Caterham’s acclaimed Academy Championship has reached a huge new milestone with the arrival of its 1000th Motorsport competitor.
Established in 1995, the Caterham Academy, open only to complete racing novices, has long been regarded as one of the world’s most cost-effective and exciting entry points to the world of motor racing.
Featuring consistently sold-out grids every year – already, only a small handful of places remain for the 2018 championship – the Academy takes novices through the process of gaining their coveted race licence, as well as their first full season of competition alongside 200 other racers registered for Caterham championships this season.
London based, James de Lusignan, was the 1000th driver to sign up for the programme and will make his competition debut at the season-opening sprint event at Aintree on April 22nd.
De Lusignan, 30, has thrown himself fully into the ethos of the Academy, building his matte black and luminous orange 2017 Academy car from scratch. His car’s livery will also feature a special 1000th Academy logo to commemorate the occasion.
He said: “The anticipation of kick-starting my racing career was already exciting enough but, to find out I’m the 1000th driver, is an intriguing addition.
“Not only am I going to be racing on track with my own bespoke livery, but I’ve also got the pride of having the 1000th Academy decal, which I’m sure will spur me on to complete a few extra overtakes, as well as making me a target for other drivers.”
The Academy is the first rung on a five-tier ladder of domestic motorsport championships that Caterham operates. More than 75% of Academy racers choose to stay within the Caterham racing ‘family’, progressing to race their Sevens in following seasons as part of Caterham’s Roadsport Championship.
Simon Lambert, Chief Motorsport and Technical Officer for Caterham and, himself a graduate of the Academy, said: “It may be 22 years old, but the Academy’s DNA of taking racing enthusiasts and making their motorsport aspirations a reality remains the same.
“We’re incredibly proud to be able to offer our drivers the chance to live the dream and become fully-fledged, bona fide racing drivers. It’s fitting that, as the venerable Seven turns 60 years old, it is also celebrating another important anniversary in its natural environment – on the race track.”
The Academy season comprises two sprint events, followed by five full circuit races in a calendar that includes a special Caterham Festival event at Donington Park (July 8/9) which will underpin the 60th anniversary celebrations.