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FIA Releases Provisional 2023 Driver Ratings List

More than 50 drivers move from Silver to Gold in provisional driver ratings list for 2023 season…

Image: FIA

The FIA has released a provisional list of updated driver ratings for 2023, including numerous upgrades from Silver to Gold as part of an overhaul in the selection criteria.

The publication of the list gives the first indication of how the updated system, which was proposed by SRO Motorsports Group and ratified by the FIA during the summer, will shape sports car racing lineups and grids next year.

Driver ratings are used to group similar drivers together into bands, enabling championships around the world to impose lineup regulations in their respective classes.

More than 50 drivers have been upgraded from Silver to Gold status effective Jan. 1, including LMP2 ace Lorenzo Colombo, IMSA GT Daytona race winner Robby Foley, BMW Junior Team members Neil Verhagen and Max Hesse, and Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by the Cayman Islands champion Parker Thompson.

Furthermore, all of the Silver Cup champions from this year’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS season have been promoted to the Gold tier.

The large movement of drivers from Silver to Gold exemplifies the strategy of the overhauled rating system, which was developed partly to break up a large band of Silver-rated drivers that grew to cover a wide range of experience levels.

Under the new regulations, faster young drivers who previously would have been Silver-rated are now assigned to Gold status.

The FIA rulebook states that initial categorizations are based on each driver’s age and career record, and can then be adjusted in subsequent years “according to the recorded race pace and results of the series that are using the categorization system”.

Elsewhere on the ratings list, 25 drivers have been boosted from Gold to Platinum.

IMSA GTD Pro champions Mathieu Jaminet and Matt Campbell, fellow Porsche LMDh driver Dane Cameron, Cadillac prototype racing star Renger van der Zande and three-time GTWC Europe Sprint Cup champion Charles Weerts are among those affected.

Many of the newly minted Platinum drivers currently have factory contracts with manufacturers including Sheldon van der Linde (BMW), Nicklas Nielsen (Ferrari), Luca Stolz (Mercedes-AMG), Patric Niederhauser (Audi Sport) and several others.

Peugeot LMH drivers Gustavo Menezes and Mikkel Jensen, BMW GTP signing Nick Yelloly and Porsche GT3 aces Klaus Bachler and Matteo Cairoli have also been raised to Platinum.

Notable upgrades from Bronze to Silver include Iron Dames driver Sarah Bovy, as well as American competitors Richard Heistand, Thomas Merrill and Conrad Grunewald.

Some proposed driver categorization changes are under review including Gold-rated Vincent Abril, Silver-rated Josh Pierson and David Schumacher, Bronze-rated Charles Crews and Gold-rated Robert Wickens and Memo Rojas, who have been provisionally adjusted to Silver.

Decisions taken by the FIA Categorisation Committee following a review cannot be appealed further.

Confirmed downgrades include the Silver-to-Bronze movement of GT3 drivers Prince Jefri Ibrahim and Reema Juffali, as well as The Heart of Racing team principal and GT4 competitor Ian James.

The only downgrades from Platinum to Gold are former Corvette Racing star Oliver Gavin, who retired from professional racing last year, and ex-Formula 1 driver Rubens Barrichello who recently won an Italian GT Championship race in a Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020.

Selected Driver Rating Adjustments

Bronze to Silver: Ahmad Al Harthy, Andrew Bentley, Sarah Bovy, Jerome de Sadeleer, Elia Erhart, Conrad Grunewald, Richard Heistand, Freddie Hunt, Thomas Merrill, Kristian Poulsen

Silver to Gold: Rui Andrade, Matt Bell (U.K.), Michele Beretta, Rene Binder, Bastian Buus, Henrique Chaves, Lorenzo Colombo, Reshad de Gerus, Ulysse de Pauw, Marvin Dienst, Thomas Drouet, Charlie Fagg, Lorenzo Ferrari, Sennan Fielding, Robby Foley

David Fumanelli, Simon Gachet, Sean Gelael, Benjamin Goethe, Ben Green, Mikael Grenier, Laurin Heinrich, Max Hesse, Malthe Jakobsen, Pierre-Alexandre Jean, Erik Johansson, Kyle Kirkwood, Nicolai Kjaergaard, Marvin Klein, Niklas Kruetten, Patrick Kujala

Rasmus Lindh, Dean MacDonald, Stevan McAleer, Nico Menzel, Daniel Morad, Thomas Neubauer, Will Owen, David Pittard, Sebastian Priaulx, Oliver Rasmussen, Frederik Schandorff, Fabian Schiller, Steijn Schothorst, Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer, Loris Spinelli

Jamie Stanley, Casper Stevenson, Duncan Tappy, Parker Thompson, Kay van Berlo, Tijmen van der Helm, Neil Verhagen, Bent Viscaal, Marius Zug

Gold to Platinum: Jack Aitken, Lucas Auer, Klaus Bachler, Matteo Cairoli, Dane Cameron, Matt Campbell, Mattia Drudi, Ricardo Feller, Dan Harper, Mathieu Jaminet, Mikkel Jensen, Marvin Kirchhoefer, Dennis Lind, Gustavo Menezes, Patric Niederhauser, Nicklas Nielsen

Dennis Olsen, Jordan Pepper, Alessio Rovera, Luca Stolz, Sheldon van der Linde, Renger van der Zande, Tristan Vautier, Charles Weerts, Nick Yelloly

Silver to Bronze: Nick Boulle, Tyler Hoffman, Prince Jefri Ibrahim, Ian James, Reema Juffali, Nic Jonsson, Johnny O’Connell, Giorgio Roda, Isaac Tutumlu

Gold to Silver: Tom Long, Ryo Michigami, Markus Palttala, Memo Rojas*, Robert Wickens*

Platinum to Gold: Rubens Barrichello, Oliver Gavin

*subject to review

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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