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2024 Elite MotorSport New Zealand Academy announced

The class of 2024 for the Elite Motorsport Academy of New Zealand has been revealed at the MotorSport New Zealand Awards Evening on Saturday.

Eight young motorsport competitors from across New Zealand will head to Dunedin for the Elite Motorsport Academy camp from 7-13 July. Jacob Douglas, Zach Blincoe, Will Kitching, Jacob Begg, Ben Stewart, Bryn Jones, Hunter Robb and Mason Potter have been named as the class of 2024.

Held at the Otago Academy of Sport, the week-long academy camp is the first part of a 12-month development program that is world-renowned in motorsport. Participants will receive tutelage from experts on the ‘off-track’ elements of motorsport such as nutrition, fitness, media, marketing, sponsorship, data analysis and much more.

18-year-old Wellington racer Ben Stewart has been a young driver to watch in recent seasons. Stewart has been competitive in the new TA2 series off the back of a dominant Mazda Racing Series title the previous season.

Cambridge-based rally driver Bryn Jones, 22, has a promising future in the sport. Fresh off the back of his NZ Junior Rally Championship win in 2023, Jones is looking to further his career with this year’s academy.

17-year-old race driver Hunter Robb, from Auckland, narrowly missed out on the 2023 Toyota 86 Championship after putting on an incredibly strong performance throughout.

Jacob Begg, 16, of Southland has been a regular feature in the South Island Formula Ford series in recent times. In the latest season, he finished runner-up in the Class 2 series.

Christchurch-based international racer Jacob Douglas, 18, already has a wealth of experience competing overseas. Recognising the huge benefits and success of the academy, Douglas is looking forward to returning to New Zealand to take part in the programme.

18-year-old Mason Potter from Papatoetoe has forged a path in single-seaters in his aspiring career. Potter finished fourth in this season’s NZ Formula Ford Championship with multiple race wins.

Promising Timaru racer Will Kitching, 17, has varied experience in both endurance racing and the Mazda Racing Series where he finished third overall in the series.

Zach Blincoe, 18, of Auckland is a seasoned open-wheeler driver who has enjoyed success in both Formula First and Formula Ford – winning in both.

Wayne Christie, MotorSport New Zealand President and trustee of the MotorSport New Zealand Scholarship Trust, commended the high level of applicants to choose from in 2023.
“New Zealand has such a depth of young motorsport talent which makes our job as selectors for the academy incredibly tough,” commented Christie.

“This year’s class is the future of New Zealand motorsport, and perhaps even more encouraging was how high the level of talent was of those that just missed out on selection this year.

“On behalf of all the trustees, I want to wish this year’s academy cohort all the best for the camp in Dunedin. I know the trustees are looking forward to monitoring your progress.”

The Elite Motorsport Academy first ran in 2004 and its over 150-strong list of graduates reads of the “who’s who” of the modern era of New Zealand motorsport. International stars such as Shane van Gisbergen, Hayden Paddon, Brendon Hartley, Earl Bamber, Nick Cassidy, Mitch Evans, Richie Stanaway and Andre Heimgartner have all graduated from the academy.

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