Mike David Ortmann becomes latest champion to graduate from Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy
- Double ADAC GT4 champion stands out among rival aspiring GT racers
- Ortmann to receive career assistance ahead of 2024 campaign
- 24-year-old joins illustrious list of graduates that includes IMSA stars Ross Gunn and Roman De Angelis, works driver Valentin Hasse Clot, British GT4 champion Tom Canning and most recently Romain Leroux
- Search begins for initiative’s next winner who will receive AMR support through 2025 and a test in an Aston Martin Vantage GT3
Thursday, 8 February, 2024, Gaydon: Double ADAC GT4 champion Mike David Ortmann has become the latest aspiring GT racer to graduate top of the class in the Aston Martin Racing (AMR) Driver Academy.
The 24-year-old from Berlin, Germany, joins a growing list of Aston Martin star graduates that includes IMSA GTD Pro race winner Ross Gunn, 2022 IMSA GTD champion Roman De Angelis, works driver and reigning Le Mans Cup champion Valentin Hasse Clot, former British GT4 champion Tom Canning and most recently Romain Leroux.
Ortmann, who has reigned supreme in Germany’s leading GT4 category with his PROsport Racing Aston Martin Vantage for the past two seasons, stood out among more than 20 candidates through 2023 and excelled in all aspects of the Academy process. The German, who dovetailed his GT4 class activities with stints in the Vantage GT3 in the Nürburging Langstrecken Series on the fearsome Nordschleife, plans to race in Europe with the new Vantage GT3 in 2024.
Ortmann said of his AMR Driver Academy graduation: “It is an honour for me win the AMR Driver Academy in 2023. This last year has been an amazing journey and I’m so thankful for all the support and opportunities I’ve had. I can’t wait to get the 2024 season started with the new Vantage GT3. I plan to work even harder to make another step forward, both in terms of my skillsets and my career goals.”
The AMR Driver Academy is an annual initiative designed to fast-track talent from within its thriving partner team network and is another way for Aston Martin to contribute back to motorsport by investing in and honing future talent.
A unique and unrivalled platform for learning and development with an established manufacturer, this essential initiative is fine-tuned every year and improved to effectively coach drivers in the early stages of their careers. Competitors aged between 17 and 26 with Vantage GT3 and GT4 race programmes in recognised championships are eligible. The prize on offer for the successful graduate includes financial support towards their 2024 race programme, as well as assistance and guidance from the factory, tailored to their season plans. Further evaluation of the most outstanding candidates may also include a test in a Vantage GT3 at the end of the 2024 season.
The candidates benefit from an exclusive seminar that includes media training, simulator training and bespoke guidance on physical preparation and nutrition. AMR in-house commercial staff will provide key marketing and sponsorship advice and there is a factory-based engineering workshop to further the candidates’ understanding of how to competitively set-up Vantage.
The judging panel, which includes three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner and 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona GTD class champion Darren Turner (GB), four-times British GT champion Jonny Adam, former Academy winner and works driver Valentin Hasse Clot, AMR Head of Performance Gus Beteli and Head of AMR Partner Racing Huw Tasker, will evaluate each drivers’ ability to manage the strategic, teamwork, commercial and public relations aspects of their role. Finally, the outstanding candidate will demonstrate the most potential to develop their talent for the future.
Adam Carter, Aston Martin Head of Endurance Motorsport, said: “We are delighted to see Mike David graduate. Since he began racing Vantage back in 2021, he has consistently produced outstanding results and has shown all the qualities and characteristics that made his predecessors stand-out as AMR Driver Academy graduates – we expect that to continue through 2024. As a mechanism for assessing and identifying outstanding talent within our partner ranks, the AMR Driver Academy is an essential tool and one we value highly.”