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Akhil Rabindra tops.

Indian driver beats challengers from across Asia-Pacific to top regional qualifier After an intensive three days of tests and evaluations at the Sydney Motorsport Park in Australia, 17-year old Indian driver Akhil Rabindra has earned selection to the FIA Institute's 2013/14 Young Driver Excellence Academy.

Rabindra proved himself ahead of top young drivers from countries across the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, Japan and New Zealand. He won his place on the fully-funded Academy programme after demonstrating his ability and understanding both on and off the track, as well as his fitness and comprehension of safety matters. There were three judges on the selection panel – Gus Glover, representing the FIA Institute, Tony Turner, representing Academy training partner ESP, and Cameron McConville, representing event host Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS).

Rabindra, who currently competes in the JK Racing India Series (Formula BMW), now has the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of previous participants in the Academy who have gone on to drive in Formula One and the World Rally Championship.

Rabindra said: "I am honoured to have been selected. I'd like to thank the FIA Institute, CAMS and India's FMSCI for making this possible. I'm looking forward to taking on the other drivers from across the world and I hope to learn a lot from the Academy."

CAMS President Andrew Papadopoulos said: "It has been fantastic to host this event. We'd like to thank the New South Wales Institute of Sport and Sydney Motorsport Park for their support. Driver development is important in the Asia-Pacific region and we are happy to have helped raise the standard in this part of the world."

Beginning in December, the next Academy provides a fully-funded training programme which aims to help drivers develop their motor sport careers, whilst increasing safety skills and actively promoting the principles of safety, fairness and responsibility on and off the track.



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