2022 AMABA finalists reflect on assessment tests

FIA Formula 3 race winner Ollie Bearman, GB3 champion Luke Browning, W Series dominator Jamie Chadwick and recently crowned Indy Pro 2000 champion Louis Foster battled for awards, including a test on Aston Martin F1 machines.

The quartet headed to Silverstone’s Grand Prix circuit in October for a somewhat damp two-day test in MotorSport Vision Formula 2, the United Autosports-operated Liger LMP3 and Beechdean Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 cars.

One of those following in the footsteps of 2021 winner Zak O’Sullivan, who recently completed the award-winning F1 test, will be crowned the winner at Sunday’s star-studded ceremony.

How did Bearman, Foster, and Chadwick do well during testing when they’ve been finalists before (first last year, second in 2020) and Browning is the new kid on the block?

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Oliver Bearman

Photo: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images

Age: 17
2022: Third Place in FIA Formula 3 with Prema Racing

“There were really tough conditions on the wet and slippery roads. I’d rather drive a little dry but that’s how things go – you can always count on the British weather – but I really enjoyed driving the different cars. Getting out of the comfort zone, driving a car with a roof and testing you in different ways They all require the same things, pretty similar braking references, but you’ll need to be a little more nuanced in the different categories.

“I’m definitely a better driver this year. Maybe because I did before there was more expectation but I didn’t let that put the pressure on. I did everything I could and we’ll see. I know it’s close.”

Luke Browning

Luke Browning

Luke Browning

Photo: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images

Age: 20
2022: GB3 champion with Hitech Grand Prix

“I absolutely loved it. Driving F2 cars is something I’ve looked at in the past and watched other finalists do, and it’s something I’ve been really looking forward to getting into. I knew it would be a different beast given its strength and it was definitely a joy in the wet – I did a few drifts here and there and it was really fun.

“The pressure was lifted. If I had known in advance that the other finalists would have to be a lot faster than me. I drove as long as I could. It’s hard not knowing what other people are doing. I put it all in, even a little closer to living here and there for a few minutes.”

Jamie Chadwick

Jamie Chadwick

Jamie Chadwick

Photo: Motorsport Pictures

Age: 24
2022: W Series champion with Jenner Racing

“It’s nice to be back and more familiar with it; The second time around is a little less scary and I feel like the progression is really good. The latest F2 car felt like a huge step up compared to what I’ve done. I’m really happy to come in now and feel more comfortable and better right away.

“Being able to jump into different vehicles is very important because I think you have to have that skill and it’s nice to be evaluated.” You’re trying to achieve the same thing, but the way you do it on all the different cars is very different. It’s hard to adapt in just a few laps.”

Louis Foster

Louis Foster

Louis Foster

Photo: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images

Age: 19
2022: Indy Pro 2000 champion with Exclusive Autosport

“It was fun, an experience like this is not often seen in motorsport. Sickness [tonsillitis] it didn’t help at all, it kind of set the mood for me because I had to manage my health more than manage tires and stuff. It was bad timing but you can’t do anything about it and I did my best. You can’t just walk away!

“I felt better the second day and the wet conditions helped – it was easier to drive.” I love the rain, but I haven’t driven in the rain for about a year because it doesn’t rain in America. I miss driving in it, so it was fun to get into it again.”

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