The commitment by the UK’s governing body of motor sport, the Motor Sports Association, to help find and nurture the next British World Champion is reinforced with the opening of applications tomorrow for places on the 2009 MSA British Race Elite scheme.
Launched in January 2007, the elite driver training programme – which is led by internationally renowned and highly successful racing driver, David Brabham – is open to all competitors within UK racing, whether single-seater, GT or touring cars.
Its aim is to develop the skills of young British drivers both on and off track, and to help them to attain the best possible chance of moving up to the highest levels of motor sport. The success of the scheme was ably demonstrated by the selection of Elite driver, Alexander Sims, as the winner of the 2008 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award – one of the most prestigious titles available to young British drivers.
The scheme which runs closely alongside the MSA British Rally Elite programme under the guidance of the MSA’s Performance Director, Robert Reid, is associated with some of the most respected names in British motor sport. These include Avon Tyres, Hewland Engineering, Multimatic, Wirth Research and Zytek, plus additional partners such as the University of Bath’s Sports Development Department. The Williams F1 team provided one of the 2008 highlights by inviting the six Elite drivers to be VIP guests at an official test session at Silverstone, giving them a valuable insight into the running and workings of a Formula One team. In addition to these partnerships, the Elite drivers are given exclusive one-to-one mind training sessions and mentoring from the Brabham Performance Clinic directors, as well as sponsorship, finance and media training workshops.
Applicants are once again invited to apply online at www.msabritishraceelite.co.uk and those selected will embark on a 12-month programme of training and development from April 2009 to the end of March 2010. The minimum age is 17 and the maximum age is 25.
There is also an opportunity for a further six drivers to become members of the MSA British Race Academy which allows drivers access to the partnership visits and training workshops, and those six will be front line applicants – though not guaranteed – for the 2010 Elite places.
Robert Reid, Performance Director of the MSA:
"The MSA is committed to giving the UK's most promising young talent the best possible chance of making it to the highest level of the sport. The MSA's Elite schemes are clearly starting to have an impact and it was extremely encouraging that last month the two biggest awards in British motor sport were claimed by members of the Race and Rally Elite. I'm sure the Race Elite class of 2009 will continue this excellent progression."
David Brabham, MSA British Race Elite Performance Director:
“2008 was a very rewarding year for all those on the Race Elite scheme, with the highlight being Alexander’s selection for the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award in December. He had a very successful year in Formula Renault and I’m sure he’ll achieve great things in the 2009 Euro F3 series where he will be teamed with another of our Elite drivers, Sam Bird, who will be using the past twelve months’ experience to aim for the title.
“Andrew Jordan had an amazing debut year in the British Touring Car Championship and I’m sure it won’t be long before we see him winning races – following in the footsteps of former Elite driver, Colin Turkington.
“Henry Arundel will use last year’s F3 experiences to his advantage and will no doubt be making his mark on this year’s Championship with Carlin Motorsport, while Andy Meyrick – who suffered a life-threatening illness mid season – will be bouncing back to finish what he started. Until his season was brought to a premature halt, he was dominating the F3 National Championship.
“Stuart Hall had a testing season in the Le Mans Series, but has learnt so much that we are confident he will go from strength to strength in sportscar racing.
“We’ve seen all our drivers develop and mature both on and off the track as a direct result of what they have learnt from the MSA British Race Elite scheme. We’ve refined and improved various areas of the scheme since its inception, and aim to carry on that process for 2009. We want all our drivers to be race and Championship winners, and I’m convinced that the programme helps them achieve that goal in no uncertain terms.”
Applications for entry into the scheme must be made through
Potential candidates must:
· have a British passport
· be aged between 17 and 24 (as of 1st January 2009)
· hold an MSA competition licence
· have competed in a recognised national championship for a minimum of 12 months
Physical and mental assessment, as well as analysis of current levels of performance, will be taken into account, as will candidates’ future racing plans.
Applications open Friday, 9th January 2009
Applications close Saturday, 28th February 2009
The final selection will be made and announced by the end of March 2009.
8th January 2009
For further information contact Fiona Miller of the Brabham Performance Clinic on +44 7770 371332 or email to email@example.com