The four drivers that will participate in the on-track tests for this year’s Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Award have been chosen.
All four are first-time finalists, with race-winning FIA Formula 3 Championship rookie Taylor Barnard the highest placed of the quartet up the single-seater ladder. The 19-year-old was also Formula Regional Middle East runner-up this year.
Making the final from GB3 are Callum Voisin and Joseph Loake, who are currently first and second in the points. British-Swiss 17-year-old Voisin took his first win of the season in the most recent round at Brands Hatch, having won three times en route to fourth in the 2022 standings, while 18-year-old rookie Loake has four wins to his name and last year won four races in British Formula 4.
Loake admitted to make the longlist of 10 drivers for the award “was a surprise”, so “to be in the final four is special”.
Voisin said “the award was in the back of my mind as I did get into the top 10 last year, so I wanted to do my best to get in there” again, and will prepare by calling drivers with experience of the machinery involved in the on-track tests.
The youngest finalist is 16-year-old Red Bull junior Arvid Lindblad, who is British-Swedish and is currently leading the Italian F4 championship in addition to sitting second in the new Euro 4 series. At the start of 2023 he came fifth in F4 United Arab Emirates.
“I’m probably the least experienced of the finalists, but obviously I want to try and win the award, so I’ll prepare the best I can,” said Lindblad. “I’m really looking forward to it, it’s a great honour.”
Fitness and simulator elements will take place before the finalists head on track at Silverstone in MotorSport Vision Formula 2 cars, a United Autosports-run Ligier LMP3 prototype sportscar and one of Beechdean Motorsport’s Aston Martin Vantage GT3s.
The track tests run over two days, and the drivers will be judged by a group of famous motorsport names.
British Racing Drivers’ Club vice-president Derek Warwick once again chairs the judging planel, and is joined by IMSA points leader Alexander Sims, long-time Aston Martin sportscar driver Darren Turner, IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti, racer Andrew Kirkaldy, race car designer Mark Williams, engineer Leena Gade, commentator Ian Titchmarsh and Autosport magazine’s chief editor Kevin Turner.
The winner of the award will recieve a prize Formula 1 test with Aston Martin and a £200,000 cheque.