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Students get fast-paced tour of motorsport industry at careers day

PUBLISHED: 15:14 09 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:14 09 May 2019

Students at Open Academy in Norwich get an in depth look at racing cars brought along to a motorsport careers day at the school. Picture: Ricky Hawkins

Students at Open Academy in Norwich get an in depth look at racing cars brought along to a motorsport careers day at the school. Picture: Ricky Hawkins

Ricky Hawkins

Norfolk has a rich motorsport scene, from the Snetterton race track and headquarters of car maker Lotus to Formula 1's newest young star, King's Lynn born George Russell.

Some of the cars brought along to a motorsport careers day at Open Academy in Norwich. Picture: Ricky HawkinsSome of the cars brought along to a motorsport careers day at Open Academy in Norwich. Picture: Ricky Hawkins

Students at a Norwich school have had a chance to head about local opportunities in this fast-paced industry.

Open Academy hosted a motorsport careers day last month with an array of themed activities, which were designed to introduce students to the careers available off the track as well as on it.

The day featured a presentation on motorsport industry careers from driving and engineering to journalism - during which students were asked to create a commentary or brief article about an incident at the 2016 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix involving Brit Lewis Hamilton and his then Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg - and a session on volunteering and marshalling in motorsport.

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Students also got a chance to examine - and sit in - a variety of vehicles brought in by members of the Sporting Car Club of Norfolk and Stratton Motor Company, with owners on hand to answer questions. The cars on show included a classic 1973 Ford Cortina MkIII, a 2016 Honda Civic road car, a 2017 Lotus Evora GT4 British GT Championship car, a 1980s Marlin Trials car, and a new Ford EnduroKA racing car.

The motorsport careers day was organised by Ricky Hawkins, Open Academy school supervisor and post chief marshal at Snetterton Circuit.

He said he wanted to broaden the students' understanding of the career opportunities available in motorsport and that feedback from them had been very positive.

"I think students' experiences and expectations of motorsport is that it is only for the wealthy and a lot of students I speak to about motorsport, only think of the driving element," he said.

"Maybe this is because they only watch the national and international events on TV and don't understand the wide range of opportunities to get involved through marshalling, journalism, engineering and design.

"Especially being in Norfolk, which has a proud history when it comes to motorsport thanks to the iconic Lotus brand, Snetterton Circuit and F1 drivers Martin Brundle and now our very own George Russell, it is good to inspire students from this area that anything is indeed possible."

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