A scheme offering opportunities for disadvantaged youngsters to learn practical mechanical skills is in pole position when it comes to recruiting patrons.
Ross Brawn, eponymous F1 team principal and one of the most successful engineers the sport has known, has announced he will be supporting the SKIDZ charity.
SKIDZ helps young people take qualifications and gain experience in a working motor engineering environment – something Brawn will have considerable sympathy with, having started his working life as a machinist at Williams in 1976.
And he’s not the only patron with racing experience, as he will count former rally driver Paddy Hopkirk as a colleague.
Brawn said: “I am delighted to become a Patron of the SKIDZ Motor Projects charity and to lend my support.
“Having started my career in Formula One as a machinist and mechanic with the Williams Grand Prix team back in the 1970s, I am a passionate supporter of providing opportunities for young people to learn practical motor trade skills and have the opportunity to become involved in and develop a passion for motorsport.
“Practical experience is key to getting the best possible grounding in the motor trade and this is where SKIDZ really makes a difference to the future prospects for the young people involved.
“Along with my work with Formula Student and F1 in Schools, I hope that my involvement in SKIDZ can make a real difference. The enthusiasm and commitment that I have seen at the Wycombe Motor Project fills me with optimism for the future of science and engineering in this country.”
Currently based in rented premises, SKIDZ aims to raise almost £1 million to purchase a self-contained property for its High Wycombe-based project – one of several around London and the Home Counties.
It hopes to offer an improved service, a wider range of opportunities and better facilities as well as putting itself on a more stable financial footing.
To learn more about SKIDZ and its work, visit its website here.