Twenty-four of Australia’s up-and-coming racing drivers were put through their paces at an extensive week of training at the CAMS Academy on the Gold Coast, presented by Morris Finance.
With drivers from both karting and circuit racing backgrounds taking part in two Academy camps, the racers received physiological training from esteemed motor sport trainers Fitness2Podium.
“Motor sport is indeed a sport. It’s more than just sitting on top of a bike or driving a motor vehicle, it’s about performing,” Fitness2Podium founder and head trainer Ben Cook said.
“It’s about taking the mental edge and even pushing it further.
“It’s like any sort of high performance - you need to be mentally and physically prepared for the challenges.”
While all drivers have achieved successful results in karting and other disciplines, the drivers reinforced their goals to continuously improve their on-track and fitness results beyond the Academy.
“When people look at racing, you don’t need to be as fit as other sports,” kart racer Damon Papasergio said.
“I really learnt a lot these two days of how fit you really need to be if you want to be a professional racing car driver.”
CAMS Foundation Rising Star Simon Fallon said all Academy drivers had received a “wake-up call” at the training.
“You have to show your respect to those [professional drivers] and all the hard work they’ve done, because it’s not easy doing all of that stuff,” Fallon said.
The CAMS Driver Development Program is part of CAMS’ strategy to develop a high-performance program to unearth Australia’s next generation of professional racing drivers.
It has been running since 2013.
“Attitudes have changed a lot, even since ten years ago,” Cook added.
“[Racing drivers] are now considered more of a high-performance athlete where the car is still a dominant factor.
“It’s much more of a combined effort between a driver, their fitness, their mental preparation, as well as their car and their skills.”
CAMS Foundation Rising Star Cameron Shields explained that the Academy participants were well-aware of the attributes a modern racing driver needs to possess.
“There is a lot of aspects outside of driving a car really fast,” Shields said.
“Plenty of diet work has to be done, also training, media attention, and lots of other various aspects that you never really thought of before coming into it - and it really does play a big part.”
“As a proud Australian business operating on a national basis, we are delighted to support local and international pathways for young talent to achieve their goals and ambitions,” Managing Director of Morris Finance, Nathan Murray said.
“From an initial alignment with Nick Percat, our business has enjoyed assisting a young man as he progressed up the motor sport ladder to become a Bathurst 1000 and Supercars race winner.
“We would like to continue our support behind tomorrow’s aspiring motor sport talent as they learn their craft, progressing from karts, Formula 4, and hopefully to Supercars or Formula 1 one day.”
CAMS Academy Class of 2017
Junior: Damon Papasergio, Cody Burcher, Zayd Tones, Johnathon Marcusson, Thomas Davies, Taylah Agius, Zac Crichton, Reece Cohen, Lachlan Hughes, Cooper Webster, Joshua Smith, Cody Brewczynski.
Senior: Zakkary Best, Josh Denton, Tyler Everingham, Simon Fallon, Harley Haber, Liam Lawson, Aaron Love, Jordan Mazzaroli, Zane Morse, Sage Murdoch, Cameron Shields, Ryan Suhle.