MasterDrive Driver Search about to select entrants

The MasterDrive Driver Search closed today. The Driver Search has expanded to have national reach this year, presenting more opportunities to more young drivers but it also adds to the competitive landscape for entrants hoping to enter the next round of the search.

Last year, the MasterDrive Driver Search launched the inaugural initiative to greater than expected success. The General Manager of coastal regions at MasterDrive, Eugene ‘Gino’ Nourse, explains: “It is intended to launch the career of an aspiring young driver from a previously disadvantaged background and it has been supported with great enthusiasm. Each participant performed at such a high level that it was difficult to even select the final competitor.”

Eventually, it was Bevin Harris who out drove his competitors in 2023. “He became part of the team participating in the Simola Hillclimb in Knysna. At his first Hillclimb, Harris competed against both seasoned professionals as well as amateurs in a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Harris made the team proud and walked away having participated in one of the best experiences in his life,” says Nourse.

The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, explains why the driver search is important. “Motorsport is notoriously one of the most difficult sports to get a foot in the door, often limited to ‘racing families,’ or those with the extensive funds for an expensive endeavour.  MasterDrive Driver Search is one of very few initiatives that aims to bring greater diversity and opportunity into motorsport.”

Nourse says submissions for MasterDrive Driver Search closed at the end of January. “We are currently sorting through the many entries and the entrants are not making it easy. So far there has been an abundance of worthy entries and we look forward to selecting the first 30 that will proceed to the next round.

“The first round of entrants will be selected by 2 February 2024. Almost 80 drivers applied to be part of the MasterDrive Driver Search. They will go through a thorough vetting process to find the next 15 to 30 from which the final five drivers are selected. They then undergo final elimination rounds consisting of panel interviews, written tests, sim racing evaluation and physical driving on the skidpan and race circuit to find the newest two members of the MasterDrive Simola Hillclimb team,” says Nourse.

MasterDrive is enthusiastic about the expansion of the driver search to the rest of South Africa. By giving deserving individuals a leg up into the sport, it will bring more diversity and talent into the industry.