Elite Motorsport Academy underway this week

| Photographer Credit: Terry Marshall

The Elite Motorsport Academy of New Zealand’s annual camp gets underway this week with the winner being awarded the Bruce McLaren Trophy from 2022 onwards.

Hugo Allan, Robbie Stokes, Marco Giltrap, Zac Christiansen, Sebastian Manson, Jackson Clendon, Troy Pennington and Hayden Bakkerus will head to Dunedin on Saturday 25 June to begin the 2022 edition of the Elite Motorsport Academy camp with the first winner of the Bruce McLaren Trophy being announced on Saturday 2 July.

The camp where the academy attendees will vie for the new accolade is held annually at the University of Otago and run by the Otago Academy of Sport. Soon after arrival at the camp, participants will be assessed on components of their physical fitness relevant to being an elite driver.

Workshops covering sports 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 as well as providing them with experiences to help them in the future.

The participants will also be split into teams to improve their teamwork skills and will complete further classes and challenges together as a team.

The Bruce McLaren Trophy was originally won by Bruce McLaren after finishing third at the 1964 Canadian GP at Mosport in his McLaren Elva sportscar. The trophy was then presented to the British Racing and Sports Car Club by Patty McLaren, Bruce’s late wife, after his death in 1970. The BRSCC, with Patty’s input decided that the most appropriate use of the trophy was to award it to the highest-placed New Zealand or Australian driver in a BRSCC series. This was then awarded from 1970-1976.

In 2000 the trophy was then presented to MotorSport New Zealand where it was allocated to the winner of the Prodrive Trust scholarship, which ran from 2001-2003. The scholarship, known as the ‘Bruce McLaren Scholarship’ included a trip to Europe and a visit to the McLaren factory. The Prodrive Trust was the first iteration of what is now known as the MotorSport New Zealand Scholarship Trust which administers the Elite Motorsport Academy.

Over the trophy’s history, some of motorsport’s biggest names have been etched alongside McLaren’s. In the BRSCC era Howden Ganley, Alan Jones, Rob Wilson and John Nicholson were among the winners while Supercars stalwarts Fabian Coulthard and Chris Pither headlined the recipients when part of the Prodrive Trust.

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