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Overwhelming response to Toyota Motorsport Academy's inaugural 'Class of 2023'
Al-Futtaim Toyota successfully completes screening and selection process to choose 150 participants from a field of over 1200 applicants
The UAE's motorsport community has responded with great enthusiasm as the first phase of the Toyota Motorsport Academy kicked off.
From a field of over 1,200 applicants, 150 'off-road academics' have been selected by Al-Futtaim Toyota to participate in this year's Toyota Motorsport Academy. Applicants to the academy were assessed through a scoring system based on parametres such as driving experience in years, social participation in off-road activities (e.g., being part of an off-road club), participating in competitive events, and others.
Commenting on the development, Jacques Brent, Managing Director, Al-Futtaim Toyota and Lexus, said: "With so many promising drivers applying for the Toyota Motorsport Academy 2023, it was a very difficult process narrowing down the field to just 150 participants. However, we have now chosen a class boasting outstanding driving talent to take part in this year's academy. We look forward to honing and developing their skills in the coming weeks, with the ultimate goal of selecting the Al-Futtaim Toyota Gazoo Racing Ambassador for 2023. Best of luck to the Toyota Motorsport Academy's Class of 2023."
The first session of the recruitment phase took place on January 28, in which participants were put through a series of gruelling off-road trials designed to test their driving prowess.
The 150 participants selected for Toyota Motorsport Academy's 'Class of 2023' represent over 42 different nationalities, with 21 per cent of the class being UAE nationals. There are more than 10 female participants from different nationalities, coming from a professional and semi-professional background. The average age of the Class of 2023 is 33 years old.
In an interesting side note, which was in no way a deciding factor in the screening process, the most common vehicle driven by applicants to the Academy was the Toyota FJ Cruiser, which is testament to the fact that Toyota SUVs are the vehicle of choice for the UAE's hard-core off-road communities.
The rest of the recruitment phase will take place in the coming weeks until February 25, when just 25 participants will be selected to progress to the development phase of the programme.