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Young SA racers ready for Development Academy

2016-06-24 12:20

BIG FUTURES: 18 young South Africans from various codes of motorsport have been chosen to partake in the inaugural South African Motorsport Development Academy. Image: Supplied

Johannesburg - Motorsport South Africa has confirmed that 18 young South African race drivers will participate in the inaugural MSA Motorsport Development Academy July 3-5.

Motorsport South Africa CEO Adrian Scholtz said: “MSA congratulates the 18 young drivers selected as participants in the Motorsport Development Academy. MSA was overwhelmed by the response to this inaugural Academy, with 59 applications received for the available places. 

“These young competitors can now look forward to an exciting three days of training and learning that we trust will enable each driver to take their motorsport careers to the next level. MSA wishes our Academy drivers well and we trust that their participation will be both beneficial and enjoyable.”

Broad field of racers

The drivers selected include four single-seater drivers; SA European Formula 3 racer Raoul Hyman, SA Formula Ford championship leader Julian Van Der Watt, Tristan de Nobrega and Delano Fowler. Six Engen VW Polo Cup divers - the most selected from a single racing category, with Bradley Liebenberg, Brad Benningfield, Shorter brothers Chris and Matt, and Oates brothers Darren and Justin heading to the Academy.

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15-year old Cape GTi Challenge racer Giordano Lupini is the youngest Academy driver selected, while fellow Cape competitor, Formula Supercar driver Dayne Angel is at the other end of the age gap.

Classic car racer Paige Lindenberg is the only woman racer, while two young BMW Club Racing Series chargers, Julian Familiaris and Willie Erasmus, and Siyabonga Mankonkwana round off the circuit racers selected to the Academy. 

Off-track motorsportsmen, Cross Country racer Gareth Woolridge and SA National Rally regular Richard Leeke complete the line-up.

Desire to reach the top

The drivers were selected after the MSA canvassed for local race driver candidates under the age of 23 years old and competing on four wheels. Applicants were required to demonstrate their will and the necessary ability to reach the top in motorsport.

The FIA-backed Academy is based closely on the FIA’s successful Young Driver Excellence Academy selection events. It runs in conjunction with the University of Pretoria’s High Performance Centre and Toyota Advanced Driving.

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The syllabus includes a variety of physical tests, driving exercises and classroom tuition covering a several subjects including sports science, nutrition, anti-doping, marketing and sponsorship, amongst others. 

The FIA’s support ensures that the elite three-day programme will run at no cost to the selected drivers, who will continue to be monitored for the remainder of the season, and will be expected to take a follow-up fitness test at the HPC at the end of the season.

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