Michael Young, the only driver in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) from New Zealand, has been selected for the 2015 Motorsport New Zealand Elite Motorsport Academy running from 29 June until July 4.
Eight young motorsport competitors have been selected from across New Zealand, from different backgrounds and motorsport disciplines including Young and co-driver Malcolm Read.
The Motorsport New Zealand Elite Motorsport Academy has run for many years and provided young drivers with the essential skills to become motorsport professionals, with well-known graduates including Hayden Paddon, Mitch Evans and Brendon Hartley who have all gone on to enjoy considerable success around the world.
Young, a 22 year old from Opotiki, will return to New Zealand to compete in the academy after spending time away to raise the funds to pay for his rallying career. The academy is run as a competition and is not based purely on driving skills but rather focuses on the mental, physical, media, sponsorship and fitness sides of the sport.
The class of 2015 will battle it out for being top graduate and the Ian Snellgrove Trophy through various challenges and competitions.
Young is really looking forward to the challenge and has been training more than normal as he believes fitness will be a key factor to achieving success.
Young said: “I’m really happy to be selected for this year’s Elite Motorsport Academy. It’s something I have really wanted to do for a while as I have seen so many drivers achieve great things after graduating from the academy. “
“I have had some success driving lately but would like to learn more about the behind the scenes stuff like fitness, the mental challenges we face as drivers and develop more media skills. It’s going to be a huge challenge and an action packed week and I’m sure it won’t be easy as there are a lot of great drivers and co-drivers in this years class including my co-driver Malcolm Read.”
The duo are the first driver/co-driver pairing to participate in the Elite Motorsport Academy at the same time but have been placed in different teams, adding an interesting twist.
Malcolm Read said: “I’m really happy to be there but of course Mike and I will be competing against each other for a change, so that’ll be interesting. I’m sure there will be a bit of banter but it should be good.”
The week long intensive academy will be run in Dunedin and will again be held in conjunction with the New Zealand Academy of Sport, South Island.
The aim of the academy is to provide a programme of physical and educational training to recognised race or rally competitors who have already demonstrated the ability to excel in their chosen motorsport discipline.
The next rally on Young’s calendar is the International Rally of Queensland, round three of the APRC, held around the Sunshine Coast in Australia.
Young’s APRC campaign is supported by Cusco, EZY Racing, Dunlop, YodaRallying, Verandah Apartments, KOS Sunglasses and Sanjay Takale.