Motorsport New Zealand Elite Motorsport Academy Applications Open

Details of the Motorsport New Zealand Elite Motorsport Academy, which has opened applications for 2024, highlight this week’s Driver Development Roundup.

You will also find details on the Skip Barber Racing School’s Formula Race Series 2024 season and scholarship, the new DEForce Racing Driver Development team, the partnership between the new Red Bull Academy Program and MP Motorsport to compete in F1 Academy and much more.

It’s all in this week’s edition of the Driver Development Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. News that aspiring race drivers can use.

Motorsport New Zealand Elite Motorsport Academy Applications Open

Applications are now open for the Motorsport New Zealand Elite Motorsport Academy. The aims of the Academy are the following:

  • To provide a one-week intensive “in camp” programme of physical and educational training assistance package for up to nine MotorSport New Zealand recognised Race or Rally competitors who have already demonstrated the ability to excel in their chosen motorsport discipline.
  • To provide a tailored twelve-month follow up package for the academy graduates to ensure they retain and further develop the training regimes and educational opportunities demonstrated “in camp’.

Those chosen to attend will live “in camp” for the duration of the Elite Academy and in addition to the personal development thrust of the programmes will undertake a number of team building activities. These activities will be awarded points with recognition at the end of the camp to the team scoring the highest.

Soon after arrival “in camp” attendees will be assessed on components of their personal fitness relevant to being an elite driver. Components to be assessed will include:

  • Strength
  • Endurance
  • Flexibility
  • Heat stress tolerance
  • Reaction time
  • Visual abilities
  • Muscle balance/posture

Workshops covering sport psychology, nutrition, data analysis, public speaking/media skills, motorsport regulations and procedures as well as daily physical training routines will provide an all-encompassing week of learning designed to test and sometimes stretch attendees’ mental and physical limits.

During the course of the week, all attendees will develop a sponsorship proposal, which they will have five minutes to present verbally to a panel of judges on the last day of the Academy. The format is not too dissimilar to the TV programme “Dragons Den”.

Application close at 5:00pm on Monday 11th of March 2024. Full details and how to apply can be found here.

Skip Barber Racing School

Entries for the 2024 Skip Barber Formula Race Series are now open. Since its inception in 1976, the Skip Barber Race Series has served as the proving ground for countless motorsports legends including Sergio Perez, Alexander Rossi, Josef Newgarden, Marco Andretti, and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

With expert race coaching from Skip Barber Instructors, Skip Barber’s Mygale F4 race cars, a true arrive-and-drive format, and the amenities of a professional race weekend, the series offers a perfect steppingstone for drivers looking to progress their career after karting. Recent competitors in the Skip Barber Race Series include reigning champion Sebastian Wheldon, Jeshua Alianell, Caleb Gafrarar, and Jaxon Bell.

The first race of the 2024 season is slated for March 1 at Sebring International Raceway. The overall champion of the Skip Barber Formula Race Series will be offered a scholarship valued at $100,000 to advance to USF Juniors in the following season.

Interested parties can visit or call 866.932.1949 to learn more.

Driver Development Roundup

DEForce Racing has unveiled the establishment of the DEForce Racing Driver Development (DEForce DD), set to compete in the USF Juniors Presented by Continental Tire Championship.

The creation of the DEForce Racing Driver Development signifies a significant expansion of the USF Juniors Championship operation, providing a platform for less experienced drivers to join the program. Rooted in DEForce Racing’s core philosophy of growth and excellence, this initiative aims to nurture emerging talent, with the goal of enabling drivers to transition seamlessly from DEForce Driver Development to DEForce Racing after gaining one or two years of invaluable experience.

“At DEForce Racing, our core principles revolve around excellence, mentorship, and opportunity. With the launch of DEForce DD, we aim to extend these values to a broader spectrum of drivers who may not have extensive experience but possess immense potential and dedication,” said David Martinez, Team Principal at DEForce Racing.

You can contact the team through their website here.

Driver Development Roundup

MP Motorsport has its three F1 Academy drivers set for the 2024 season thanks to a partnership with the newly formed Red Bull Academy Program. The Red Bull Academy Program is sponsoring three drivers: Hamda Al Qubaisi driving for Red Bull Racing, Amna Al Qubaisi driving for Visa Cash App RB and Emely De Heus driving for Red Bull.

All three drivers will sport the colors of the associated brand as well as further sponsors which are set to be announced in the near future.The Academy Program will be led by Manager Sarah Harrington and the Performance Coach has been a part of Red Bull racing since 2016.

A little over one month ago, SCCA Women on Track announced 14 scholarships to assist female participants during the 2024 competition season. Those scholarships would span SCCA Road Racing, volunteering, RallyCross, Time Trials, RoadRally, and Solo – everything that makes the Sports Car Club of America® what it is today. It was also announced that the application deadlines for the SCCA Road Racing Drivers’ School Scholarship, the National Time Trials Scholarship, and the Wendi Allen Solo Scholarship was Jan. 12, with those scholarship recipients being announced on Jan. 26 during the 2024 SCCA National Convention. The winners have been announced and the SCCA website has all the details.

SCCA Women on Track scholarships that are accepting applications through May 31, 2024, are the Runoffs Volunteer Scholarship, RallyCross Nationals Scholarship, and RoadRally Scholarship. In addition, one more Time Trials Scholarship is still accepting applications, with this scholarship assisting in the funding of female drivers aiming to compete specifically at the Tire Rack SCCA Time Trials Nationals Powered by Hagerty in October.

More Than Equal

There are obvious physical reasons why men and women don’t compete directly against each other in many sports. But motor racing is not one of them. There’s no anatomical difference stopping women from beating men when driving a car round a track. Yet no female driver has even competed in Formula 1 since 1992. More Than Equal hopes to change that. James Morris of Forbes talked to CEO Ali Donnelly about how the organization is planning to champion female driving talent from an early age.

It’s a complimentary approach to other initiatives like F1 Academy,” continues Donnelly. “We’re independent. We’re not connected to a team or a series. Our perspective on the F1 Academy and the former W series (which ended in 2022 after three years) is that one of the challenges for women and girls is the very small amount of participation. Less than 10% of all motorsport participants around the world are female. That’s a very small pool. We’re here to champion and support initiatives that change that. One of the key concepts is that if you can’t see it, you can’t be it. This has become a cliche, but it’s true. You need role models and high-profile visibility to aim at. If you are a girl coming into sport, you want to look up and see yourself.”

Driver Development Roundup

Aston Martin Aramco Formula One Team has launched a new partnership with Spinal Track – a charity dedicated to giving fully funded track and rally experiences to disabled drivers.

Spinal Track provide specially adapted cars developed by racers who understand the wants and needs of disabled car enthusiasts. The charity was created by Nathalie McGloin and her husband Andrew Bayliss to support people with disabilities and help motorsport organizations discuss the topic openly while implementing measures to be fully accessible and inclusive.

Spinal Track will work with Aston Martin Aramco to improve accessibility at the new AMR Technology Campus in Silverstone and deliver guidance on improvements to be implemented. The first milestone for the partnership is the debut of the AMR24 bringing racing drivers and spectators with disabilities trackside to witness the team’s new challenger at Silverstone circuit on 12 February.

Nathalie McGloin, Co-founder of Spinal Track, said:

I am excited to be working with Aston Martin Aramco. This is a team that wants to operate as a responsible business and the programme we have formulated together really speaks to their ambition for the future. With my work at the FIA as Disability and Accessibility Commission President to make F1 races more accessible, the same principles can be applied across the AMR Technology Campus and trackside operations. There are so many ideas in the pipeline and harnessing this amazing brand will create rich experiences for all involved.”

Mark Boudreau
Author: Mark Boudreau

Mark is the publisher of Motorsport Prospects. As a former lawyer, he applies his legal background and research skills to assist race drivers by showcasing the resources they need to make their motorsport careers happen.