The Motor Sports Association (MSA) have unveiled the line-up for this year's Team UK national squad, as well as announcing the new intake for the MSA Academy.
Announced at the Autosport International Show, the racing drivers selected to join the MSA's driver development scheme, under the guidance of national race coach David Brabham, are Jack Harvey, Josh Hill, Josh Webster, Alex Lynn, Lewis Williamson, Nick Yelloly and Oliver Rowland.
Three rally drivers, Mark Donnelly, Elfyn Evans and John MacCrone, have been selected to join the programme under the guidance of new national rally coach James Wozencroft, while co-drivers Andrew Edwards, Stuart Loudon and James Morgan will work alongside national co-driver coach Nicky Grist.
Brabham said: “We are very excited by the make-up of this year's squad. Oliver obviously claimed the McLaren Autosport Young Driver title and we are looking forward to working with him for the first time, while Alex will have learned a lot from that shoot-out experience. Indeed he has already gained a place on the FIA Institute Driver Academy, as has Lewis Williamson who was with us last year, and this will further extend the training programme and development that both drivers receive. We welcome Josh Hill and Nick Yelloly to the squad for the first time, as well as Josh Webster who becomes the first graduate of the MSA's Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence programme at Loughborough College to take the step up to Team UK.”
Wozencroft commented: “We're delighted to have Elfyn and John back for another year as both have made significant progress in the past 12 months. Mark Donnelly had a really impressive couple of years and we are really looking forward to working with him.”
Grist added: “The art of co-driving is so specialised that it's very difficult to fit the guys into the overall Team UK programme, so we're going to create a new schedule for them. Of course, if something is happening with the drivers that can benefit the co-drivers, then we'll incorporate that, but I think we can have a big impact with some more bespoke training.”
Ten young circuit racers are joining the ranks of the MSA Academy, these being Jody Fannin, Max Goff, Archie Hamilton, Jordan King, Seb Morris, Matt Parry, James Peace, Dan Wells, Dino Zamparelli and Charlie Robertson. They will be joined by karters Ben Barnicoat, Matt Graham, Jessica Hawkins, Callan O'Keeffe and James Singleton, as well as rally drivers Callum Black, Nick Cristofaro, Peter Taylor and Jack Rowe.
Also going to be part of the MSA Academy will be the drivers enrolled on the 2011/12 AASE programme through Loughborough College. These are Jordan Annels, Jack Barlow, Callum Bowyer, Damon Brooks, Jonathon Brown, Jake Dalton, Cameron Davis, Jake Dennis, Jamie Dzyra, Ryan Green, Ryan Hayes, David Humpston, Chris Ingram, Tom Ingram, Declan Jones, Matthew Lambert, Sarah Moore, Oliver Myres, Jade Paveley, Rhys Price, James Raven, Shaun Slavin, Matt Thompson, Matt Tiffin, Charlie Turner, Bradley Wheeler and Luke Whitworth.
MSA Performance Director Robert Reid commented: “Thanks to the great work of everyone involved with the MSA Academy, Team UK and the AASE programme, we now have a tremendous wealth of knowledge and experience at our disposal. We now want to spread that knowledge much further and ensure that as many young drivers as possible are developing themselves and their careers in the right way.
“Thanks to the support of our friends at the Racing Steps Foundation, we have been able to develop a suite of materials that can really help young drivers at an early stage of their careers and roll that out more widely. These new Academy members will benefit from a number of development sessions during the year, as well as access to the MSA coaches as they require. We know from the feedback we receive just how valuable this kind of programme can be, so we are delighted to be able to expand our efforts in 2012.”