|Drivers Philip Morrow, Stuart Jones, James Wozencroft and Matthew Wilson were joined by co-drivers Daniel Barritt and Scott Martin as the first students on the recently established programme.
After an introduction from former world rally champion and Performance Director of MSA British Rally Elite, Robert Reid, an outline of the programme was presented by Huw Edwards, insert title, illustrating the breadth and scope of the skills that the sports scientists can employ to deliver marked improvements in elite performance in any sport.
"We have developed a bespoke programme, especially for the very particular demands of rally driving and co-driving," said Edwards. "Having put the students through their paces, we were immediately impressed by their physical strengths. It was also clear after the one-to-one sessions that these individuals are way ahead of their contemporaries in terms of psychological maturity."
The next stage of the programme will take place this weekend on the Jim Clark Rally when the students` performances will be observed, monitored and evaluated in the heat of competition.
"We have established a performance benchmark for each individual," explains Edwards, "but that was in a controlled environment. Now we need to see them in a competitive situation to monitor how they react to pressure and understand how their performances fluctuate during the event."
"I am delighted that the programme is off and running," says Robert Reid. "None of the guys really knew what to expect this week, but they have all been surprised by how much they have got out of even this preliminary induction. They have all, without exception, confirmed that we are offering a massively valuable addition to their career development, one that they would otherwise not have the opportunity to pursue.
"What was also interesting is that the group of six, most of whom did not know each other particularly well, came to the realisation without any prompting that collectively they now have a value as a `virtual` team. They are the MSA British Rally Elite; they have been identified as the best of the next generation and that has instantly given them a lift in their careers."