Rwanda’s upcoming rally driver, Fernand Rutabingwa is one of 13 young drivers from 14 African countries who will contest for places in the FIA Institute Academy.
The 23-year-old Rutabingwa, son of veteran rally driver Gracien Rutabingwa, was the only promising driver picked by Rwanda Automobile Club to represent the country early this month.
The drivers will be named after regional selections in the 2013/14 season. This year’s Young Driver Excellence Academy involves a series of five qualifying events in regions across the world to give as many drivers as possible the opportunity to participate.
The third event will be hosted by Motorsport South Africa from September 29 to October 2 at the Gerotek Test Centre, one of the most advanced vehicle testing and driver training facilities in Africa.
Each FIA National Sporting Authority in the region was asked to put forward their nomination, which was then assessed by the FIA Institute.
Drivers had to meet a set of minimum criteria, as well as having demonstrated strong performance in competitions.
Africa’s top young drivers shortlisted
On the final shortlist for this event are some of Africa’s top young drivers from across motor racing, with only one guaranteed winner to go 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.
The drivers include; Amaury Giesen, 19, (Burundi), Tejas Hirani, 15, (Kenya), Olivier Ramiandrisoa, 22, (Madagascar), Cristian Bouche, 22, (Mozambique), Mark Sternagel, 17, (Namibia), Ogheneovie Ross Iroro, 19, (Nigeria), Fernand Rutabingwa, 23, (Rwanda).
Others are; Kelvin Van der Linde, 17, (South Africa), Rajpal Singh Dhani, 24, (Tanzania), Bakunda Unissan, 23, (Uganda), Muna Bhandair, 18, (Zambia), Cole Bond, 17, (Zimbabwe) and Vincent Burgot, 22 (Reunion).