

Jack Bartholomew and Sandy Mitchell have both continued to lead the charge for Great Britain in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Championships. Both racing around the World, Bartholomew raced to an impressive 3rd in the European Championship before finishing 8th in the World Final. For Sandy, the season was even better after he followed a championship podium in the North American Championship with 2nd in the World Final!

Alumni drivers making waves in junior formula

There has been many of our alumni drivers using their skills gained from our in-house simulator to make fast progress in the junior formula categories. Both Chris Lulham and Luke Whitehead have looked fast in recent British F4 testing with Lulham making his debut at Silverstone this season with an impressive 5th place.

Jonny Wilkinson has had similar fortunes in the USA Championship as he prepares for a huge year in 2020. Meanwhile in Formula Ford Jamie Sharp has put his skills into work with good performances in both the National Championship and Formula Ford Festival.

Title winning years for Keirle and Barnard

In Karting, there have been some big results for some of our past drivers with Danny Keirle winning the British Kart Championship in Senior X30! He followed that up with a good result in the IAME International Final where he raced fellow alumni driver Taylor Barnard. The Rosberg Racing driver won the WSK Champions Cup and was Vice Champion in both the FIA Karting World Championship and WSK Super Master Series.

Also, taking some good results in the WSK championships was William Macintyre who finished 2nd in the WSK Euro Series.

Summary

It has been a brilliant year overall for YRDA members past and present with all of our in-house training, mentoring and guidance helping our athletes to open new doors and be fully prepared once they walk through them. If you are interested in following in the footsteps of our alumni drivers fill in a contact form on our website to take the first step in becoming the latest member of the #YRDArmy!