The third session of the Scottish Motor Sport Academy (SMS Academy) concluded today at Knockhill Racing Circuit with Niall Mackenzie sharing his vast experience with the young riders Callum Grigor (SACU Road Race), Gillian McGaw (SACU Road Race), Jamie Simpson (SACU Trials) and Malcolm Summers (SACU Trials).
The SMS Academy was set up to support young drivers and riders aged 14-20 who are already showing potential to excel in the sport. A significant number of athletes applied to be part of the programme and a panel, including three-time Le Mans 24 Hour winner and former F1 driver Allan McNish and three times British Superbike champion Niall Mackenzie had the unenviable task of whittling that number down to select the 23 young drivers and riders to be part of the inaugural SMS Academy.
The day started with some technical talk increasing the riders and drivers theory knowledge and discussing key terms used when racing. Do you know what a Friction Circle is? Well, it affects all cars and bikes when driving, riding or racing and the young upcoming racers dived headlong into the theory of how it affects their riding and driving in competition.
With a breakout from the main group the riders sat down with three times British Superbike champion Niall MacKenzie to discuss riding techniques and the preparation, lifestyle, nutrition and fitness choices that leads from club level racing to national and international championship level racing careers.
The fourth session will take place in the summer when the riders and drivers will go through media training, take a look at their own profiles and how to develop them and practice interview techniques.