|While the young drivers and co-drivers on the MSA-backed scheme were put through their paces at Edinburgh University from Friday to Sunday – in a schedule drawn up to mirror that of a WRC event – the open day for non-members on Saturday proved to be a real eye-opener for some senior motorsport figures. BP-Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team principal Malcolm Wilson - who gave a motivational talk to scheme members – was fulsome in his praise of the way in which the MSA British Rally Elite was educating the stars of tomorrow.
Members of the MSA British Rally Elite and Academy classes were given training sessions on the three main sport science elements; sport psychology, physiology and strength and conditioning. The Elite group benefited from one to one discussions on how to improve personal skills and performance in rallying whilst the Academy competitors received training in a workshop environment.
The weekend also delivered information on diet and nutrition, sponsorship and business skills and media and interview training; all from experts in the field. MSA Chief Executive Colin Hilton attended on day one for first hand experience of the training and to keep an eye on how the young hopefuls were developing.
As well as being the first group session in 2008, the event was open to non-members for the first time. The organisers decided to run an introductory workshop and networking opportunity after being impressed by the response they got from those who applied for the scheme but were unsuccessful. As well as a host of aspiring young drivers and co-drivers, a number of championship organisers and motorsport officials also took up the invite to see what the scheme had to offer first hand.
MSA British Rally Championship chief Mark Taylor said he was extremely impressed by what was on offer.
“Those who did not attend this event really have missed out because the quality of training on offer through the MSA British Rally Elite scheme is fantastic. I really believe we will see some of the people on the scheme today go on to be very successful in the British Rally Championship and World Rally Championship in the future.”
Performance Director Robert Reid was hugely encouraged by this season`s group who, he believes, have gelled together well and really grasped this fantastic opportunity.
“The three day session has gone remarkably well and it`s been great to meet and work with both the returning members and the new competitors. What they have learnt from the various experts and instructors over the weekend will absolutely make a different to their competitive performance going forward. Having now worked with this strong group I`m really excited to see what they will achieve this year.”
Notes for Editors:
The MSA British Rally Elite is a national training scheme for the top young British rallying talent and is supported by the sport`s governing body, the Motor Sports Association. Training is delivered by The Inside Line with Performance Director, and former WRC world champion, Robert Reid heading the initiative to bring the UK`s top young drivers into the World Rally Championship.