HQ Racing opportunity for indigenous trainees
9/06/2008 at 12:29:36 AM:

A unique motorsport programme being developed in Victoria could lead to indigenous apprentices and trainees being given a chance to become involved in a national motor racing series in what could be an Australian first.

Shepparton-based team ST Motorsports has been working closely with the Goulburn Ovens TAFE Institute at Shepparton and its Koori Education Programme to involve a team of trainees in the Victorian HQ Holden Racing Championship, which could eventually lead to a role in the HQ Racing Australia National Challenge Series.

ST Motorsports and the Victorian HQ Racing Association will host two supervisors and an indigenous apprentice from the Goulburn Ovens TAFE automotive and metal trades department as a taster to showcase the category and develop the partnership.

Round three of the national series, sponsored by Muscle Car Gearboxes, will be held at Phillip Island next weekend (June 14 and 15) as part of the Shannons Nationals Motor Racing Championships Series.

The Phillip Island event will also double as a round of the Victorian State HQ series, with a grid of more than 50 cars expected to compete, providing plenty of action and close racing.

The proposed program will involve apprentices from the college helping rebuild a promotional car owned by the VHQRA, which will then be utilised at rounds of the State series to promote the category, GO TAFE and the Koori Education Programme.

The promotion will include provision for the GO TAFE combined apprentices tent to be prominently placed at events and for a team of apprentices to attend rounds of the series as a repair team.

Ted Ackland, of ST Motorsport, said if successful, it was hoped the programme could be expanded to take in the national HQ series.

“There’s not many young indigenous people involved in motor racing in Australia, so the chance for some to be involved in firstly a State series and possibly a national series presents a wonderful training opportunity,” Ackland said.

“It will also provide valuable training in teamwork and problem solving and provide an exciting practical side to the theory being learned in the classroom.” he said.

HQ Holden racing is officially recognised as the entry-level national category of Australian motorsport and is enjoying growth despite the category being 20 years old this year.

The category is enjoying an all-time high exposure through the Shannons Series and other marketing initiatives, making it ideal as a potential training ground for newcomers to the sport, both on and off the racetrack – and as such, a perfect vehicle for programmes such as the Goulburn Ovens TAFE Koori Education Programme.
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