The Motor Sports Association UK – a New Chapter begins




MSA Team UK, the UK’s national squad of the most promising young race and rally drivers, headed to Chamonix in the French Alps this week (19-22 January 2014) for a ground-breaking high performance workshop designed to equip them with career-enhancing knowledge and skills.

Overseen by Robert Reid, MSA Performance Director, the event comprised an array of physical and mental activities – planned and delivered by Elite Sports Performance (ESP), which also runs the FIA Institute’s Young Driver Excellence Academy – designed to take the drivers on a journey of self-discovery and understanding.


This included helping them to identify their individual strengths and weaknesses which were then addressed through a common language derived from extensive use of the Insights Discovery profiling model.

At the end of the four-day workshop that included a variety of challenging tasks including climbing, abseiling, orienteering and igloo-building, alongside in-depth review and analysis sessions with the MSA coaches, the drivers had made giant strides in identifying major improvements in their own racing performances.

In total eight drivers were present:

  • Jake Dennis
  • Mark Donnelly
  • Jack Harvey
  • Jordan King
  • Chris Middlehurst
  • Seb Morris
  • Matt Parry
  • Nick Yelloly

The drivers worked closely with MSA Performance Managers Andy Meyrick, Tom Onslow-Cole, Rupert Svendsen-Cook and James Wozencroft, plus ESP’s Brian Cameron and his team. Ben Taylor, MSA Director of Development, and Greg Symes, MSA Academy Manager, were also on hand.


Robert Reid, MSA Performance Director, said:

“The Chamonix workshop was by far the most advanced and in-depth event that Team UK has undertaken and it represents the start of an exciting new chapter for the national squad. Team UK has evolved to become a programme that helps its members to become the best they can be, not only in the car but in all aspects of their lives.

“It was incredibly satisfying to see how engaged the drivers were with the entire workshop, hanging on every word in the classroom sessions and wringing out every last ounce of drive, desire and determination in the physical activities. And their feedback was clear; not only was this a life-changing few days, but what they have taken away from it can have a fundamental impact on their racing careers.”

Ben Taylor, MSA Director of Development and Communications, said:

“Team UK’s visit to Chamonix is the clearest indication yet of the MSA’s commitment to nurturing the UK’s top young motor sport talent and doing all we can to help them maximise their potential in all areas. Watching the drivers grow and develop was truly inspiring and it absolutely confirmed the value of the four-day workshop. It represents a quantum leap in the development of Team UK and we are incredibly proud that the MSA is leading the way in talent development.”

Driver quotes

Jake Dennis: “I’ve been on Team UK for two years now and this is by far the best thing we’ve done and it’s been a real eye-opener of what we can achieve from this programme. We wouldn’t be here without the MSA and the Racing Steps Foundation, so a big thank you to both of them.”

Mark Donnelly: “This is the best learning process we’ve gone through to date on Team UK. The level of detail of the tasks was amazing, and the feedback I got from the other drivers and coaches really hit home by identifying positives but also negatives to work on. The whole trip was very special.”

Jack Harvey: “The journey this trip has taken me on has allowed me to identify my weaknesses and given me long-term solutions for them. It’s the best Team UK event I’ve been on and I only wish it had happened three years sooner!”

Jordan King: “Although I’ve been part of the MSA Academy for a couple of years I’m new to Team UK, so this is the first event I’ve done. This has been all about discovering myself and relating that to my racing. I’ve really enjoyed the outdoor tasks but it’s been really good to get the theory behind too.”

Chris Middlehurst: “When I got the call to take part in this event it was really exciting. I’ve touched on the Insights Discovery model on the MSA Academy but having come to Chamonix I understand it so much more now and I’m going to use it in everyday life. It’s been a real life experience and I’m really grateful for the opportunity.”

Seb Morris: “It’s been a journey of self-actualisation. Put it this way: I can’t really imagine life now without understanding my colour on the Insights Discovery wheel and reading what other people’s colour preferences are, so it’s one of those things in life that makes me think, ‘Wow, I can really learn a lot from this.’”

Matt Parry: “I’ve come up through every level of the MSA Academy and in the past I’ve been able to get a taste of Team UK, so I understood how advanced the programme was but this exceeded all my expectations. As a driver you have a ‘toolbox’ and throughout the four days I’ve been able to add more tools that I can use to progress higher up the motor sport ladder.”

Nick Yelloly: “This is my third year on the Team UK programme and this has been different to anything we’ve done before. It’s been incredibly insightful in so many different ways, and the more workshops we can do like this the better.”