from LAUREN CORNES
Youngsters get the chance to give their racecraft a tune-up when the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport’s Ricciardo’s Racers Junior Drive Day clinic returns to Barbagallo Raceway on July 16.
In a first for 2017, juniors aged 12–17 have a choice of two clinics – an introductory course covering the basics of performance driving, or an advanced course for those who have completed the introductory course and are ready for an extra challenge. Both clinics are led by professional drivers like Karl Reindler, Tony D’Alberto and Elliot Barbour.
Australian Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo launched the 2017 edition of Ricciardo’s Racers at the Australian Grand Prix, taking time during the launch to highlight the flow-on effect courses like this have on road safety.
“I think that’s the great thing, you can do it in a safe environment,” said Daniel. “What a lot of people don’t understand that it then reflects on to your road skills, and your awareness on the road becomes a lot better. From a race car, you’re always looking ahead to read things. So you can read if someone’s crossing the road, or if there’s an accident. The racing stuff also helps, I believe, road safety.”
In 2016 alone, 680 new Ricciardo’s Racers licence holders joined CAMS. Past participants have continued their motorsport involvement as a result of the program. Some Ricciardo’s Racers graduates taking part in events such as motorkhanas, autocross, karting and even circuit racing.
“Even to hear those numbers, it’s pretty overwhelming for me,” Daniel said. “I appreciate the positive influence and the encouragement I can have on younger kids. It’s cool to know that people are trying to follow in my path.”
CAMS CEO Eugene Arocca said it was an honour for CAMS to have Daniel Ricciardo’s name attached to such an important programme in encouraging junior motorsport participation. “It’s fantastic that young Australians have the opportunity to participate in a structured, professional and safe motorsport program such as Ricciardo’s Racers,” Eugene said. “CAMS is honoured that Daniel Ricciardo has given his personal endorsement to name the program after him. Many young Australians look up to Daniel as a role model of sport, and we look forward to the next generation of young Australians participating across all levels of our sport.”
The introductory course costs $125 and covers basic car control, acceleration, braking, cornering skills and concluding with a hot lap by the qualified instructors. The advanced course costs $150, and participants will complete a number of skid pan activities and then take part in a competitive motorkhana event. A $30 licence fee applies to those who don’t already hold a CAMS Junior licence. Participants need to provide their own vehicle to use.
For more information on the course content or to register, please visit the Ricciardo’s Racers section of the CAMS website