Ignition Festival is a key occasion for Ben

Successful applicants to the inaugural Scottish Motor Sports Academy, including Kelso's Ben Thomson (picture by Peter Devlin)
Successful applicants to the inaugural Scottish Motor Sports Academy, including Kelso's Ben Thomson (picture by Peter Devlin)

Ben Thomson, of Kelso, was named as one of the Scottish Motor Sports Academy inaugural members at the Ignition Festival in Glasgow last week.

The SMS Academy has been set up to support young riders and drivers aged 14-20 who are showing potential to excel in the sport.

Since announcing this new talent development initiative back in June, the academy has been inundated with applications and interest. This made the job of the selection panel – which included three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Allan McNish and three-time British Superbike champion Niall Mackenzie – extremely difficult.

Scottish Auto Cycle Union enduro rider Ben and fellow SMS Academy members, pictured, will each be allocated a coach to offer remote support and advice when needed across the year. Between now and August 2018, the members will take part in four development workshops, which will support them in all aspects of their development, equipping them with the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to maximise their performance.

The first SMS Academy workshop will be held on Wednesday, October 18 at Knockhill in Fife, where the academy members will be developing their own performance profiles and learning about sponsorship, among other subjects.

The programme will be delivered by fully qualified MSA Level 2 coaches, Blair Brown and Malcolm McNab. Both coaches will be supported throughout the programme by MSA level 4 coach James Wozencroft.