Ligier Junior Program Looks to Develop the Next Generation of Endurance Racers

This week you will find out how the Ligier Junior Program looks to develop the next generation of endurance racers. You will also find out about a new rally driver development program, learn about the FG Series’ plans to make racing more affordable and how to prepare for your first media interview as a young racer. All this and more in this week’s edition of the Driver Development Roundup on Motorsport Prospects.

Ligier Junior Program Looks to Develop the Next Generation of Endurance Racers

Just a few days before the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Centenary, French constructor Ligier, present at every level of the endurance racing pyramid, announced the creation of the Ligier Junior Program. The program aims to create bridges between different championships, enabling young talent to progress up the endurance racing pyramid thanks to a unique prize system. With 13 juniors entered in the Ligier JS Cup France in its first year, the Ligier Junior Program is already proving its worth.

More details can be found here.

Ligier Junior Program Looks to Develop the Next Generation of Endurance Racers

The World Rally Championship is inviting aspiring female drivers to take part in a new initiative that will offer a fully-funded drive in next year’s Junior World Rally Championship.

The first stage of the project, which will take place under the banner of WRC’s Beyond Rally initiative, invites applications from females aged 27 and under as of 1 January 2024 to apply to be part of a programme that will offer a yearly prize package including a fully-supported 2025 FIA Junior WRC entry.

Applications are open here and require potential applicants to provide a two-minute introductory video expressing their motivations to be part of the programme, as well as a copy of their driving resume.

More details can be found here.

FG Series

FG Series has partnered with the Motion Technology Company Schaeffler ahead of the championship’s launch in 2025 to help create more affordable racing. Schaeffler have been a fixture on the international motorsport scene for decades and their wide-ranging participation has cemented them as a global player in the field of mobility worldwide.

Reducing financial barriers to entry to motorsport is a key ethos for FG Series as the new championship is on a mission to make the sport more accessible and present globally. Schaeffler will supply e-mobility components like inverters and e-motors including software to make professional racing more affordable.

Driver Development Roundup

The Rokit Racing Star TV documentary series is now available to view online. The first 2 of 6 episodes can be viewed via the ROKiT Flix app and online free of charge. Conceived and implemented by the Chairman of ROKiT Industries, Jonathan Kendrick and the late Bob Fernley, the ROKiT Racing Star documentary series tells the incredibly exciting and emotional story of the search for new young driving talent in a highly ambitious and first-of-its-kind ‘sim to circuit’ competition with the hugely valuable prize of fully-funded drives in the British Formula 4 championship for the winners.

“I’m delighted that Bob and I were able to put this unique project together before he sadly and unexpectedly passed away, but I know he shared my view that giving young talent the chance to progress and succeed in top level motorsport, without financial obstacles, is a tremendously good thing to do and I know he’d be enormously proud of the effect the project has had so far. I’m pleased to say now that the second ROKiT-sponsored competition will begin shortly and will be global in scale.”

Find out how you can watch the series here and watch the trailer here.

Legacy takes a lap

Porsche has published Legacy takes a lap: inspiring the next generation of women racers which is well worth your time to read and watch.

“Every racer has their origin story. For Margie Smith-Haas, it started with a couple of races 60 miles from her childhood home. For Sabré Cook, it started as an eight-year-old karting prodigy. For both, it was the start of a boundary-breaking run. Porsche brought them together for a conversation about what it means to inspire the next generation of women racers.”

Driver Development Roundup

Motorsport communication specialist Alexandra Schieren explains the five steps to prepare for your first media interview as a young racer.

“As a race driver, talking to the media is part of the job. In many series, it is part of the regulations and even without this requirement, it makes sense to be publicly heard because if nobody knows you, how will you find your next seat or sponsor? Talking to the media needs to be part of your routine like improving your driving skills and physical fitness.”

Ligier Junior Program Looks to Develop the Next Generation of Endurance Racers

ARDC Race Academy – Formula Pathways program has announced more dates for the remainder of the year at Sydney Motorsport Park.

On Track Dates:

  • Tuesday, 20th August 2024
  • Tuesday, 1st October 2024
  • Tuesday, 19th November 2024

You can contact them via the ‘Expressions of Interest’ page on the ARDC website at the following link:

The ARDC Driver Academy – Formula Pathways brochure can be found at: SpeedCafe also has a great introduction to the program here.

Ligier Junior Program Looks to Develop the Next Generation of Endurance Racers

Sven Smeets, Sporting Director and head of the Williams Racing Driver Academy, was a guest on the Feeder Series Podcast to discuss the importance of driver academies. “It’s very important to have the drivers of the future in your own academy. Because we know there are 20 seats and it’s very difficult to get drivers from another team coming to you.”

You can watch the interview in the video above.

In December 2023, the FIA initiated a comprehensive karting reform project to enhance accessibility and inclusivity in motor sport. Led by Akbar Ebrahim, this initiative focuses on the ‘Arrive and Drive’ karting formula, which aims to eliminate economic barriers and expand participation in karting. This project seeks to broaden the base of the karting pyramid, enabling newcomers to progress to national and international competitions.

More details on the FIA Karting Reform Project can be found here.

Mark Boudreau
Author: Mark Boudreau

Mark is the publisher of Motorsport Prospects. As a former lawyer, he applies his legal background and research skills to assist race drivers by showcasing the resources they need to make their motorsport careers happen.