KINGSTON, Jamaica — Move over Tessanne Chin, another Jamaican female is about to unleash her talent to the world.
Racecar driver Samantha Summerbell left the island on the weekend for Mexico to take part in the regional finals of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Institute’s Young Driver Excellence Academy.
“I was nervous for the last to weeks when I found out I had been nominated,” the 17-year-old daughter of David Summerbell Jr told Auto.
It was a mixture of relief and excitement as she received confirmation from Marcia Dawes, local representative of the FIA’s Women in Motorsport Council, last Thursday.
“I think its just great. Just getting to this point is an achievement,” she said
The three-day event, which starts Monday October 14, is designed to select one regional finalist out of 12 entries from other territories including the United States and Brazil.
Over the three days, Summerbell will have the expertise of the FIA at her disposal along with instructors including Alex Wurz, former Formula One driver alongside Robert Reid, former World Rally Champion. She will be trained and evaluated in five categories: fitness, professional development, team/interpersonal skills, car control and driving ability.
Should Summerbell make the cut, she’ll be up against eight other drivers for a fully-funded training programme to help develop her Motorsport career from the FIA Academy.
“Her acceptance into the programme is an achievement for Jamaica and the Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club. She was one of several names put forward,” said Dawes.
Summerbell was the only female in the final two names that were eventually submitted to the FIA. Dawes confirmed it wasn’t an automatic selection and that Samantha’s more rounded four-year-old Motorsport career played a role.
According to Dawes, Jamaica has applied to the FIA Institute’s Young Driver Excellence Academy before with a driver of National Champion pedigree and didn’t get accepted.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge of it all, but I like the media skills and driver image stuff,” she said.
The FIA is the world governing body for Motorsports.
— Rory Daley