Rising star Jonathan Venter is about to realize every young race driver’s dream after being given the chance of a lifetime by famed British marque Aston Martin. Venter was chosen over numerous applicants to take part in Aston Martin Racing’s new young driver program, the Evolution Academy. The young Australian will now be given the chance to demonstrate his talent, and if successful will be offered an incredible 2016 Aston Martin Racing factory contract.
Venter, who is only 19 years old, was hand-picked by a panel of Aston Martin Racing’s senior team management; who scrutinized his race history to determine if he had what it takes to join an elite selection of drivers at the Evolution Academy. The panel was impressed by the driver’s list of accomplishments at only such a young age and seeing his huge potential gave Venter one of only ten places in the highly coveted program.
“I am incredibly surprised and delighted to be given the chance to participate in the Evolution Academy, it is a dream come true to be recognized by such a famous racing brand like Aston Martin. I can’t wait to begin my training with them so I can learn as much as possible about what it takes to become a truly professional GT driver.“ Said Venter.
Venter has accomplished a great deal in his young career. Getting into his first kart at the age of four sparked a passion that would eventually take him onto the International stage of competitive racing. Gifted at karting, his natural ability and dedication won him an Australian Championship and three state titles all before the age of 15. Tackling the high performance world of single seaters, Venter joined Formula Ford and in 2012 clinched the Victorian Formula Ford Championship and was awarded the very first Chairman’s cup by the Australian Formula Ford Association.
Wanting to take the next step in his already impressive career, Venter joined Craft-Bamboo Racing in 2014 where he would pilot the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 in the GT Asia series. It didn’t take long before continually impressing with fast times on a variety of Asia’s best circuits. At the start of 2015, Venter competed in the gruelling Bathurst 12 Hour, impressing with quick lap times matching veteran GT drivers and staking his claim as a driver to look out for in the future. “I would like to thank everyone who contributed to my success into the academy, including the whole of Craft-Bamboo Racing, especially Frank Yu and Darryl O’Young, Anglo Motorsport, Top Gun Driving Academy and also Macquarie University for the support they provided.”
Venter will now be assigned a professional mentor chosen from Aston Martin Racing’s team of top GT drivers. He will be given advice on how to improve his fitness and nutrition, as well as PR, marketing and sponsorship support. Driver training will be taken care of through sessions in the Aston Martin Base Performance Simulator.
At the end of the year a panel of judges will assess Venter’s performance based on a variety of factors. These will correspond to his performance during the season, but also on what he has learned from the academy. The winning driver will receive an Aston Martin Work’s contract for the 2016 season.
The program is aimed to help develop young drivers from GT4 through GT3 and up to the pinnacle of current GT Racing, GTE. Aston Martin Racing believes that these young stars have what it takes to become a future Work’s driver and Venter will be looking to claim his place at the top.
Speaking about Venter’s admission into the academy, Andrew Williamson, Head of Customer Programmes at Aston Martin: “It really is an exciting season for all the drivers in the inaugural Aston Martin Racing Evolution Academy, and it is a pleasure for us to be working with young talented drivers like Jonathan Venter. Jon has a mature head on young shoulders, and in working with Craft Bamboo Racing in GT Asia, has chosen to partner with not only a great team, but also our technical partner team in Asia. This combination will prove to be a great package, and the perfect environment for Jon to learn and grow as a GT driver.”