|The new scheme complements and builds on the success of the MSA British Rally Elite, the brainchild of 2001 World Rally Championship co-driver Robert Reid. It was introduced for the 2005 season with the aim of developing young talent and easing the transition for drivers and co-drivers from the British Rally Championship to the World Rally Championship.
The Academy features a workshop based learning structure where the six selected participants undertake training in physiology, conditioning, psychology and driver and co-driver development. Successful participants in the Academy will be given the opportunity to progress to the Elite scheme which builds on the training by focusing on one-to-one development sessions and specific development needs of the Elite scheme participants.
"We learnt from the first year of MSA British Rally Elite that there were a lot of drivers and co-drivers out there who didn`t necessarily have the experience to be part of the Elite scheme, but nevertheless wanted to be part of a structured scheme to develop their rallying," says Robert Reid. "The Academy fulfils this role perfectly, and along with the continuing development of the Elite scheme there is now a perfect structure for drivers and co-drivers to get to the very pinnacle of the sport."
"We have been delighted with the Elite programme since it was established last year," says Colin Hilton, MSA Chief Executive. "Matthew Wilson`s arrival on the WRC scene may have stolen the headlines, but each of the six Elite students has made significant progress both in and out of the car and we have seen the credibility of the scheme continue to grow. The Academy is a natural extension of the programme and helps to establish a genuine staircase for the development of the best young talent in this country."
Britain`s only driver in the World Rally Championship, Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team driver, Matthew Wilson, is currently part of the Elite scheme and praises the contribution it has made to his development.
"It`s amazing how much you can learn from working with someone like Robert," says Matthew Wilson. "There`s just so much experience there and he can help and assist you in the right direction. The team from Edinburgh University are also fantastic. I would never have believed that I could have recovered so quickly from my accident if it hadn`t been for the help that they gave me."
The MSA British Rally Academy opens for applications on Wednesday 15th February and closes on Friday 10th March. Applicants need to hold a British passport and an MSA Competition licence, and be aged between 17-25 on 1st January 2006.
Application and further information can be found online at www.msabritishrallyacademy.co.uk. The scheme is open to six drivers or co-drivers in 2006.