More Than Equal has launched a driver development program for 2024 with applications being accepted up until January 31st. I have the details for you.
In addition to this you will learn about the 2024 plans for the Ligier Junior Program as well as the murky world of the FIA driver ratings.
It is all in this week’s Driver Development Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. Its news aspiring racers can use.
More Than Equal, an independent global motorsport initiative revolving around female participation in motorsport, has launched its first-ever female driver development program. The application window will be open from January 4 until January 31, 2024, and submissions can be made via the More Than Equal website throughout that period.
Any applications will be reviewed via a set of criteria including performance, driving history, age and development stage, with a shortlisted group of candidates to then proceed onto an interview stage with the program’s driver coaches. The program will be run in partnership with Hinsta Performance, an elite athlete coaching organization responsible for catapulting several Formula 1 drivers to success.
The initiative’s philosophy is to improve female participation in motorsport and ultimately produce winners at an elite level, surmising that “every girl deserves an equal opportunity to achieve her dreams: whether that is running a global company, leading a country, or dominating in elite motorsport.
“No woman has raced competitively in Formula 1 in close to 50 years, and very few women are racing at the elite level of any motorsport series currently,” said CEO at More Than Equal, Ali Donnelly. “In order to enact lasting structural change, we need to do things differently. For us, that means investing in and developing female drivers early in their careers, and we are thrilled to be taking the first steps towards that by launching our female-dedicated programme in 2024.”
Head of Driver Development at More than Equal, Tom Stanton added: “Our program is designed to support and enhance the development of female drivers in three key areas: as a driver, as an athlete and as a person. I’m excited to be working with Smedley Group and Hintsa Performance to maximize the potential of talented drivers, making them the winners of the future.”
Ligier Automotive, present at every level of the endurance racing pyramid, from the Ligier JS2 R to LMP2, launched the Ligier Junior Program last summer. The program aims to create bridges between different championships, enabling young talent to progress in endurance thanks to a unique prize system.
“The Ligier JS Cup France, the French series launched in 2019 by M3 and reserved for the Ligier JS2 R, is the first championship to integrate the Ligier Junior Programme. After five seasons with a varied line-up of young drivers, professionals and amateurs, the Ligier JS Cup France will launch a Junior classification in 2024. A Ligier JS P4 will be made available to the winner to compete for the following season in the Ligier European Series.”
• Provision of a JS P4 for the winner of the Junior classification in the 2024 Ligier JS Cup France to take part in the 2025 Ligier European Series season (creation of the Junior classification in 2024 with the prize effective from 2024 for the 2025 Ligier European Series season).
• €100,000 for the JS2 R champion(s) to compete the following season in the Ligier European Series behind the wheel of a JS P4 (prize in effect since 2022).
• €150,000 for the JS P4 champion(s) to compete the following season in the Michelin Le Mans Cup behind the wheel of a Ligier JS P320 (LMP3) (prize in effect since 2022).
If you are curious as to how driver ratings work, have a look at AutoWeek’s Why Driver Ratings Remain Murky Business for Sports Car Racing. “A rating of platinum, the highest for accomplished pros, or gold designates a driver as a professional. Silver and bronze are assigned to amateurs, the latter often being described as gentlemen drivers. That’s where the clarity ends.”