Motorsport is an expensive business. There’s no hiding from the fact that even making it onto the lowest rung of racing’s brutal ladder will hit the wallet hard. Yet, there are a growing number of initiatives and grassroots opportunities that are looking to encourage a younger demographic into the industry – without breaking the bank!
As an agency, we have been proudly partnering Greenpower Education Trust for several years, whose mission is to empower young people to pursue STEM careers through motorsport.
Students aged between 9 and 25 can be part of a team that designs, builds, and races its own electric-powered car. The challenge fosters teamwork – an essential part of any racing organisation – it develops relationships, and it allows participants to further develop skills and knowledge in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) learning.
They can then take these skills into later life by embarking on careers in design, technology, and engineering – whether that’s in motorsport or other adjacent industries. Over 20 years, Greenpower – as a form of engineering-led grassroots racing – has proven to be an invaluable stepping-stone, or springboard, for young people to gain confidence and open new experiences.
Motorsport UK has added a new offering through its recently launched StreetCar initiative, aimed at motorsport enthusiasts as well as young people who are looking to cut their teeth in motorsport.
StreetCar exists to encourage more people to get behind the wheel and enjoy their chosen discipline. It is hoped that this will also inspire and allow young people, aged 14 or older, to take their first steps into the industry at a far more accessible cost.
Offering twelve disciplines in total, StreetCar is designed to enhance the existing grassroots motorsport scene with its fresh range of races that are chosen to challenge its competitors. From Autotest, an exhilarating precision race-against-the-clock, to Cross Country Tyro, a demanding and technical drive in the countryside, the series of races offer something for everyone.
Currently, there are a total of eight Motorsport UK racing clubs involved with the StreetCar initiative and Motorsport UK are aiming to grow this to a total of fifty clubs throughout the country by the end of the year.
Greenpower’s STEM-led approach and this latest initiative from Motorsport UK are lowering the barriers to entry – but they are not alone.
With Total Karting Motorsport, Rob Smedley has made it his mission to use his extensive 25-year Formula One experience to give back to young people to help bring them and their families together, using go-karting that is faster, fairer, cheaper, and cleaner. Fostering confidence, resilience, and respect, it is important that motorsport remains both accessible and sustainable for a better future for the young. Total Karting Motorsport definitely achieves this.
It is encouraging to see an increasing number of opportunities within the industry, specifically focused on the younger demographic – the next generation – but there’s plenty of scope for more in all areas, particularly in broadening motorsport’s reach and accessibility to a more diverse audience For as long as motorsport remains the realm of solely those with the money and good fortune, we’re undoubtedly missing out on a great deal of talent – on and off the racetrack. Thankfully, initiatives from Greenpower and Motorsport UK might just help us secure the undercut and put fresh talent out in front.
Photo courtesy of Spacesuit Media