Connelly founds project for Indigenous Australians

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Connelly founds project for Indigenous Australians
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Formula 1 steward Garry Connelly has launched a new project aimed at helping Indigenous Australians break into the motor racing industry.

The Racing Together project is the brainchild of Connelly and his wife Monique, the pair teaming up with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation Gunya Meta and Bathurst 1000 winner Paul Morris.

The programme, which will kick off in October, will look to help young Indigenous Australians break into the motor racing industry.

That process will start with a two-day training and selection process for candidates aimed between 12 and 16 at Morris' Norwell Motorplex, from which one participant will win a scholarship to race in an appropriate series for 2021.

Other promising participants will be involved in running the car for the season.

All those involved will be required to commit to continuing their schooling alongside the motor racing programme.

The ultimate plan is for the project to join forces with the Ferrari Driver Academy, which earlier this year announced plans to set up an Asia-Pacific base at Sydney Motorsport Park.

“Australian motorsport has not had any noticeable participation by our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” said Connelly.

“Motorsport, like any sport, has enormous potential to provide a source of enjoyment, motivation, pride and employment to those who participate, be it as a driver, mechanic, race engineer or event official.

“The Racing Together project is designed to identify and then assist suitable candidates from a cohort of Indigenous young people of both genders, in the 12 to 16 years age group, and provide them with an opportunity to pursue a career in our sport, as either a driver or a member of a race team.”

Gunya Meta Indigenous Mentor Michael Orcher added: “Gunya Meta is proud to work with Garry and Monique Connelly to deliver Racing Together, particularly because of how passionate the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community is for motorsport.

“The love of cars and racing have been a part of our culture for a long time and is often shared in our families gathering to watch races or even working together to make or fix cars. Often our Mob’s homes will have an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander flag right next to a motorsport flag.

“With this amazing programme we can finally connect our interest with the opportunity to get a foot in the door of this international industry. Racing Together will create a path for Indigenous young people to gain experience and skills that might help make representation of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community on the global motorsport stage a reality, something that has not been done before.”

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Series General
Author Andrew van Leeuwen