Ambrose to lead new young driver programme

NASCAR race winner Marcos Ambrose will head up a new young driver training and evaluation programme in Australia.

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Known as the GRM Combine – Driven by Marcos Ambrose, the initiative will give participants four days of track time at the Symmons Plains and Baskerville circuits in Tasmania later this year.

There they will sample Garry Rogers Motorsport's fleet of TCR, Trans Am and S5000 racing cars as well as receive coaching from the likes of Ambrose, James Moffat, Dylan O'Keeffe, James Golding and Nathan Herne.

The programme is the brainchild of Ambrose, borrowing from similar 'combine' concepts used widely in American sports.

It marks the two-time Supercars champion and NASCAR race winner's first major project since joining GRM as competition director.

“One of the critical factors for drivers aspiring to a motorsport career, and their families and sponsors, is knowing what path to take in the sport," said Ambrose.

“The GRM Combine is a chance for young drivers to sample a variety of high-level racecars – from front-wheel-drive to rear-wheel-drive V8 and open-wheel – and see where they are at with the coaching and benchmarking of GRM’s pro drivers.

"Our intent is to assist drivers and their families with identifying that next step.

“The other element we are passionate about is educating young race drivers, which ultimately creates better drivers and improves the quality of racing. With what I have learnt in my career, and with the knowledge of GRM’s current drivers, we can distil our experiences for the benefit of participants in the Combine.

“This is not a driver search or an audition, but at the same time we are always looking for the next wave of talent and anyone who displays the right skills and attitude could certainly end up racing for GRM in TCR, S5000 or Trans Am.

"Fundamentally, this is all about the best form of training a driver can get – that’s track time, and in racecars which are at the upper levels of the sport.”

Young drivers taking part in the Combine will start out in a Hyundai Excel before moving to a TCR car and then on to the V8-powered Trans Am.

Drivers with sufficient experience, capability and attitude will then be offered the chance to sample an S5000 open-wheeler following some familiarisation laps in a Formula Ford.

A week of work experience at GRM's workshop in Melbourne is an optional part of the Combine.

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