Junior development goes round The Bend

Monday 18 October, 2021
Photos: Mr Dusty Media
The Bend Motorsport Park has hosted a busy weekend of Motorsport Australia’s junior development programs with both FIA Girls on Track and Ricciardo’s Racers taking place.
 
Supported by the Office for Recreation, Sporting and Racing (in South Australia) the FIA Girls on Track event at The Bend featured 30 South Australian schoolgirls attending on Friday to take part in activities designed to give them an insight into motorsport.
  
From the pit stop and simulator challenges to STEM and media activities, the program gave the young girls an opportunity to see the fundamentals of motorsport as an opportunity to showcase the various roles that exist in motorsport, both on and off the track.
 
The day was then capped off with a tour of The Bend’s resident motorsport team, Jam Motorsport, which included a walkthrough of the team’s workshop by team manager and co-founder Courtney Tyler.
 
Tyler, a ‘Champion’ of the FIA Girls on Track program, was thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase the sport to young girls.
 
“We had a really good attendance on both days and it was fantastic to see how interested the girls were throughout every activity,” Tyler said.
 
“I think what impressed me most was how curious the participants were and how thoughtful the questions were. They were asking things that I would not have thought of when I was their age.
 
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“Being able to take through the workshop where they saw the crew working on the cars up close was really cool for them. To then see their reactions was definitely a highlight as many of them hadn’t been that close before.
 
“It was also great to see the girls show interest in elements outside of being a driver or a mechanic. This program is great as it introduces them to other roles in the sport opened them up to more possibilities.”
 
Click here for more information on FIA Girls on Track.
 
On Sunday, a maximum capacity Ricciardo’s Racers event took place, with attendees completing a number of activities under the guidance of the Driving Solutions team.
 
For the first time ever, there was a waiting list in place for the program, which teaches children aged between 12 and 17 the basics of motorsport through fun exercises in provided cars.
 
The South Australian edition of the program also gave kids the opportunity to complete the exercises in their choice of an automatic or manual transmission, enhancing their skills behind the wheel.  
 
From completing exercises under the guidance of experienced instructors before getting competitive with a timed slalom challenge, the kids were given the confidence to either pursue a motorsport career or understand the key principles of driving when they eventually get behind the wheel of their own daily drive.

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Motorsport Australia Director for South Australia and the Northern Territory, Kristen Bailey, attended the weekend’s activities, getting involved with FIA Girls on Track and overlooking Ricciardo’s Racers.
 
“It was such a fantastic weekend at The Bend, and it was great to see so many passionate teenagers attend both programs,” Bailey said.
 
“For the FIA Girls on Track day, I was thrilled to be able to be part of the team and help run the event. Hopefully we inspired the girls to look at finding a role that sees them be involved in the sport that we all love.
 
“Ricciardo’s Racers is also a brilliant program, and I can tell from the reports that participants all really enjoyed themselves. It's great that we can run a program that helps participants build their confidence throughout the course of the session.

"I believe in the Ricciardo's Racers program and have seen the benefits first hand with my own son having been a past participant."
 
Click here for more information on Ricciardo’s Racers.

Both Ricciardo’s Racers and the. FIA Girls on Track now head to Western Australia with spots available for eager participants to take part in either program.  
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