Good stuff for a good up-and-coming driver. Release below from SCCA:
Sports Car Club of America member and reigning SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires champion Kenton Koch was named the winner of the 2015 FIA Young Driver Excellence Academy in the Americas division this week in Mexico as the lone U.S. representative to the competition. The 20-year-old Koch battled drivers from 11 countries in North and South America, coming out on top and earning a trip to the world finals with 10 other top young drivers.
Held in Mexico October 13-16, the selection event put drivers aged 16-23 from across the region through their paces. This involved a variety of fitness tests, driving performance examinations and mental exercises to determine performance and safety understanding both on and off the track.
Following an intensive four days of competition, six drivers were selected to take part in a final shoot-out. Each chosen driver had to set their fastest lap time and the winner was eventually announced as Koch by the judging panel.
Koch was nominated by SCCA through ACCUS, the United States’ liason to the FIA.
“I am really happy with the outcome,” Koch said. “Coming here I was not expecting to win, I came here to have fun and to learn and I really appreciate having this experience. I am grateful to SCCA for nominating me. I have learnt a lot about myself, both mentally and physically and I am really looking forward to attending the elite academy. Thank you to the FIA Institute for providing this opportunity to young drivers like myself, guiding and helping us progress in our careers.”
“This year we were honored to host the FIA Academy Americas Selection for a second time, and I have to recognize that the candidates were extraordinary, showing a world class competition level,” Jose Abed, President of Mexican ASN OMDAI, which hosted the event, said. “It proved to be a really tight competition, which notably complicated choosing the winner. This being said, I want to congratulate Kenton for his outstanding performance and tenacity shown throughout the event, which lead to him landing the coveted spot in the Academy. I am sure he will be a worthy representative of the Americas, and that we will see him in the pinnacle of motorsport in the years to come.”
Koch will join the other five regional selection event winners in the 2015 Academy. A number of other wild cards will be selected once every regional selection event has taken place.
All participants in the Academy will receive a fully-funded training program, which aims to develop their motor sport careers, while actively promoting the principles of safety, fairness and responsibility on and off the track. All drivers will benefit from tuition and analysis from ex-Formula One driver Alex Wurz and former World Rally Champion co-driver Robert Reid, who are both Academy Performance Managers.
More information on the Sports Car Club of America is available at SCCA.com. More information on Koch’s Championship winning season in the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup can be found at MX-5Cup.com.