McLaren Applied Technologies welcomes young drivers to MTC for new Performance Academy
McLaren Applied Technologies (MAT) launched its unique Performance Academy for aspiring young drivers last week at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Woking. A group of nine young drivers, ranging in age from 13 – 17 years old, were selected for the Academy based on their commitment to the sport and their desire to improve their performance.
The young drivers were granted unprecedented access to the world-class facilities used by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers, Jenson Button and Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez, including practical sessions with state-of-the-art Technogym equipment in the building’s Fitness & Wellbeing Centre. The two-day programme also featured advice on nutrition, race preparation and skills training – all drawing on McLaren’s unrivalled expertise in the field of motorsport – and even raced against the clock to change a car’s tyres in a Pitstop Challenge.
“It’s widely acknowledged that starting young in motorsport is one of the best ways to achieve success,” said Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh. “However, the motorsport community also has a duty to work responsibly and diligently to ensure that a young driver’s path into motorsport is managed properly and without compromise.
“The programme put together by McLaren Applied Technologies does just that; it emphasises the need to learn and develop responsibly, while teaching complementary skills and techniques to improve youngsters’ motorsport understanding and experience.
“As we’ve demonstrated with our successful Young Driver programme, we also want to develop our junior racers into mature, grounded and responsible young adults. And the Performance Academy is the perfect way of opening up that opportunity to many more prospective young hopefuls.”
McLaren experts including Clayton Green, Manager of the Human Performance Programme, and Simon Reynolds, Driver Performance Manager, inspired and mentored the young group throughout their time at MTC.
Speaking about the Academy, Clayton added:
“McLaren Applied Technologies is proud to have launched such a successful programme to assist young, ambitious drivers in the development of their motorsport skills and understanding. The Performance Academy coaches them on every aspect of the sport and puts them in touch with professionals who educate and inspire. McLaren has developed unique and innovative ways of measuring and improving sporting performance, and it is great that we are able to share this with the next generation of motorsport champions.”
The Academy was attended by 17-year old young driver Shahaan Engineer. Speaking on the final day of the course, he said: “It is fantastic to have been part of this experience. The perfectionism of the building and the professionalism of everyone running the Performance Academy have been amazing.
“Guidance on what you need to do in a gym, and what you need to do before you go on-track is invaluable. Everything that they tell you is important and the fact that it is taught to you so well and so clearly is priceless.”
In addition to the two-day practical course, the young drivers will also receive a further follow-on session and a monthly feedback programme throughout the year to enable ongoing assessment and improvement.
For more information on the McLaren Applied Technologies Performance Academy, including information on how to register your interest for future courses, please email: [email protected]