Lamborghini Squadra Corse has unveiled the new driver recruitment in its Young Driver and GT3 Junior programs for the 2020 season. A total of 34 drivers have been announced, making it the most comprehensive development program in GT racing.
A key component of Automobili Lamborghini’s racing division, the brand's Young Driver Programs have provided emerging drivers with a tangible career path in the world of GT racing since 2014, through its Young Driver program and GT3 Junior program.
The Young Drivers program is dedicated to drivers under 26 entered in each of the four Lamborghini Super Trofeo championships organized around the world. The GT3 Junior program is the next step, reserved for drivers participating in GT championships around the world behind the wheel of the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo.
The most successful drivers in the program will be invited to participate in a final selection race to be held by the end of the year in Italy. And the drivers from each program who impress the selection jury the most over the three days of evaluation, will receive official support from Lamborghini Squadra Corse for the 2020 season.
Led by former Lamborghini factory driver Raffaele Giammaria, the Youngsters Programs offer a complete package for young talents, from media management to on-track teaching without neglecting physical preparation, under the tutoring of Emanuele Pirro, five-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Young pilots program
The bulk of this year’s contribution comes from Super Trofeo Europe, the one-design championship reserved for Lamborghini Huracán ST Evo, with three of the 16 members coming from Super Trofeo North America.
Divided into two parts, the members of the Young Driver Program are selected by Giammaria and observed throughout the season by their respective Lamborghini championships before being evaluated at the end of the year.
The most promising driver in the assessment is chosen after a bespoke test and is promoted to the GT3 Junior program, which features factory-backed driving in a regional GT championship.
Complete list of young driver program members
Steven Aghakhani (17) – United States
Sebastian Balthasar (23) – Germany
Dorian Boccolacci (21 years) – France
Jonathan Cecotto (21 years old) – Venezuela
Jacob Eidson (25) – United States
Damiano Fioravanti (24) – Italy
Raul Guzman (20) – Mexico
Patrick Liddy (23 years old) – United States
Stuart Middleton (20) – United Kingdom
Elias Niskanen (20) – Finland
Marcus Påverud (20) – Norway
Guillem Pujeu (19) – Spain
Kevin Rossel (25) – Denmark
Vincent Schwartz (23) – Germany
Yuri Wagner (19 years) – Luxembourg
Max Weering (20) – Netherlands
GT3 Junior program
The winner of the Young Driver Program evaluation at the end of 2019 was Dutchman Danny Kroes. The touring car driver, who won the Super Trofeo Europe title in his debut season last year, is now a member of the GT3 Junior program and sets out to storm the Italian GT Sprint and Endurance championships in 2020.
He is joined by Super Trofeo World Finals winner Frederik Schandorff, who already has a year of GT3 experience last year. The Dane will combine an Italian GT season for Vincenzo Sospiri Racing and the Endurance component of GT World Challenge Europe with British roster Barwell Motorsport. Lamborghini newcomers Leonardo Pulcini, Florian Latorre, Baptiste Moulin and Tuomas Tujula join veterans Andrea Amici, Alberto di Folco and Corey Lewis. Other impressive members to come include Super Trofeo World Finals finalist Sandy Mitchell, Taylor Proto, Yuki Nemoto and Afiq Yazid.
The GT3 Juniors will also be followed throughout the season and evaluated at the end of the year, with the possibility of upgrading to the Lamborghini Factory Driver program. Dennis Lind was the first to complete the Aison from Young Driver to Factory Driver, in 2019, while Giacomo Altoè also followed the same path.
Complete list of GT3 Junior members
Andrea Amici (27) – Italy
Alberto Di Folco (24) – Italy
Kikko Galbiati (21) – Italy
Danny Kroes (20) – Netherlands
Florian Latorre (23 years) – France
Corey Lewis (28) – United States
Lucas Mauron (22) – Switzerland
Sandy Mitchell (20) – United Kingdom
Baptiste Moulin (20) – Belgium
Yuki Nemoto (23 years old) – Japan
Taylor Proto (22) – United Kingdom
Leonardo Pulcini (22) – Italy
Frederik Schandorff (23) – Denmark
Steijn Schothorst (25) – Netherlands
Madison Snow (24) – United States
Tuomas Tujula (23) – Finland
Afiq Yazid (29 years) – Malaysia
Tim Zimmermann (23 years old) – Germany