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The Full Story

There is little participation by Indigenous Australians, in motorsport in this country.

Racing Together was founded with the objective of providing a pathway into the sport, for young Indigenous Australians, with the ultimate goal of equipping them with the skills required to secure a career in motorsport or its related industries – as mechanics, engineers, even race car drivers, or working in communications or logistics.

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Motorsport has the capacity to motivate, enthuse and entertain millions around the world, yet the barriers for entry to many people, are insurmountable. This is particularly the case for our First Nations people.

Founded in late 2020 by Garry and Monique Connelly, Racing Together has, in a very short period, proven to be a great success story.

The Connelly's have a strong background in motorsport.
Garry represents Australia at the FIA – the world governing body for motorsport, is Chair of the Australian Institute for Motor Sport Safety and is a permanent Chair of the Stewards in Formula 1.

Monique is a former rally driver and motorsport organiser.

They are backed by well known identities in the sport, including Roland Dane, Ryan Story and former Bathurst 1000 winner Paul Morris, owner of the Norwell Motorplex, where the project was based before moving to their new home at Qld Raceway.

Racing Together is a Registered Charity with the ACNC and supported by Indigenous Community group Gunya Meta and the sports governing body, Motorsport Australia as well as our generous supoorters. 

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How we started

In late 2020, a series of Open Days at Norwell Motorplex attracted almost 100 aspirants for 10 places on the first Racing Together Team. They were aged between 12 and 17.

Over a total of 4 days, participants underwent a series of tests and assessments, including on track driving tests, simulators, physical reaction tests, interviews and mechanical tests, plus attended workshops on road safety, car mechanics, first aid, nutrition and diet, and social responsibility.

Under the watchful eye of the Norwell Motorplex team, and with instruction by Supercar drivers such as Anton De Pasquale and Brodie Kosteki, the participants spent an enjoyable, but educational, few days learning new skills and demonstrating their potential as Team Members. At the conclusion, 10 Indigenous youths – 6 boys and 4 girls – were selected as the first intake for the Team.

Now, in 2022, we have held further Open Days to expand our team and replace those who have moved on. Watch out for our next recruitment try outs. 


Our Objectives 

The project is designed to provide participants with:

• a motivation to be part of a productive focussed group

• a venue for a regular, weekly, activity

• an opportunity to learn mechanical skills, based on building and servicing race cars

• an opportunity to be part of a team and understand both individual and collective responsibility

• an opportunity to learn communication, logistical and management skills

• a platform to develop social and interpersonal skills to help them in adult life

• a commitment to social responsibility, community leadership, road safety and the environment

• an obligation to respect their Indigenous background and culture

• opportunities to seek apprenticeships and employment in the motorsports sector and related industries Whilst having fun along the way!

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Making it happen 

Saturday is Team Day and our team work on building (from the ground up) Hyundai Excel race cars and  preparing them for the next racing event on the calendar.  These cars are built to strict Motorsport Australia national regulations and compete in the highly popular Excel Racing Series both in Queensland.

Our drivers are Braedyn Cidoni and Karlai Warner and recently joined by Lincoln Taylor to complete a 3 car team. 

The Team is collectively responsible for the preparation of the Hyundai race cars for each event on the calendar, in 2023 there are 10 rounds, that's a lot of work between races. 

There is a range of roles to suit different talents and interests, some are on  spanners or driving the cars, others are working on social media or helping to keep the working area spick and span, and not forgetting the important task of feeding the team.

To date, the team has built two complete race cars whilst also preparing them between events and repairing the inevitable bumps and mechanical upkeep, and in May had to race prep a brand new car in a short few weeks.

We have the female Team members focused on our unique Indigenous Female Race Team – our all-girls karting team with, of course, Karlai as the driver!

Recently the team moved from Norwell to permanent garages at QLD Raceway and a newly formed management team the programme is looking stronger then ever.

The fabulously well credentialed people at Patrizicorse providing the structure for the karting programme, we’re in a great place.

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What's next

We are very proud to say that the project has already attracted corporate support from many corporations including Viva Energy,  Gunyameta, Toyota Australia, Supercheap Auto, Boost Mobile, Pirtek, Dick Johnson Racing, Triple Eight Race Engineering, Slideways, Norwell Motorplex, Karting Australia, National Storage, QLD Raceway, Pirtek & Patrizicorse. 

To grow and offer this life changing opportunity to others we need as much support as we can get. 

We have expanded the programme into Townsville with the plan to have our second team racing.  This is in conjunction with the exciting local circuit development there under the auspices of DriveitNQ.  As funding permits, we propose to take the programme into other areas of Australia.  As team members mature and move on, our Open Day programmes will recruit new blood into Racing Together and allow as many young Indigenous Australians to enjoy this experience as possible. 

We are continually look to ways of enhancing our programme to provide an ever improving experience four our Team members.

We continue to seek employment and training opportunities for our Team members as and when they are ready.

We have already seen 2 of our members now working with Supercar teams fulltime, who may not of had this opportunity without Racing Together programme.

Whilst the team is proud to accept traditional sponsorship and provide a platform for branding, some organisations have chosen to make it part of their ESG programme on a non-exclusive basis.

Additionally, as part of the Australian Sports Foundation, tax-deductible contributions may be made to Racing Together.

The Team and its members are always willing and able to participate in corporate activities in conjunction with team partners, patrons and sponsors.

One of the outstanding achievements of the programme has been the personal development of the team members in the area of public speaking and public relations, including on-stage interviews at the 2022 Australian Formula One Grand Prix.

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