Force India Formula One Team Academy extends the eligibility for ‘One From A Billion Hunt’ on popular demand
Mumbai: The Force India Formula One Team Academy today announced that based on requests from a number of talented karting enthusiasts, it had extended the age group for participation in the One From A Billion Hunt via awild card route. While the One From a Billion Hunt was initially open to those in the age group of 14 to 17 years, in response to a number of requests received from F1 hopefuls, the ambit of the Hunt has been widened by modifying the upper and lower limits of the eligible age groups. Contenders between 12–14 years of age and between 17-19 years of age will now get a chance to qualify for the National Finals via a special wild card.
The Wild Card Selection Round will be held at Kart Cave, Lower Tank Bund Road, Hyderabad from 3rd – 7th August 2011. Contenders for the wild card entry in both these age groups will need to better the lap time of 25.376 seconds which is the time set by the 14th fastest finalist from the recently concluded Hyderabad round of the regional trials. One winner from each of the above age groups will be selected as a wild card entry and will go on to the National Finals later this year.
Registration for the Wild Card Selection Round will be open from 1st July to 31st July on the One From A Billion Hunt website, www.onefromabillion.com
Sharing his perspective on the rationale behind widening the ambit of the One from a Billion Hunt, Dr. Vijay Mallya, Chairman & Team Principal, Force India Formula One Team said, “I personally received requests and representations from a large number of parents and F1 hopefuls asking if we could consider including age groups somewhat younger and older than what we had originally envisaged in our programme so that more aspirants could benefit from the historic initiative undertaken by the recently set-up Force India F1 Team Academy. Not including them in the on-going Hunt would have meant budding racing talent from India would have had to wait for another two years. With a view to broad-basing the programme in response to popular demand, we have tweaked the age-limits of the eligible categories for the Hunt and we hope that more talented young Indians will take advantage of this opportunity and give it their best shot. Two talented young Indians from the expanded age groups will be selected as wild card entries and will go on to join the 98 other talented young Indians in the National Finals of the Hunt. I wish the contenders for the wild card entries all the very best!”
The age groups eligible for the Wild Card Selection Round are:
· for 12 - 14 years (born on or after 1st January 1998 to born on or before 31st December 1999)
· 17 - 19 years (born on or after 1st January 1992 to born on or before 31st December 1993)
· The Wild Card Selection Round will be open to eligible persons of Indian Origin including NRIs and PIOs.
Commenting on the announcement of the expansion of the eligible age group, Mr. Raymond Wong, CEO, ExxonMobil Lubricants Pvt. Ltd said, “We have received an overwhelming response from motorsports enthusiasts for the ‘One from a Billion Hunt’ trials. Mobil 1 and Force India Formula One Team Academy are pleased to provide aspiring Formula 1 drivers across India yet another opportunity to be part of this country-wide search, and a chance to be part of India’s Formula 1 team. The Wild Card Selection Round will be held in Hyderabad.”
Post the selection of the wild card entries, the next stages of the One From A Billion Hunt will be as follows:
· National Final – 100 finalists (14 from each of the seven cities and two wild card entries) will compete against each other in September 2011 to win a place among 10 finalists who then move on to the next level of the programme.
o The driver hunt is proposed to be held every two years
· Silverstone Finale -
o Ten finalists from the National Final will go on to do a week-long intensive stint at Silverstone, UK comprising sessions on driver tuition on Dmax Karts, a day at the Porsche Human Performance Centre to assess and develop fitness for motorsports, media training with Goodman Media, two full days at the Silverstone F1 circuit with sessions on safety, car control training, driver assessment, and race procedure briefing. The ten selected drivers will complete their Silverstone experience with a race in Formula Silverstone cars. At the end of the intensive hands-on week, an expert panel will pick three winners on the basis of a holistic assessment of their multiple capabilities and proficiency in requisite areas. The three winners will be announced in India around the time of the Grand Prix of India in October 2011.
· Future Champions Programme
o The three winners of the Silverstone Finale will be groomed as follows in 2012 and beyond:-
· The winner will be put through a full season of racing in a competitive championship in the United Kingdom.
· The first runner up will go on to do a full season of racing in a competitive championship in India.
· The second runner up will go on to receive special racing tuitions in an Asian racing school
The Academy will fully support the winner over the next three years and a career path will be drawn out, depending on the progress made in 2012. The intent is to groom the winner through various stages leading up to a point where the winner is qualified and ready to apply for a super license from the FIA to drive in Formula 1.
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