2017 SMS Academy Announcement

This morning saw the successful applicants to the inaugural Scottish Motor Sports Academy announced at the Ignition Festival of Motoring, with the help of Formula One presenter Lee Mckenzie and 2001 World Rally Champion, Robert Reid.  

The SMS Academy was set up to support young riders and drivers (aged 14-20) who are showing potential to excel in the sport. Since announcing this new talent development initiative back in June, we have been inundated with applications and interest. This has made the job of the selection panel – which included three time Le Mans 24 hours winner Allan McNish and three times British Superbike Champion Niall Mackenzie – extremely difficult but after some deliberation, the following competitors have been selected:

Ben Dignan (Roybridge, SACU - Trials)

Ben Thomson (Kelso, SACU - Enduro)

Callum Grigor (Wishaw, SACU Road Race)

Cameron Evans (Renfrew, MSA - Kart)

Dexter Patterson (Glasgow, MSA - Kart)

Duncan MacColl (Lanarkshire, SACU - Trials)

Emily Glanvill (Penicuick, MSA - Race)

Gillian McGaw (Kilmarnock, SACU - Road Race)

Jack Davidson (Falkirk, MSA - Race)

Jack Gordon (Aberdeenshire, MSA -Kart)

James Coltart (Perthshire, MSA - Sprint)

Jamie Simpson (Ayrshire, SACU - Trials)

Jude Macdonald (Inverness, MSA - Jnr Rally)

Kyle Best (Cumbernauld, MSA - Kart)

Lewis Paterson (Perthshire, SACU - Road Race)

Malcolm Summers (Windygates, SACU - Trials)

Michael Macpherson (Black Isle, MSA - Race)

Peter Beaton (Ardersier, MSA - Jnr Rally)

Stuart Mack (East Lothian, SACU - Enduro)

The SACU have also selected an additional four riders from a younger age category (10-14) to receive some support from the SMS Academy. These four riders will be supported through a slightly less comprehensive ‘Rising Stars’ programme. The selected rising stars are:

Christina Palmer (Dunbar, Motocross)

Jamie Galloway (Thornton, Trials)

Owen Patterson (Perthshire, Road Race)

Ross Galloway (Thornton, Trials)

The SMS Academy members will each be allocated a coach to offer remote support and advice when needed across the year. Between now and August 2018, the members will take part in four development workshops, which will support them in all aspects of their development, equipping them with the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to maximise their performance.

The first SMS Academy workshop will be held on Wednesday 18th October at Knockhill, where the Academy members will be developing their own performance profiles and learning about sponsorship, amongst other subjects.  The programme will be delivered by fully qualified MSA Level 2 coaches, Blair Brown and Malcolm McNab who both have a diverse range of motorsport experience of their own; Blair is a former quad bike racer and British Rally Championship driver whilst Malcolm is a former kart racer and experienced racing driver in the Scottish Mini Cooper Championship. Both coaches will be supported throughout the programme by MSA level 4 Coach, James Wozencroft, who also has experience on two and four wheels having competed up to junior world championship level in rallying and having also taken part in Enduro events on two wheels.

Stewart Harris, Chief Executive, sportscotland said: 

“This is an exciting new initiative from our partners at Scottish Motor Sports to support the development of the next generation of one of Scotland’s most successful sports, and we are delighted to be involved.

“The drivers and riders will receive not only top quality coaching, but will also learn the other attributes and skills they will need to develop to succeed in their sport and I hope they will make the most of this terrific opportunity.  I wish them every success and look forward to following their progress.”

SMS Development Manager, Rory Bryant, commented:

“It’s been absolutely fantastic to make this announcement in front of a big audience at the Ignition Festival today. There’s been a huge amount of interest in the Academy Since we announced it back in June and it’s great to see it all finally coming together. On behalf of Scottish Motor Sports I’d like to congratulate and welcome all the new SMS Academy members, who we are very much looking forward to working with over the next year.”

In addition to the competitors supported on the SMS Academy, we’d also like to acknowledge the support already offered to Scottish competitors through the MSA Academy, which supports the following competitors:

Ben Donkin (Offered place on 2017 AASE programme)

Charley Sayer-Payne (Co-driver Programme)

Finlay Retson (Year 2 of AASE Programme)

Jake Hutchinson (Offered place on 2017 AASE programme)

Jonnie Mackay (Offered place on 2017 AASE programme)

Josh Hislop (Offered place on 2017 AASE programme)

Ross Martin (Squad Programme)

Sandy Mitchell (Offered place on 2017 AASE programme)

Seb Melrose (Squad Programme)

Toney Logie (Offered place on 2017 AASE programme)


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