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MSA Academy drivers dominate shortlist for McLaren Autosport award

Five members of the MSA Academy are among the drivers battling it out for one of the biggest prizes in British motor sport this weekend.

Jake Hughes, Chris Middlehurst, Seb Morris, Matt Parry and Charlie Robertson are among the six hopefuls short-listed for this year’s coveted McLaren Autosport BRDC Award which in the past has been won by David Coulthard, Dario Franchitti and Jenson Button.

The latest winner – to be announced on Sunday evening (1st December) at the prestigious Autosport Awards staged at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane – will receive £100,000 plus a McLaren Formula 1 test, BRDC membership and an Arai helmet.

All six finalists were recently assessed at Silverstone in a wide range of competitive machinery, including Formula 2, DTM and McLaren GT3 racing cars, by a judging panel including ex-F1 racer Derek Warwick and multiple MSA BTCC champion Jason Plato.

The MSA Academy has a great track record of success in the competition, with its members scooping the prize in four of the last five years with Alexander Sims, Lewis Williamson, Oliver Rowland and Jake Dennis.

Middlehurst, 18, is the 2013 Formula Renault BARC champion; Morris, 17, is a race winner in BRDC Formula 4; Parry, 19, is the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC champion while Robertson, the youngest of the finalists at 16, is the 2012 Ginetta Junior champion and a race winner in the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 series. These four have worked with the Academy throughout 2013, while BRDC F4 champion Jake Hughes, 19, recently joined the scheme.

The MSA Academy is a talent development pathway that equips the UK’s most promising young drivers with the knowledge, skills and attitude needed to maximize their abilities. Its work is supported by the generous backing of the Racing Steps Foundation which enables the MSA to increase the reach of the Academy programmes.

“We are always delighted to see MSA Academy drivers nominated for this prestigious award,” said Rob Jones, MSA Acting Chief Executive. “However, from an MSA perspective, it is much more significant that the feedback from the young drivers in the Academy confirms that we are having a meaningful and lasting impact on their career progression. That is the fundamental objective of the programme and should ensure that British drivers continue to lead the way in international motor sport for years to come.”

Photo caption: The six finalists for the 2013 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award – Chris Middlehurst, Charlie Robertson Jake Hughes, Jack Aitken, Seb Morris and Matt Parry (left to right). On Sunday night one will win a £100,000 plus a McLaren F1 test drive.

27 November 2013