Motorsport UK’s Academy Co-Driver cohort continues to showcase talent

Friday 14 June 2024

An essential component of the Motorsport UK Academy programme, learning the skills required to develop and progress as a rally co-driver is just part of the motorsport performance pathway for young athletes. 

The 2024 co-driver cohort got their first ‘mission’ back in March, with a two-day trip to M-Sport HQ at Dovenby Hall, Cumbria. The group was hosted by the seven-time FIA World Rally Championship winning team to hear how a top-flight rally operation operates, and how co-drivers can learn the tools and skills needed for the profession.   

Activities involved creating a recce schedule using local roads around M-Sport and navigating onboard reviews. The cohort also ‘pitched’ their skills to M-Sport top management to earn the chance of valuable work experience on a round of the FIA World Rally Championship.  

Harry Walshaw was announced as the next co-driver to join WRC team M-Sport on Secto Rally Finland in August. Harry has had a successful 2024 to date, acting as co-driver in both the Rallynuts Severn Valley Stages with Carl Stuttard behind the wheel of his Ford Escort RS 2000 MKII and the Argyll Rally alongside Jake Briggs in a Ford Escort MK2. 

The opportunity provides co-drivers with insight into how a top level WRC team operates and showcases other job roles that they may want to consider during their career trajectory within motorsport. 

Harry’s success follows that of Academy alumni, Bonnie Papper who was chosen as the first co-driver to join M-Sport on Rally Croatia, based in the Croatian capital Zagreb, from 18 – 21 April.  

He comments, “I’m delighted to receive such an amazing opportunity from the Academy and M-Sport. Rally Finland has always been my favourite rally on the WRC calendar, so if I was to say I was excited for this incredible event then that would be a huge understatement!” 

Katie Baldwin, Head of Competitor Development, Motorsport UK said, “Harry is now the second co-driver to have the opportunity to join M-Sport via our partnership to gain experience at WRC level. It’s an exceptional opportunity for co-drivers in our Academy to really develop their learning, identify transferable skills across roles within rallying and have in-situ experience while attending an international event.” 

Rich Milliner, Team Principal, M-Sport adds, “It is great to hear that Harry will be the next Academy member joining us in the WRC. Finland is a fantastic event in terms of speed, spectators and atmosphere so I have no doubt he will enjoy his behind the scenes look at how we operate. We will certainly make sure that he is kept busy over the few days and help Harry to get his first foot into the door in the WRC.” 

Harry will travel with M-Sport to Secto Rally Finland, from 1-4 August.