Drivers from 12 countries across the Americas are set to take part in their regional selection event for the 2013/14 Young Driver Excellence Academy.

This year’s Academy involves a series of five qualifying events in regions across the world to give as many drivers as possible the opportunity to participate.

This fourth event will be hosted by Organizacion Mexicana Del Deporte Automovilistico Internacional Oct. 14–17 at the Autódromo Miguel E. Abed in Puebla.

Each FIA National Sporting Authority in the region was asked to put forward their nomination, which was then assessed by the FIA Institute. To qualify, drivers had to meet a set of minimum criteria, as well as having demonstrated strong performance in competition so far.

On the final shortlist for this event are some of the top young drivers in motor racing and rallying across the Americas, including competitors from the US Pro Mazda Championship, European F3 Open and Protyre Formula Renault.

OMDAI president Jose Abed said, “We look forward to welcoming the 12 talented drivers that are coming from all over the American continent. OMDAI, with the help of its Young Driver School, has brought together the best trainers and specialists, so each driver will benefit from the highest standard of assessment and training.”

The event will produce one guaranteed winner to go forward to the 2013/14 Young Driver Excellence Academy. A further three drivers will be selected using a wildcard system, making a total of eight participants in the final Academy group.

Over three days the drivers will undergo exercises designed to evaluate fitness, driving performance, media techniques, teamwork and psychology. The winner will receive a place on the Academy’s fully-funded training program, which aims to help drivers develop their motor sport careers, whilst increasing safety skills and actively promoting the principles of safety, fairness and responsibility on and off the track.


Edson Martins Coelho Junior, 18
Current championship: Mercedes-Benz Grand Challenge

Rodrigo Caballero Alcayaga, 22
Current championship: Cross Country Rally Chile

Juan Diego Piedrahita, 21
Current championship: Pro Mazda Championship

Mauricio Hernandez, 18
Current championship: Costa Rican Karting Championship

Orlando Valderrama, 18
Current Championship: Cuban National Karting Championship

Michael Tejeda, 18
Current Championship: Dominican Republic ROTAX MAX Sr. Championship

Andres Saravia Minondo, 22
Current Championship: European F3 Open

Tito Alfonso Leoni, 22
Current Championship: Honduras National Auto Cross Championship

Samantha Summerbell, 17
Current Championship: Jamaican Modified Production Championship

Jorge Cevallos, 19
Current Championship: Protyre Formula Renault UK

Skylar Robinson, 17
Current Championship: BRSCC Avon Tyres FF1600 Triple Crown

Diego Ferreira, 19
Current Championship: Pro Mazda Championship