Renault Clio Cup racer Ignas Gelzidis has been voted Europe’s most promising young driver by the FIA Institute.
The Institute’s Young Driver Excellence Academy European selection event ran in Austria earlier this week and the 22-year-old Lithuanian was won a guaranteed place on the program ahead of 24 other drivers from the continent.
The scheme is judged by ex-Formula 1 driver Alex Wurz and 2001 world rally champion co-driver Robert Reid.
“It’s incredible,” said Gelzidis. “I still can’t believe it. I didn’t do so well on the first day in the fitness and after that I thought: ‘OK, you are in the top 25 drivers in Europe, this is good, now just try to enjoy it.’
“I tried to relax and stay away from the limit in the driving and now I have been chosen. This means so much to my career – the chance to work with people like Alex and Robert and all the others is amazing.”
F1 test drivers Alexander Rossi and Robin Frijns, and Volkswagen WRC driver Andreas Mikkelsen, are all graduates of the program. The workshops start at the end of the year, following four more regional selection events around the world.