|The Motor Sports Association – governing body of UK motor sport – has reaffirmed its commitment to British talent by launching an elite driver training programme to incorporate all UK racing formulae, whether GT, touring car or single-seater. MSA British Race Elite was announced today (11 January) by Alan Gow, MSA Chairman, at the Autosport International Show at the NEC in Birmingham (picture above).
The carefully devised scheme will offer the most promising young British racing drivers the opportunity to join a special programme established specifically to develop their skills and give them the best possible chance of making the step up to the highest levels. As well as working on track performance, engineering skills and technical understanding, the drivers will also be developing the vital additional areas such as physical training, mind coaching, career management, sponsorship generation, promotion and media presentation that complete the all-round package of the modern motor racing driver.
The MSA British Race Elite programme will be operated by Brabham Performance Clinic, fronted by one of the world`s renowned international racing drivers, David Brabham, and leading mind coach and sponsorship expert, Don Macpherson.
“I am very proud to be able to launch the MSA British Race Elite programme today,” said Alan Gow. “The MSA Rally Elite programme already has proved to be a huge success and I`m confident that David Brabham and his highly talented team will provide a similarly prestigious programme for young race drivers. It`s very important for all involved in UK motor sport that this country continues to produce top class race and rally competitors and these two complimentary MSA schemes have been established not only to help our most promising young talents to fulfil their potential but also to encourage others to compete in motor sport whether it`s at amateur or professional levels.”
“This is a new and exciting challenge for me,” confirmed Brabham. “Motor racing is one of the few sports with no recognised training or coaching qualifications; young drivers are just expected to navigate their way through what`s a highly complicated sport. I feel through the MSA Race Elite programme I will be able to pass on all the knowledge and experience I`ve gained during the last 23 years. I wish I`d known at the outset what I know now, particularly the mental and physical aspects of the sport.”
The programme will cover all areas of physical and mental preparation and training, track performance and development, technical and engineering awareness in areas such as engine, gearbox, suspension, tyres and electronics and Aerodynamics. It will also bring in experts to advise on career management, media, sponsorship and promotional training.
Partners include the University of Bath`s Sports Development Department, currently involved in training Olympic athletes, and Dr Steve Carpenter on the physical and mental health side. Avon Tyres, Hewland Engineering, Multimatic, Zytek and Wirth Research will all be involved to provide a technical perspective. THB Clowes and Arbuthnot Latham Private Bank will offer valuable guidance on insurance and finance, while the Brabham Performance Clinic`s own experts will offer mind training plus tips on how to deal with the media and sponsorship presentations.
Potential candidates must have a British Passport, or be eligible for one, be aged between 16 and 25, must hold an MSA competition licence, and must have competed in a recognised national championship for a minimum of 12 months. Applications for entry into the scheme can be made through a special website (www.msabritishraceelite.co.uk).
A shortlist of 20 candidates will be drawn up and a selection panel will then choose up to six drivers that they consider to offer the best prospects of future success for the first intake of the MSA British Race Elite. This process will be achieved by means of physical and mental assessment as well as analysis of current levels of performance.
A full press pack can be downloaded below.