June 24-25: The most promising young drivers in the country were put through 24 hours of arduous endurance training last week as the MSA Team UK took part in a military toughness exercise, designed to explore the national squad’s physical and mental limits.
Filmed by BBC TV for inclusion in its Formula One coverage later this year, the rigorous test was run by VOTwo Events and Adventure at Pippingford Estate in East Sussex – a location that is regularly used for training by the armed forces.
National Race Coach David Brabham and National Rally Coach Mark Higgins joined the Team UK members for the duration of the event, which comprised a series of strenuous tasks including river crossing, both on foot and on hand-built rafts, shelter building, night navigation and casualty evacuation.
The elite drivers, working together in teams and individually, also tackled an assault course and engaged in close target reconnaissance, experiencing at various times such stresses as exhaustion, sleep deprivation and exposure to exploding pyrotechnics.
Brabham said: “The last 24 hours have tested us all to our absolute limits of endurance. This is all about taking the guys out of their comfort zones and putting them under enormous pressure. In the future they will be better able to deal with the physical and mental demands of being elite drivers and can draw on those extra reserves of willpower and determination.”
Team UK and British F3 International Series driver James Calado said: “I’m absolutely destroyed! Completing the exercise has been a huge challenge that has definitely toughened me up mentally, which will be of real benefit to my career. Plus, I’ve always said that if I weren’t a racing driver I’d be in the Royal Marines, so I’ve enjoyed every minute of it; even being woken up in the middle of the night by thunder flashes!”
MSA Team UK is a national squad of the country’s most promising race and rally drivers, which sits at the pinnacle of the MSA Academy structure that guides young drivers from eight years old through to world championship level. Team UK is operated by Brabham Performance Clinic, under the direction of MSA Performance Director Robert Reid, with specific expertise provided by 2009 Le Mans champion David Brabham as National Race Coach and three-time British Rally Champion Mark Higgins as National Rally Coach.
The Team UK drivers for 2010 are: William Buller; James Calado; Alastair Fisher; Adam Gould; Martin McCormack; Alexander Sims; Will Stevens; Harry Tincknell; Oliver Webb; Dave Weston Jr.
The Motor Sports Association (MSA) is the national governing body for four-wheeled motor sport in the UK, responsible for the regulation and administration of the sport. The MSA is a member of the world governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and holds a seat on the World Motor Sport Council. The MSA represents 33,000 licence holders, 15,000 volunteer marshals and officials, more than 750 member clubs and issues permits for 5000 motor sport events every year.
In recent years the MSA has expanded its remit to cover the development of the sport and currently invests in excess of £1m a year in the three elements of its Whole Sport Plan. ‘Grow’ targets an increase in participation levels, ‘Sustain’ invests in the infrastructure of the sport, its clubs and its people, and ‘Excel’ focuses on training future world champions and educating their peers.
Release MSA10-040: 28 June 2010
For media information only. No regulatory value.