Eight motorsport competitors from Auckland, Pukekohe, Inglewood and Christchurch have been selected to participate in New Zealand’s world-class Elite Motorsport Academy programme for 2018.
The Elite Motorsport Academy is managed by the MotorSport New Zealand Scholarship Trust and run by specialist tutors from Academy of Sport South Island and the University of Otago’s School of Physical Education’s Human Performance Centre. The year-long programme for eight participants commences with a ‘camp’ in Dunedin in July where the participants learn a wide array of skills and techniques to aid their mental and physical fitness as a motorsport competitor, as well as the sponsorship and marketing, nutrition and media skills needed to succeed in the sport. The programme also provides a twelve-month follow-up package tailored for each participant to ensure they retain and further develop the training regimes and educational opportunities demonstrated during the camp.
Wayne Christie, MotorSport NZ President and a trustee of the MotorSport NZ Scholarship Trust, says when reviewing applications, the five trustees look at the applicant’s determination and resources to make motorsport a career.
“This year, we saw a very high standard achieved by the applicants who reached the interview stage of the application process, in terms of their conduct and current racing skills. We stress to them that the Academy is another form of competition and encourage the successful applicants to push themselves throughout the year-long Academy programme. Everything counts – just as it would if a competitor approaches teams and sponsors – from their initial application form, to personal presentation and conduct, and interview capabilities.”
Representing several categories of racing, BNT V8 class two competitors Matthew Podjursky and Brock Timperley were among those selected.
Like many of his Academy classmates, Matthew Podjursky started in karts – at age 7 and becoming a two-time national title winner. The former NewPlymouth Boys High School student then spent three seasons racing in the NZ Formula First Championship where he finished a close second this past season with 20 podium finishes in eight rounds.
He also contested his first year in ‘tin tops’, racing a class two Falcon in the BNT V8s Championship. In what he describes as a big season of learning as a rookie, Podjursky scored five race podium and two round podiums.
Now an apprentice automotive technician, he aims to win the class two V8 title this coming summer and look at GT racing in the future.
Brock Timperley, from Auckland’s Henderson, is a former rookie of the season in the Mazda Pro 7 Championship and then won the NZ Mazda Pro7 Plus title and took third in the North Island Mazda series.
Stepping into a class two-winning Falcon in the BNT V8s Championship delivered a big learning curve for the 23-year-old who works in the automotive sector.
Strong mid-season performances, including three class wins at Manfeild, saw Timperley jump up the class two standings to finish his rookie season second in class.