India gets its first ever Mercedes-Benz Young Star Driver

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Added in: Mercedes Benz

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Mercedes-Benz India recently gave India its first ever ‘Mercedes-Benz Young Star Driver’. With this, ‘Mercedes-Benz Young Star Driver’ becomes one-of-its-kind initiative in India which provides budding racers an opportunity of giving wings to their racing careers.

The race for the title of ‘Mercedes-Benz Young Star Driver’ was flagged off by Eberhard Kern, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India and Vicky Chandok, President, Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) at Buddh International Circuit.

Eberhard Kern, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India commented on this unique initiative, “Motorsports has been the DNA of brand Mercedes-Benz and we are proud of our long and successful association with different forms of motorsports across the globe and our unsurpassable racetrack achievements. It was Mercedes-Benz vision to identify and nurture motorsports talents in India and ‘Mercedes-Benz Young Star Driver’ programme is yet another pioneering effort in realizing that vision. The overwhelming response from youngsters across India, be it small towns or big metros, aspiring to make a career on the race track has made this one-of-its kind initiative a huge success and reiterates Mercedes-Benz’s leadership in pioneering unique engagements not only for our customers but also for motorsports enthusiasts.

Mr. Kern further elaborated, “Winners of the ‘Mercedes-Benz Young Star Driver’ will gain invaluable exposure in working with the best talents from international racing circuit and also have the rare opportunity of being trained to improve their racing skills on international racing tracks under the guidance of the globally acclaimed trainers. This will act as a great fillip for these youngsters in embarking into the world of professional motor racing and will inspire others who want to opt for a racing career and achieve international exposure.

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The twelve finalists of Mercedes-Benz Young Star Driver title will be competing with each other for clocking the best lap time in the powerful AMG cars, at India’s best racing track, the Buddh International Circuit. The twelve racing talents who will compete for the coveted title are: Inesh Singh (Haryana), Trishula Sanjeev (Hyderabad), Ishan Bharadwaj (New Delhi), Prashanth Krishnamoorthi (Chennai), Rohit Sharma (Noida), Karan Sharma (New Delhi), Tarun Agarwal (Haryana), Abha Mankar (Pune), Sneha Sharma (Mumbai), Mezaan Anees (Bengaluru), Niranjan B Todkari ( Aurangabad) and Diljith (Thrissur).

PositionNamePlaceLap TimeSplit
1stNIRANJAN B TODKARAURANGABAD2:27.0220:00.000
2ndDILJITHTHRISSUR2:27.0340:00.012
3rdMEZAAN ANEESBENGALURU2:28.7960.01.774

Commenting on his win Niranjan B Todkari said, “Mercedes-Benz Young Star Driver Program trained me to become an expert racer from an amateur motorsports enthusiast. I got this once in a lifetime opportunity to learn the different aspects involved in racing on international track like the Buddh International Circuit. It is a dream come true to get a chance to learn from one of the world’s greatest motorsports team, the Mercedes AMG Petronas. Racing has been my childhood passion and I would like to thank Mercedes-Benz India for organizing such a platform for motorsports enthusiasts like us waiting for an opportunity to learn and enter the world of motorsports. I am extremely thrilled and excited on this win and feel motivated to enter the arena of professional racing. Motorsports in India is steadily being recognized and holds a bright future. I wish the best to all the aspiring racers and motorsports enthusiasts and hope that the Mercedes-Benz Young Star Driver Program will bring in more such exciting opportunities.

Vicky Chandok, President, FMSCI commented, “There has been an increasing awareness about motorsports in India and young talents from across the country are opting for a career in motorsports. FMSCI is glad to collaborate with Mercedes-Benz India in identifying and nurturing these motorsports talents and providing a promising opportunity for them to make it big in racing circuits. The process of identifying and shortlisting the racing talents for ‘Mercedes-Benz Young Star Driver’ has been immensely engaging and satisfying and we are extremely glad to present the twelve of the best racing talents from across India.

With ‘Mercedes-Benz Young Star Driver’, Mercedes-Benz India created an exclusive platform to spot, nurture and launch young talents who can become future race champions. The programme was open for racing aspirants between 15 years to 25 years, is conducted in association with the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI). After a nationwide evaluation process based on different criterions like racing acumen, racing aptitude and accomplishment, FMSCI’s jury comprising Arjun Balu (Reigning Indian Touring Car Champion having 17 years of rally experience), Amittrajit Ghosh (Current leader of 2013 Indian National Rally Championship & 2012 INRC Champion) and Sanjay Balu (Former National Champion with 25 years of motorsports experience) shortlisted the candidates who are invited for a one day program at the Buddh International Circuit.

Mercedes-Benz India received over 3200 applications from aspiring young racing stars from across 48 Indian cities and towns. Youngsters from metros like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Pune applied for the coveted ‘Mercedes-Benz Young Star Driver’ title along with their counterparts from non-metro cities and smaller towns like Aurangabad, Jabalpur, Thrissur, Baroda, Patiala, Mysore, Kottayam, Kanpur, Udaipur, Cochin and more.

The winner of ‘Mercedes-Benz Young Star Driver’ gets a dream come true opportunity of interning with Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team for one race weekend and also winning a coveted seat in the AMG Driving Academy Basic & Advanced course in India, and also for the next level PRO-Training in Germany. The winner of First runners up wins a seat for the AMG Driving Academy Basic and Advanced course both, while the Second runners-up wins a seat for the Basic course and gets trained under professional trainers.