Supercars squad opens junior team applications

Grove Racing has opened applications for its new junior team programme aimed at bringing new talent into Supercars.

Inspired by the Red Bull junior scheme, the Grove Racing Junior Team is looking to assemble an initial three-driver squad as it looks to nurture young Aussie and Kiwi talent.

Teenage Porsche ace Matt Payne is the first driver signed to the programme, and is the front-runner to land a full-time spot in the Kelly Grove Racing Supercars squad when it becomes Grove Racing next season.

Two other drivers will join Payne in the junior team and potentially be involved in a number of programmes from karting through to Carrera Cup and Super2.

Applications open today with anybody aged 12 and over eligible to apply.

“The Grove Junior Programme has been set-up to identify young drivers in Australia and New Zealand that have potential to build a racing career, who may not have the resources or expertise to be able to follow that road map,” said Grove Racing boss Stephen Grove.

“In Australia and New Zealand, we’ve identified an area to give young kids the opportunity to progress. One of the models we’ve used is the global Red Bull Junior programme, which has been able to discover and foster some of the world’s best drivers.

“Grove Racing has a variety of racing programmes from Carrera Cup to Supercars, and once we entered Supercars team ownership earlier this year, we identified that it was really important to start bringing young drivers through a development programme.

"There’s nothing really like it here in Australia and New Zealand.

“We’ve had a pretty close relationship with Scott McLaughlin through a long-term sponsorship and we’ve watched him develop from Super2 into Supercars and now IndyCar where he is making us all proud over in the US.

"These are the types of drivers we are looking for – next generation of young drivers that can come through and we can all be entertained by in Supercars."

Grove added that the programme will offer drivers more than just a seat for the season.

“When we sat down and developed the programme, one of the very important items highlighted by the team was to make sure we had the resources to be able to teach the drivers about all components contributing to becoming a professional," he said.

“These included teaching young drivers about the fitness requirements, media training, the commercial side of the business, liaising with sponsors and making sure they are getting a return on investment.

“This will form the basis for the young drivers we select for our programme.”

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