India is a land of opportunities, is the quote to which Mercedes Benz seems going to reside by in near future. Lest, the German carmaker now had provided India with its fleet of first Young Star Drivers, which was concluded at the end of the hunt, that was initiated to look out for the best racing talent in India. This hunt was flagged off by Mercedes-Benz India, CEO Mr.Eberhard Kern and FMSCI president Vicky Chandhok in January 2013 and received 3200 applicants from 48 Indian cities and towns, out of which only 12 were chosen as finalists. Those a dozen competed against each other to set the best lap times amongst them, and final six made to the top level of competition.
However, it was delighting to hear that applications which the Mercedes Benz had received, 33% of them were from the small towns and cities, and the rest of them were form metros and major hubs.
Whereas, it isn’t scintillating to judge the participants on the basis of their belonging, the judges Arjun Balu (Reigning Indian Touring Car Champion having 17 years of rally experience), Amittrajit Ghosh (Current leader of 2013 Indian National Rally Championship & 2012 INRC Champion) and Sanjay Balu (Former National Champion with 25 years of motorsports experience) did their best to prove the right person of the mettle for aspiring Mercedes Benz’s initiative.
Moreover, it’s the winner who enjoys all the bounties, and the bounties of Mercedes Benz Young star Driver reflects, opportunity of interning with Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team for one race weekend and also winning a coveted seat in the AMG Driving Academy Basic & Advanced course in India, and for the next level PRO-Training in Germany.
Meanwhile, the 2nd runner drives an opportunity to learn at the basic level with the AMG driving academy in India. And as condition is concerned about the 1st runner up, he gets a chance to train with the AMG academy at the basic and advanced level.
Commenting on the same Eberhard Kern, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said, “Motorsports has been the DNA of brand Mercedes-Benz and we are proud of our long and successful association with different forms of motorsports across the globe and our unsurpassable racetrack achievements. It was Mercedes-Benz vision to identify and nurture motorsports talents in India and ‘Mercedes-Benz Young Star Driver’ programme is yet another pioneering effort in realizing that vision. The overwhelming response from youngsters across India, be it small towns or big metros, aspiring to make a career on the race track has made this one-of-its kind initiative a huge success and reiterates Mercedes-Benz’s leadership in pioneering unique engagements not only for our customers but also for motorsports enthusiasts.”
Mr. Kern further elaborated, “Winners of the ‘Mercedes-Benz Young Star Driver’ will gain invaluable exposure in working with the best talents from international racing circuit and also have the rare opportunity of being trained to improve their racing skills on international racing tracks under the guidance of the globally acclaimed trainers. This will act as a great fillip for these youngsters in embarking into the world of professional motor racing and will inspire others who want to opt for a racing career and achieve international exposure.”