The permanent grid places for the 2017 Audi Sport TT Cup are taken by juniors from eleven countries on three continents. After a multi-stage selection process, three female drivers and 13 male colleagues prevailed. This year’s driver cohort is as young as never before in the Audi Sport TT Cup.
In 2017, the Audi Sport TT Cup represents youth and international diversity. Two continents outside of Europe are represented on the grid in Australia and South Africa, in addition to the 14 Europeans. Four drivers compete under the German flag, and talents from Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Switzerland complete the line-up.
Audi Sport’s organisational team around general manager Phillip Mondelaers has put together a particularly young driver cohort this year. While the average age of the grid in the debut season in 2015 was 20.61 years and 20.56 years in the second season, the number has now dropped by almost two years to 18.75 years before the first race.
The ladies and their male colleagues bring with them highly varied experiences. From drivers with careers in professional karting, track touring car racers to motorsport novices, the one-make cup gives everyone a chance. Only two participants have permanently competed in the Audi Sport TT Cup before. The Briton Philip Ellis has been part of the team since 2016, while Gosia Rdest is already contesting her third full season. Last year, the Pole’s best result was when she won a trophy for third place at the Nürburgring. In the previous year, the Polish woman won a trophy for third place at the Nürburgring as the best result. This year also includes Fabienne Wohlwend from Liechtenstein and Vivien Keszthelyi from Hungary, meaning for the first time in the cup’s history three female drivers are permanently registered.
The drivers already made two decisions in the spring: the choice of car number and the color of their racing car – blue, yellow, gray, green and orange were available this year.
2017 Audi Sport TT Cup grid with car numbers and car colors**
#2 Finlay Hutchison (GB, January 20, 2000*), Rookie – car color: gray
#3 Gosia Rdest (PL, January 14, 1993*) – car color: yellow
#4 Drew Ridge (AUS, January 15, 1999*), Rookie – car color: yellow
#5 Fabienne Wohlwend (FL, November 7, 1997*), Rookie – car color: yellow
#7 Vivien Keszthelyi (H, December 7, 2000*), Rookie – car color: green
#8 Yannik Brandt (CH, October 3, 2000*), Rookie – car color: blue
#9 Mike Beckhusen (D, February 8, 2000*), Rookie – car color: yellow
#11 Tommaso Mosca (I, April 10, 2000*), Rookie – car color: blue
#15 Jack Manchester (GB, September 15, 1998*), Rookie – car color: gray
#17 Keagan Masters (ZA, March 2, 2000*), Rookie – car color: blue
#23 Philip Ellis (GB, October 9, 1992*) – car color: gray
#24 Simon Wirth (D, June 24, 1996*) – car color: green
#25 Mikel Azcona (E, June 25, 1996*) – car color: blue
#31 Kevin Arnold (D, December 31, 1999*), Rookie – car color: orange
#43 Milan Dontje (NL, April 20, 1995*) – car color: orange
#55 Fabian Vettel (D, December 10, 1998*), Rookie – car color: blue
** Subject to change