Driver development program
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A driver development program is a system or structure designed for young kart and race car drivers to learn and perfect their racing skills. These programmes are devised by racing teams, external companies and funded partnerships primarily to attract and develop future racing talent. Most programmes now employ a wide range of skilled coaches and technologies to train all of the physical and psychological abilities inherent in driving at the limit and winning races. Most racing teams will sign a driver to a multi-year contract in which they fund or part fund the driver in junior formulas (such as the Formula 3 Euro Series and GP2 in Europe, and Late models and ARCA in stock car racing) and gradually help them succeed to the highest levels of motorsport. Some teams have been criticized for unfair long-term and low-paying contracts for the talented drivers they find and whilst also charging the less talented drivers very high fees for the use of their simulations and facilities. Companies that specialise in racing driver training or development programmes remain commercially viable through selling time in their simulators or gyms and generally speaking do not fund a drivers career. Funded partnerships, good driver management companies and driver search and development initiatives will fund or part fund a drivers development and will survive as long as the owners financial commitment and or success at recouping their investment. Be that a return from a talented drivers wages or a promotional exercise designed by a brand or corporation.
Teams currently using driver development programsEdit
- Red Bull Junior Team – Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso Driver Programme.
- RF1 Driver Programme – Renault F1 Driver Programme.
- Ferrari Driver Academy – Scuderia Ferrari Driver Programme.
- Force India Junior Team - Sahara Force India Driver Programme.
- Mercedes Junior Team - Mercedes AMG Petronas Driver Programme
- McLaren Young Driver Programme - McLaren F1 team Driver Programme
- Williams F1 team Driver Programme
- Chip Ganassi Racing – Rico Abreu
- GMS Racing – John Hunter Nemechek, Sheldon Creed, Sam Mayer
- JR Motorsports – Noah Gragson, Zane Smith, Sam Mayer, Adam Lemke
- Joe Gibbs Racing – Erik Jones
- MBM Motorsports – Todd Morey
- Richard Childress Racing – Michael Self, Kate Dallenbach, Ahnna Parkurst
- Richard Petty Motorsports – Ryan Truex, Austin Hill
- Team Penske – Ryan Blaney
- NEMCO Motorsports – Bobby Grewohl
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- "Monster Truck Driver Todd Morey Joins MBM". MBM Motorsports. May 23, 2016. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
- "Podium finish begins title run for Golden Gate Racing". Michael Self Racing. March 7, 2013. Archived from the original on February 4, 2015. Retrieved 2013-09-11.
- "RCR adds two female teenagers to driver development program". Foxsports.com. January 28, 2015. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
- Spencer, Lee (June 2, 2013). "Young drivers join new Petty program". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2013-09-11.
- "Ryan Blaney". Penske Racing. Retrieved 2013-09-11.
- "Grewohl planning full run in 2014". ARCA Racing Series. January 3, 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-03.