Motorsport Australia supports “Racing Together” diversity project | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Motorsport Australia supports “Racing Together” diversity project

05.10.20

Founded by FIA Environmental Delegate Garry Connelly AM and his wife Monique, Racing Together aims at helping Indigenous Australians break into the motor racing industry. The programme has recently completed a successful first outing with around 40 teenagers from Logan, south of Brisbane, taking part in the activity day at Norwell Motorplex.

Designed to help indigenous youths aged between 12 and 16 get an insight into motor sport and make a potential transition into a career in the sport, the program’s first official open day saw participants undergo a number of skill and aptitude tests, including driving on the track – and for most, it was their first time behind the wheel.

Making up the tests for the participants were a series of activities, including driving on both the track and in a simulator, reaction and eye/hand coordination tests and mock interviews, as well as examinations on their mechanical knowledge, interest and ability.

On hand to help the teenagers throughout the testing, as well as mark them on their performances, were former Supercars driver and track owner Paul Morris, Erebus Motorsport’s Anton De Pasquale and 2017 Bathurst 1000 winner Luke Youlden, as well as senior Formula 1 Steward Garry Connelly, who is also FIA Environmental Delegate and Member of the World Motor Sport Council.

All four will be involved in the evaluation process to determine the candidates who will now to take part in the official program, which begins later this month.

As a result of the two-day program, a driver and team members will then be chosen to take on a fully supported racing program in the Queensland Hyundai Excel X3 Series next year.

For Connelly, who founded the program alongside his wife Monique and with the support of Logan-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation Gunya Meta, it was a proud moment to see all 40 participants enthusiastic for the event.

“We hosted 40 candidates, half of whom were girls, and some of the most successful people in Australian motorsport were able to give them an introduction to the world of motorsport and the many career opportunities it offers,” Connelly said.

“Some of them really impressed us with their eagerness to learn and their raw potential and it's going to be a difficult job for organisers to pick the group to progress to the run-off.”

The official Racing Together Program takes place at Norwell Motorplex on 24-25 October, and is supported by Motorsport Australia.