2023 International Best Young Driver Contest organised by FIA Region I concludes in Austria

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In Teesdorf, Austria, the 22 national Best Young Driver finalists competed for this year’s FIA Region I International Best Young Driver title. 

The FIA Region I International Best Young Driver Contest started with a first edition organised by Avto-Moto Zveza Slovenije (AMZS – Slovenia) in 2017. 

Since then, the Contest has grown with now 11 Clubs in 11 countries organising national contests to select the finalists who will compete in the International Final. This year, it included participants from Emergency Assist 991 (Botswana) and the Automobile Association of Kenya for the first time this year. 

The popularity of the Contest has also increased among FIA Region I Members with the number of participants nearly tripling since the first edition of the Contest. It has also given Members the opportunity to connect with younger audiences expressing a keen interest in the contest. Young drivers shared having heard about the Contest on social media, email newsletters and Club magazines which shows the success of communications around the competition.

The goal of the FIA Region I International Best Young Driver Contest is to encourage safer driving skills among young people. Young drivers are still overrepresented in road casualties. The contest serves as an opportunity to put forward the message and showcase that young people can drive safely and responsibly.

This year’s International Final was kindly hosted by the Österreichische Automobil-, Motorrad- und Touring Club (ÖAMTC – Austria) with the support of the FIA Road Safety Grants Programme, funded by the FIA Foundation.

It gathered young drivers aged 18 to 26 who showcased their excellent driving skills and knowledge. Some of the exercises in the Final included timed driving in slalom, driving off-road and evasive braking exercises. 

Timo Svetina, from ÖAMTC, won this year’s edition and is the 2023 FIA Region I International Best Young Driver. Elmedin Ćibo from the Bosnia and Herzegovina Automobile Club (BIHAMK) won second place and Alexander Anastassov from the Union des Automobilistes Bulgares (UAB – Bulgaria) won third place. 

There were six female drivers that participated in this year’s edition. Marta Iglesias from the Real Automóvil Club de España (RACE – Spain) scored the highest points among the women drivers. 

During the award ceremony, the FIA Region I expressed gratitude to the 2022 International Best Young Driver, Stefan Trimmel, for his role as FIA Region I Road Safety Ambassador in the ‘Drive with Care’ road safety campaign. This year’s International Best Young Driver, Timo Svetina, has now been appointed as this year’s Road Safety Ambassador for the recently launched campaign on mobile distraction. 

Many Member Clubs have also adopted the same practice of appointing their national best young drivers as road safety ambassadors in their country.