Karters again feature in the intake for this year's MotorSport New Zealand Elite Academy, Auckland drivers Christopher 'CJ' Sinclair and Reid Harker set to join seven other promising youngsters for the annual week-long programme in Dunedin in early July.13RMCRnd4TokLightsCJSinclair-1.jpg

The programme, which is run by the MotorSport NZ Scholarship Trust in conjunction with Excellence in Sport South Island and sports science specialists from the Otago University, is in its tenth year and Sinclair, 15, and Harker, 17, - both National title winners in KartSport New Zealand's Junior grades - are in good company.

In the ten years it has been going the Academy has hosted a number of promising young karters who have gone on to greater things, amongst them former Red Bull F1 Development Squad member Brendon Hartley, 2012 GP3 champion and current GP2 class standout Mitch Evans and fellow Toyota Racing Series and New Zealand Grand Prix winner, Nick Cassidy.

You don't have to have a background in KartSport to earn a place on the Academy but it obviously helps.

Of the nine successful applicants this year six got their four-wheel career start in a kart, including four of the five - Brendon Leitch from Invercargill, James Munro from Christchurch, Callum Quin from Auckland and Rowan Shepherd from the Hawke's Bay - picked from the race (cars) category.

"And that's been a consistent theme right from the start," says KartSport New Zealand Development and Administration Manager Robert Hutton. "While not quite a prerequisite, the driver who earns a place on the Academy without KartSport on his or her CV will be the exception rather than the rule."

The Programme the young drivers are put through focuses on a range of skills - both physical and mental - required for high performance sport and MotorSport New Zealand President Shayne Harris says that earning a place in the Academy is an achievement in itself.

"The sports scientists have recognised that the reflexes and fitness of some of the drivers that attend the Academy are equivalent to those of Olympic athletes and their reaction times are equal to or better than those of fighter pilots. It's a tough, demanding programme both physically and mentally and has become an integral component in assisting our young drivers to achieve their goals and fly the New Zealand's flag on one of the most demanding sporting stages in the world."

Christopher 'CJ" Sinclair (#94) and fellow Aucklander Reid Harker (#11) are the latest karters to have earned a place on the Elite MotorSport Academy programme in Dunedin. Photo credit: Fast Company/Graham Hughes


 Prepared by FAST COMPANY on behalf KartSport New Zealand. To find out more about Kartsport in New Zealand contact Ross MacKay on 021 677 919 or via e-mail on ross@fastcompany.co.nz









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