Drivers learning how to gain edge

Taking on an intense week of training at a motorsport academy in Dunedin are (back, from left)...
Taking on an intense week of training at a motorsport academy in Dunedin are (back, from left) Robbie Stokes, Zac Christensen, Jackson Clendon, Marco Giltrap; (front, from left) Hugo Allan, Sebastian Manson, Troy Pennington and Hayden Bakkerus. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
The next wave of New Zealand motorsport talent is learning this week there is more to success than the mechanics of driving quickly.

Eight up-and-coming drivers are absorbing a programme in Dunedin that ranges from nutrition and mental skills to communication and dealing with sponsors.

Otago Academy of Sport programme manager Carmel Leslie said the drivers were devoted to working out where they could get a competitive edge and they were learning about the demands of life as high-performance athletes.

Previous athletes at the motorsport academy have included drivers who went on to become household names, such as Brendon Hartley, Shane van Gisbergen, Emma Gilmour and Hayden Paddon.

The programme is delivered by the sports academy, the University of Otago and the Motorsport New Zealand Scholarship Trust.

About one in 10 applicants were accepted this year.

At the end of an intense week, academy participants would have individual performance plans to keep them on track for the year ahead.



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