FIA reveals new driver categorisations

The FIA has issued updated and revised driver categorisations for the 2016 World Endurance Championship season.

FIA reveals new driver categorisations
#88 Abu Dhabi Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR: Christian Ried, Earl Bamber, Khaled Al Qubaisi
#36 Signatech Alpine A450b: Paul-Loup Chatin, Nelson Panciatici, Tom Dillmann
Earl Bamber, Abu Dhabi Proton Racing
#36 Signatech Alpine A450b: Paul-Loup Chatin, Nelson Panciatici, Tom Dillmann
#88 Abu Dhabi Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR: Christian Ried, Earl Bamber, Khaled Al Qubaisi
#88 Abu Dhabi Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR: Christian Ried, Earl Bamber, Khaled Al Qubaisi

The list, which assigns drivers a bronze, silver, gold or platinum status to the drivers, is formed by the Drivers' Categorisation Committee.

It is used in all FIA championships with a driver categorisation system, and can be adopted by any series.

The initial categorisation is based on the driver's age and career record, which may be adjusted in subsequent seasons, according to the recorded race pace and results of the series that are using the categorisation system.

For 2016, there have been several high profile re-categorisations.

Notably, Shanghai LMP2 winner Tom Dillmann moves from a silver to gold-categorised driver. The Frenchman's initial categorisation, which allowed him to partner gold-rated Paul-Loup Chatin and platinum-rated Nelson Panciatici, sparked much debate after his success in the Signatech Alpine earlier this month.

Reigning Le Mans 24 Hours winner Earl Bamber has moved from gold to platinum status after his success at La Sarthe last summer.

Nissan Academy graduates Wolfgang Reip, Katumasa Chiyo and Mark Shultzhiskiy move up from silver to gold after their continued experience and success.

Current works Nissan LMP1 driver Harry Tincknell becomes a platinum driver, while Maximilian Buhk and Maximilian Gotz are also promoted to platinum status. Also going platinum is factory Audi driver Christopher Mies.

New works Bentley driver Vincent Abril is moved to gold status for the 2016, as is potential future endurance racing driver Nick Yelloly, who was on the cusp of joining JOTA Sport earlier this year.

A host of new entrants are also in the 2016 list, including DTM race winner Tom Blomqvist and F3 driver Antonio Giovinazzi.

Protests against any new categorisation in the 2016 list can be submitted to the FIA but have to be done so by Friday 20 November 2015 at the latest.

The definitions of the categories are broadly laid out by the FIA as follows, along with various detailed criteria.

Platinum: Professional driver
Gold: Amateur or professional driver in FIA international and national series
Silver: Amateur driver
Bronze: Amateur driver.

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