Young drivers join IAM RoadSmart

Some of the brightest young racing drivers in the UK have become IAM RoadSmart advanced drivers at a special event held at Silverstone, the home of British motor racing.

IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s biggest independent road safety charity, teamed up with the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) to stage a two-day event putting 15 stars of the race track through IAM RoadSmart’s advanced driving test.

Those who participated are all members of the BRDC’s Rising Stars and SuperStars programmes. Called #FormulaDriveSmart, the drivers took part in a specially adapted two-day version of the well-respected IAM RoadSmart advanced driver course – with a view to them taking their advanced test to full test standard.

All the drivers, aged between 18 and 24 years old, passed with flying colours after the concentrated schedule of observation and training.

IAM RoadSmart’s advanced driving course is taken by more than 7,000 drivers each year.

It usually involves a series of 90-120 minute sessions focussing on specific skills across a wide range of areas; including car control, observation, timing, road positioning, ability to deal with unpredictable roads and other road users’ behaviour – leading to the advanced test.

Mike Quinton, IAM RoadSmart chief executive cfficer, said, ‘Young men under 25 are the biggest at-risk group on our roads, more likely than any other category of driver to be involved in a serious or fatal crash.

‘Working with the BRDC and these young professional drivers on #FormulaDriveSmart was an important opportunity to show them – and importantly those who see them as role models – that advanced driving is not only highly relevant to young people, it’s enjoyable and could save a life one day.’

One of the drivers, 24-year-old Max Coates, who has been competing in the Renault UK Clio Cup for the past three seasons (coming third overall in 2016 and 2018; winning seven races in three years) said, ‘I really didn’t know what to expect, but I really learned a lot by doing the advanced driver course.

‘I’ve been driving on a racetrack since I was eight but I’ve only had a road driving licence for seven years. #FormulaDriveSmart added to my road driving skills and gave me more confidence that I can anticipate hazards and read the road ahead.

‘I’d encourage every young driver to continue to develop their road driving skill and precision with an advanced driving course.’

The club recognises the importance of encouraging young talent that is establishing itself in national and international motor racing. With many success stories of BRDC young drivers graduating into the top flight of GT, sportscar and single seater racing, the scouts of the BRDC young driver programmes have a proven track record for spotting the very best racing drivers from the United Kingdom and Commonwealth.