Gray and Neate longlisted for prestigious Aston Martin young driver award

Two current stars, plus several graduates, of the ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA have been nominated for the prestigious Aston Martin Autosport BRDC young driver award.

Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Both Carlin’s Oliver Gray and Phinsys by Argenti’s Aiden Neate have been nominated for the award, which aims to unearth the best in British junior single seater talent and was first established back in 1989.

Gray, currently second in the standings behind points leader Alex Dunne, has an impressive 11 podium finishes to his name from 18 starts so far this season, including victory at Croft. Neate, fourth overall, took a maiden win at Thruxton earlier in the campaign and was also victorious on the trip to Yorkshire, with a further three podiums on what has been something of a breakthrough year for the 16-year-old.

Also selected for the longlist are graduates Louis Foster, now a household name on the American ‘Road to Indy’, 2020 champion and GB3 front-runner Luke Browning and now W Series star Abbi Pulling.

At stake is a £200,000 prize pot and the opportunity to test an Aston Martin Formula 1 car, with a star-studded judging panel including BRDC vice-president Derek Warwick, previous award winners Andrew Kircaldy, Alexander Sims and Darren Turner, Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti, BTCC legend Jason Plato and Autosport editor Kevin Turner, among others, set to whittle the 10-strong shortlist down to four finalists before a gruelling two-day assessment at Silverstone in October.

They will be put through their paces in machinery as varied as Formula 2, GT3 and LMP3, with the winner to be announced at the end-of-season Autosport Awards in December.

Their nomination further cements Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series as a proven entry point onto the ladder for aspiring stars of the future. Previous winners include Jenson Button, David Coulthard and current F1 stars Lando Norris and George Russell.

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