Seven co-drivers chosen for MSA Academy programme


Seven promising young rally co-drivers have been selected for exclusive coaching on the 2017 MSA Academy development programme, led by Nicky Grist and Paul Spooner.

The initiative aims to support the next generation of UK co-drivers and help ensure that they remain the best in the world. It is primarily workshop-based but the tailored approach to development means that individual support is also available.

The latest seven selected for the programme are:

  • Chris Sharpe-Simkiss (23)
  • Harry Thomas (21)
  • Jon Hawkins (25)
  • Osian Wyn (22)
  • Peredur Davies (24)
  • Sinclair Young (26)
  • Tom Murphy (19).

Sharpe-Simkiss has competed in over 150 events and aims to contest national championships in 2018. “This is a fantastic opportunity for me to develop my co-driving further and has reassured me that all the hard work I’ve put in since starting out has paid off,” he said. “I can’t wait to get started and tap into Nicky and Paul’s vast knowledge and experience.”

Grist, a 21-time WRC rally winner, added: “We had an unprecedented volume of applicants for the 2018 MSA Academy co-driver programme. Choosing the final seven was not an easy task but we have a great group of up-and-coming youngsters who will benefit massively from this unique experience to take them to the top of the sport. Both Paul and I are really looking forward to working with them, starting at Dayinsure Wales Rally GB in just over a week’s time.”

Meanwhile 2016 members Aaron Johnston (22) and Keaton Williams (22) will continue on a graduate programme, with on-going access to Grist and Spooner’s expertise.

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