Media & Press Releases

11 June 2021

NEW VIVA ENERGY PARTNERSHIP WITH RACING TOGETHER TO BOOST INDIGENOUS MOTORSPORT AMBITIONS

A MAJOR partnership with Viva Energy, announced today, will give a high-octane boost to young Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders seeking careers in motorsport through the ground-breaking Racing Together programme.

The three-year financial backing from Viva Energy, sponsor of the Shell V-Power Racing Team in the Repco Supercars Championship, will help Racing Together expand from its present Queensland-based pilot status to other centres around Australia.

Image of the Racing Together Car on track

Photo: Racing Together and Viva Energy take to the track to give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth a new pathway into motorsport (Credit: Gran Turrisi Photography)

Racing Together Chairman Garry Connelly AM welcomed Viva Energy’s support for the not-for-profit programme, which he co-founded with his wife Monique Connelly.

Garry Connelly AM

“We started Racing Together late last year with tentative steps, but it has flourished quickly thanks to the support of many in the motorsport and Indigenous communities,” he said.

“We have already put a car on track, run by our first group of 10 Indigenous teenage girls and boys, for two meetings in the Queensland Hyundai Excel championship.

“Racing Together is extremely grateful to commence the new partnership with Viva Energy, a leading energy company that supplies about a quarter of Australia’s fuel requirements, including Shell fuel and lubricants.



“It will enable a significant boost to our activities. Viva Energy will help us train more than 130 young people in all aspects of motorsport participation on- and off-track, and also mentor them in important personal matters such as education, health and well-being and road safety.

“We’ll select a group every year to form a team comprising mechanics, drivers, strategists, managers, data specialists, logistic experts and event officials and eventually hope to award one outstanding person the prize of a place in the Ferrari Academy (Asia Pacific).”

Garry and Monique Connelly have extensive experience in Australian and international motorsport as officials and competitors. Among a number of significant roles, Mr Connelly is Australia’s Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Delegate, a member of the World Motor Sport Council of the FIA and a Permanent Chair of the Stewards in Formula 1.

The couple has been joined on the Board of Racing Together Limited by Supercar team chiefs Ryan Story (Dick Johnson Racing), Roland Dane (Triple Eight Race Engineering) and Paul Morris (Paul Morris Motorsport), Indigenous Olympic beach volleyball player Taliqua Clancy and the former chief executive of the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland Ian Gillespie.


Photo: Racing Together Chairman Garry Connelly AM



Racing Together also is supported by Indigenous organisation Gunya Meta and the national governing authority Motorsport Australia.

Enquiries about Racing Together can be made at info@racingtogether.org.


04 May 2021

OLYMPIC VOLLEYBALLER TALIQUA CLANCY SIGNS UP TO HELP FIRST INDIGENOUS MOTOR-RACING TEAM

Aboriginal beach volleyball champion Taliqua Clancy will help mentor members of Australia’s first Indigenous motor-racing team as she prepares for the Tokyo Olympic Games in July.

Clancy, winner of a Commonwealth Games silver medal and volleyball World Championships bronze medal, has agreed to become the first Indigenous Board director of Racing Together, a ground-breaking new Queensland-based program helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teenagers to get involved in motorsport.

Racing Together Board Member Taliqua Clancy

Photo: Australian Olympic Volleyball player Taliqua Clancy will help mentor the country's first Indigenous motor-racing team as a new Board member of Racing Together.

Racing Together has chosen 10 Indigenous teenagers from the Brisbane region to build and run a low-cost Hyundai Excel car in the 2021 Series X3 Queensland Championship.

Founders Garry and Monique Connelly launched Racing Together after they observed there was no discernible participation in Australian motorsport by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. They hope the current pilot program will lead to forming more Indigenous teams in other parts of Australia.

Racing Together already has attracted strong support in the motorsport world. Taliqua Clancy will serve on the Board of the not-for-profit company alongside Supercar team bosses Ryan Story, Paul Morris and Roland Dane, former RACQ Chief Executive Officer Ian Gillespie (AM), Garry Connelly (AM) and Monique Connelly.



The Connellys have extensive competition and administrative experience in international motorsport. Garry Connelly is a member of the World Motor Sport Council of the governing body FIA and a senior steward at Formula 1 events.

Clancy became the first Indigenous Australian beach volleyball player to represent her country at an Olympic Games, in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. In 2018, with her playing partner Mariafe Artacho Del Solar, she won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games and four gold medals on the beach volleyball World Tour. Bronze in the World Championships followed in 2019.

She and Del Solar are now preparing to represent Australia again at the Tokyo Olympics.

She has said she hopes her success in achieving her Olympic ambition will encourage Indigenous young people to find a path they are passionate about and pursue it without hesitation.

Monique Connelly welcomed her fellow female Board member.

“As one of Australia’s most successful Indigenous sports people, Taliqua will be an invaluable addition to the Board as the Racing Together project continues to develop, and an inspirational mentor to our young team members,” she said.

The team contested its first event at Warwick’s Morgan Park circuit in March and will return for round two of the Series X3 Queensland Championship on 5-6 June.

Racing Together is supported by Indigenous organisation Gunya Meta and the national governing body Motorsport Australia.

Enquiries about Racing Together can be made at info@racingtogether.org.


29 March 2021

One of the country's first indigenous motorsport team has hit the track

Video: 7 News - Hope Wilson.


08 January 2021

10 News Story on Racing Together

Video: 10 News - Veronica Eggleton.


06 March 2021

ABC News Story on Racing Together

Video: ABC News - Brittney Kleyn. Link to story on iView.


08 January 2021

10 News Story on Racing Together

Video: 10 News - Veronica Eggleton.


26 October 2020

TEENAGERS CHOSEN TO RUN FIRST INDIGENOUS MOTOR RACING TEAM IN 2021

THE Racing Together project to put an Indigenous motor racing team on track has completed its first lap with the selection of 11 Queensland teenagers to build and drive a car next season.

The group from Logan, south of Brisbane, was chosen after more than 30 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates undertook a series of assessments, including driving and mechanical aptitude, at the Norwell Motorplex driving centre last weekend.

Image of Racing Together candidates and mentors

Photo: Racing Together candidates gathered for their final run-off at Norwell Motorplex.

The team will now plan the build of their Hyundai Excel racer under the guidance of Racing Together founders Garry and Monique Connelly, Norwell Motorplex operator and Bathurst 1000 winner Paul Morris and Gunya Meta Indigenous Mentor Michael Orcher.

The car will be entered in the 2021 X3 Circuit Excel Racing Series, giving members of Australia’s first indigenous racing team a chance to develop in the sport as professional or recreational competitors.

“There is currently no representation of our indigenous people in motorsport in Australia,” said Garry Connelly, a senior international motorsport official and Formula 1 race steward.



“A few months ago we decided to do something about it and we decided to sponsor a pilot program to bring kids 12 to 16, boys and girls, into motorsport.”

The Racing Together project, which follows the diversity principles of the world motorsport body, the Federation Internationale d l’Automobile, and is supported by Motorsport Australia, hopes eventually to expand into a national program with the goal of putting an indigenous driver into the prestigious Ferrari Academy (Asia Pacific).

Image of Racing Together winners Karlai Warner and Braedyn Cidoni with Andrew Fraser - Motorsport Australia President

Photo: Motorsport Australia Director Andrew Fraser congratulates Racing Together winning drivers Karlai Warner, 14 (left) and Braedyn Cidoni.

Connelly said the weekend program at Norwell was a great success.

“The enthusiasm of the participants was high at the start but grew by the hour as they drove a number of track activities in dry and wet conditions, plus did classroom sessions on road safety, car construction and design, first aid, personal health and conditioning and learning also about how to become an official,” he said.

Braedyn Cidoni, 16, and Karlai Warner, 14, were chosen as drivers within the 11, but others also may get a turn at the wheel.

“We’ll see how they all develop. Some of them also have excellent mechanical abilities.

“The next step will be to start building a Hyundai Excel to compete next year. We may use different drivers at different events. While the build is occurring, the drivers will do intensive training under Paul Morris and his team at Norwell.”

Enquiries about Racing Together can be made at info@racingtogether.org.

For media enquiries please contact:

Chris Nixon, mobile +61 417 759 417

For participation enquiries please contact:

info@racingtogether.org

www.racingtogether.org


05 October 2020

LOGAN Y0UTHS COMPLETE FIRST STEP TOWARD NEW INDIGENOUS RACING TEAM

A GROUP of Indigenous youths from Logan, south of Brisbane, has completed a successful first step in a new program designed to help them toward a potential career in motorsport.

The Racing Together program, run by some of the sport’s leading officials and competitors, hosted 40 would-be racers aged between 12 and 16 at an open day at Norwell Motorplex on the weekend.

Image of Racing Together candidates and mentors

Photo: Indigenous young people from the Logan area near Brisbane enjoyed a Racing Together hands-on track experience at Norwell Motorplex, with the help of leading motorsport identities including Supercar drivers Paul Morris, Anton de Pasquale and Luke Youlden.

Supercar drivers Paul Morris, Anton De Pasquale and Luke Youlden and senior Formula 1 official Garry Connelly evaluated candidates in a number of skill and aptitude tests, including driving on the Norwell Motorplex track – a highlight for the many first-time car drivers.

Organisers will review the test results and select which of the weekend’s participants will proceed to a run-off at Norwell on 24-25 October.

The run-off will decide team members, including a driver, who will undertake a fully-supported racing program on the Hyundai Excel X3 Series in 2021.

“We hosted 40 candidates, half of whom were girls, and some of the most successful people in Australian motorsport were able to give them an introduction to the world of motorsport and the many career opportunities it offers,” he said.

“Some of them really impressed us with their eagerness to learn and their raw potential and it's going to be a difficult job for organisers to pick the group to progress to the run-off.”

Image of Racing Together candidates Nelleah Morganson

Photo: Racing Together candidate Nelleah Morganson drove a car for the first time during an open day at Norwell Motorplex.

Racing Together was launched last month by Mr Connelly (AM) and his wife Monique, both internationally-experienced motorsport officials and competitors, and with the backing of leading members of the racing community and the Logan-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation Gunya Meta.

While the pilot program is for Indigenous young people in the Logan area on Brisbane’s southern outskirts, organisers hope it eventually can be extended across Australia. The ultimate prize could be a place in the Ferrari Academy (Asia Pacific), including circuit racing in an FIA Formula 4 single-seat race car.

Racing Together is supported by Motorsport Australia, which will provide permits and associated insurances for the pilot project.

Enquiries about Racing Together can be made at info@racingtogether.org.

For media enquiries please contact:

Chris Nixon, mobile +61 417 759 417

For participation enquiries please contact:

info@racingtogether.org

www.racingtogether.org


30 September 2020

LAST-MINUTE CHANCE TO TRY FOR NEW INDIGENOUS RACING TEAM

ORGANISERS are calling for last-minute applications to join the innovative Racing Together project to help young Indigenous Australian people develop careers in motorsport, which will start next weekend on the Gold Coast.

Around 40 girls and boys aged between 12 and 16 are expected to participate on Saturday in a free open day at Norwell Motorplex, in the first stage of a pilot program to launch a driver and crew members in a new indigenous racing team in 2021.

Racing Together was launched last month by Brisbane motorsport identities Garry and Monique Connelly, with the backing of leading members of the racing community and the Logan-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation Gunya Meta. Mr Connelly, AM, is Australia’s representative on the world organising body, the FIA, a Permanent Chair of the Formula 1 Stewards and holds several other senior positions in national and international motorsport.

While the pilot program is for indigenous young people in the Logan area on Brisbane’s southern outskirts, organisers hope it eventually can be extended across Australia. The ultimate prize could be a place in the Ferrari Academy (Asia Pacific), including circuit racing in an FIA Formula 4 single-seat race car.

Image of Racing Together Gunya Meta Indigenous Mentor Michael Orcher, candidates Breeanna Oui and Malachi Green

Photo: Gunya Meta Indigenous Mentor Michael Orcher (left) and candidates Breeanna Oui and Malachi Green will attend the Racing Together open day at Norwell Motorplex on Saturday, hosted by program founder Garry Connelly AM and Bathurst 1000 winner Paul Morris.

The open day will run from 1pm to around 4pm on Saturday at Norwell Motorplex, the renowned driving experience and training centre operated by Bathurst 1000 winner Paul Morris.

Applications to join the open day can be made on-line here or at the Gunya Meta office, 4A/21 Mayes Avenue, Kingston. They also can be made in person at the open day at Norwell Motorplex this Saturday.

COVID-19 restrictions and safety practices will be in place for participants and all other people attending.

The open day will engage the young motorsport hopefuls in a series of tests and exercises to identify candidates to progress to a two-day program at Norwell on 24-25 October, when the team driver and crew members will be chosen.

The team will be entered next year in an appropriate racing series with a competitive car, supported by technical and logistical facilities, tuition and travel costs. The project may include team members helping to build their race car.

Saturday’s open day will involve participants in the following activities –

  • Racing simulators
  • On-track driving
  • Eye/hand coordination test
  • Mock media interview
  • Manual dexterity test

Racing Together is supported by Motorsport Australia, which will provide permits and associated insurances.

Enquiries about Racing Together can be made at info@racingtogether.org.

For media enquiries please contact:

Chris Nixon, mobile +61 417 759 417

For participation enquiries please contact:

info@racingtogether.org

www.racingtogether.org


24 August 2020

DIVERSITY PROJECT OFFERS YOUNG INDIGENOUS ENTHUSIASTS A PATH INTO MOTORSPORT

An innovative project to help young Indigenous Australian people develop careers in motorsport has been launched in Queensland with the backing of leading racing identities and Logan-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation Gunya Meta.

Racing Together will start in Queensland this October with a pilot program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and boys aged between 12 and 16, but organisers hope it eventually will become a national program offering a place in the prestigious Ferrari Academy.

The project has been conceived and underwritten by Brisbane couple Garry and Monique Connelly, who have extensive motorsport competition and administrative experience at international level. Mr Connelly AM is Australia’s delegate to the world motorsport organising body, the FIA, and holds a number of senior positions there, including as a Permanent Chair of the Formula 1 Stewards.

“Australian motorsport has not had any noticeable participation by our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” he said.

“Motorsport, like any sport, has enormous potential to provide a source of enjoyment, motivation, pride and employment to those who participate, be it as a driver, mechanic, race engineer or event official.

“The Racing Together project is designed to identify and then assist suitable candidates from a cohort of Indigenous young people of both genders, in the 12 to 16 years age group, and provide them with an opportunity to pursue a career in our sport, as either a driver or a member of a race team.”

Image of Garry Connelly AM, Gunya Meta and Paul Morris

Photo: Garry Connelly AM (left) has launched the Racing Together project to help young Indigenous Australian people develop careers in motorsport, with the assistance of Gunya Meta Indigenous Mentor Michael Orcher (centre), Norwell Motorplex operator and Bathurst 1000 winner Paul Morris (right) and other motorsport industry identities. (Photo: R6 Digital)

The pilot project will recruit participants from Logan City, on Brisbane’s southern outskirts, and take them on a two-day intensive training, education and selection programme at the Norwell Motorplex, which is operated by team owner and Bathurst 1000 winner Paul Morris. The Norwell Motorplex and Paul Morris have offered significant assistance and support for the project.

Other leading racing identities have also agreed to present sessions and assist with the programme.

At the end of the weekend programme, the selectors will award one participant a scholarship to compete in an appropriate racing series or championship in 2021 with a competitive car, team facilities, tuition, equipment and travel costs.

Other promising participants will be involved in the team for 2021, including the possibility of helping to build the race car.

Diversity project offers young indigenous enthusiasts a path into motorsport . . . 2

All participants will be required to commit to remaining fully engaged with their schooling requirements.

Gunya Meta Indigenous Mentor Michael Orcher said: “Gunya Meta is proud to work with Garry and Monique Connelly to deliver Racing Together, particularly because of how passionate the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community is for motorsport.

“The love of cars and racing have been a part of our culture for a long time and is often shared in our families gathering to watch races or even working together to make or fix cars. Often our Mob’s homes will have an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander flag right next to a motorsport flag.

“With this amazing program we can finally connect our interest with the opportunity to get a foot in the door of this international industry. Racing Together will create a path for Indigenous young people to gain experience and skills that might help make representation of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community on the global motorsport stage a reality, something that has not been done before.”

Mr Connelly said if the pilot programme was successful it would be extended to other regions of Australia, in consultation with Indigenous community leaders.

Should a suitable driver candidate be identified after at least one year of competition, funding would be provided for participation in the Ferrari Academy (Asia Pacific), including circuit racing in Sydney in an FIA Formula 4 single-seat race car.

The project is supported by Motorsport Australia, which will provide permits and associated insurances.

Information about joining the program will be announced soon, but meanwhile enquiries can be made at: info@racingtogether.org.

For media enquiries please contact:

Chris Nixon, mobile +61 417 759 417

For participation enquiries please contact:

info@racingtogether.org

www.racingtogether.org