Aspiring kiwi racer Ronan Murphy has been crowned the 2019 MotorSport New Zealand Elite Academy winner.
The 18-year-old finished sixth in his debut season of the ITM NZ Formula Ford Championship this year, including snaring a podium at Manfeild in only his second event start.
In February, Murphy announced his intentions to race for Kiwi Motorsport in the US Formula 4 series which is slated to begin on July 17 at Virginia Raceway.
“I’m delighted for Ronan – he really stood out at the camp with his easy and confident style of speaking, and he continued that every time I saw him during the summer” said President of Motorsport New Zealand Wayne Christie.
Murphy’s name has now been etched alongside a list of iconic kiwi motorsport names on the Ian Snellgrove Trophy as the top scholar of the class of 2019.
The likes of double Le Mans winner Brendon Hartley, Formula E star Mitch Evans and 2016 Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen are a handful of the illustrious names to have passed through the academy.
“I am delighted by this and really just want to thank everyone that’s played a part in the year what an amazing thing its been and what a great bunch of classmates as well,” said Ronan after having been awarded the prize.
For the first time since its inception, the Motorsport New Zealand Elite Academy will not be held in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The decision to shelve the competition was made during Alert Level 4 when it became impossible to interview or plan travel for the 2020 class.
Each year the winner of the Motorsport Elite Academy is judged upon his work post a week-long camp that is run in conjunction with the Otago Academy of Sport in July.
Judging and points come via feedback from the Academies various tutors where measures are in place to ensure there is an equal playing field for all graduates across their chosen discipline.