The Ford RST Rally Academy at Silverstone
"The Ford RST Rally Academy at Silverstone will be key to recognising and developing Britain’s rally stars of the future. This unique training programme allows kids as young as 10 to learn the art of rally driving in a perfectly safe and controlled environment. Today’s young stars have all driven cars on a computer screen. Now at Silverstone they can experience what it really feels like to kick up the gravel and power drift a rally car - no computer in the world can match that sensation."

Jost Capito, Director Ford TeamRS

Ford Motor Company today launched the Ford RST Rally Academy in conjunction with BR Racing. Based at Silverstone, the home of British motorsport, the scheme aims to pave the way for young hopefuls to learn the basic skills of rallying, even before they are legally allowed to drive.

The Ford RST Rally Academy will replicate the role that karting plays in the early development of racing drivers, and provides a springboard into the world of rallying.

Richard Phillips, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits Limited, said: "Our Silverstone Motorsport Academy is renowned for the incredibly high standards of training and tuition it offers, and we are always looking at ways to support motorsport at grass roots levels. The Ford RST Rally Academy is a perfect example of this. Working with Ford, Silverstone offers the very best instruction and training to develop British rally champions of the future."

Ford Rally Sport Trainer (RST)

At the heart of the Ford RST Rally Academy is the purpose-built Ford Rally Sport Trainer (RST) a rugged two-seater rally car based on a specially designed tubular steel spaceframe, strong enough to withstand rollover and side impacts. To deliver high levels of occupant safety the structure was built following guidelines from UK's motorsport governing body the MSA. The Ford RST is the only dedicated training vehicle ever to be awarded MSA certification.

Every vehicle is left hand drive and based on standard, fully tested Ford components. The Ford 1300cc power unit sits behind the driver for ideal weight distribution. The gearbox has a conventional H pattern gearshift and drives the rear wheels. This configuration delivers a high degree of real feel to the driver. This chassis feedback, coupled with the motorsport handling setup, reassures the driver and encourages driving on the limit. Students are quickly able to experience the sheer exhilaration and satisfaction of being able to drive in the spectacular rally style by sliding the car easily through corners, kicking up gravel and power-drifting from one direction to another.

The Ford RST Rally Academy

BR Racing was created by Ex-Ford Motorsport rally engineer Peter Beattie, who runs the Academy. "The Ford RST Rally Academy is all about learning new skills" said director Peter Beattie. "We will be taking teenagers and teaching them not only driving techniques but everything else there is to know about rallying, from signing-on, scrutineering, basic maintenance and navigation pace-notes. The student skill levels are always mixed so we make sure every one of our students learns at their own pace and most importantly has a good time doing so."

Published : 16/03/06 Author : Melanie Carter

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