The SpeedSport Scholarship’s most recent winner, Conrad Clark, has touted the scholarship as the best step you can take in forging a successful motorsport career.
The opportunity for Clark to step up to the international F4 formula came after a partnership between USA open wheeler team, Kiwi Motorsports, and the SpeedSport Scholarship which sees the recipient of this year’s scholarship offered an F4 test drive with Kiwi Motorsport in the USA.
“The networking opportunities you get in the scholarship are absolutely invaluable, money can’t buy it, and it ultimately led me to meeting the guys at Kiwi Motorsport and making the step up to international racing.”
Clark admits the jump from Formula First to a full wings-and-slicks car was a big step but one made possible by the preparation he received in his year in the scholarship program.
“Obviously Formula First to F4 is a massive leap but one I felt prepared for from my season in the scholarship.
“The cars are vastly different but in terms of coming to grips with extracting a lap time and setting the car up the processes you learn in the scholarship are vital to furthering your career. Learning how to read and analyse data was a big advantage to take overseas as a lot of the other rookies in the championship have never encountered it before.”
Clark credits the scholarship with giving him the skills to be able to complete a deal to make the move to America so early on in his career.
“The team literally goes over everything needed to succeed in the sport, off the track they prepare you for sponsor interactions, interviews as well as other promotional skills.
“I’m not afraid to say that when I won the scholarship I wasn’t very good in front of a camera but through the scholarship program that was pretty quickly turned around and now it’s not an issue.”
He also urges all aspiring drivers to take up the opportunity to enter the scholarship which he says is a beneficial experience for any driver to have.
“It’s the best step you can take if you want to make a career out of motorsport and I encourage everyone with this aspiration to enter, even if you aren’t successful the experience is still hugely beneficial.”
Team owner Dennis Martin says he’s excited about this year’s scholarship potential with the added incentive of the Formula 4 test. “I love this time of year because its full of potential. The stakes have never been higher and I’m sure we’ll see the competition step up big time for the opportunity of a lifetime!”
Entrants will be put through their paces during an evaluation on the 19th of May before the finalists will be selected to compete for the scholarship on the 20th of May.
The winner will receive a year-long program where they will hone their skills on track and off track to become ‘the complete package’. The program includes a free drive in the Manfeild Winter Series and the Hi-Q Components NZ Formula First Championship, totalling in 12 events across all North Island circuits.
Along with the offer of a Formula 4 test with Kiwi Motorsport, the winner will be given networking opportunities and promotional support including a full social media management package.
New Zealand’s leading race gear manufacturer and supplier Chicane Racewear will provide the winner with custom race overalls, boots, gloves and Arai helmet.
Entry forms are available at www.speedsportscholarship.co.nz/entry-form/