Nick Percat is set to work with Sonic Motor Racing Services and Melbourne Karting Centre to offer youngsters a pathway from karting to the upper echelons of motorsport.
The programme is set to offer tuition and guidance to prospective racers in an effort to create a clearer path to a career as a professional driver.
“I attend a lot of karting events, and the question I get asked the most by parents is, ‘What do I do next for my child?’” Percat explained.
“At the moment, there really is no clear pathway.
“I already do a bit of work for James at MKC, and I’m still heavily involved with Sonic, so the idea that we’ve come up is a clear, simple and real pathway for kids who want to be race car drivers.
“Personally, I’m motivated to help the next generation of youngsters coming through the ranks and make sure they don’t rush the steps.
“They need to get the fundamental rights, and this partnership will allow us to streamline that through the expertise at Melbourne Karting Centre and Sonic.”
Sonic has long established itself as a breeding ground for young drivers, running cars in a myriad of categories including Formula Ford and Porsche Carrera Cup and working with the likes of David Reynolds, Tim Slade, Anton De Pasquale.
Mick Ritter, owner of Sonic, added: “A programme of this nature is something we have been working on for quite some time, but it has always needed to be with the right people.
“We only want to be involved with people who have the interest of talented young drivers at heart, and I’m pleased that we have formed a great partnership with James (Sera, owner of Melbourne Karting Centre) and Nick.
“Our programme will provide a clearer path for talented young karters who are already being trained at the highest of standards at a karting level, which will make the transition and progression through the first stages of their circuit racing career both more structured and successful.
“Both James and Nick follow the same ethos about developing young talent as we do at Sonic. Effectively, we train them and give them the tools to progress to the next level.
“It is exciting to be able to align with them, and we are looking forward to bringing the next wave of karting talent into the Sonic family.”
Owner of MKC, Sera has over 30 years’ experience in karting, with his team already entering a number of young drivers on the local scene.
“This is a collaboration that makes sense and it’s something that I can’t wait to see come to fruition,” said Sera.
“Formula Ford is the natural progression category for people who want to move from karting to the top of the sport, and Mick and Sonic is the best in the business.
“And not only does Sonic have the Formula Ford arm in its team, they also have a well-established Porsche programme. It is the complete development programme for young drivers.
“While my kart team and Mick’s race team offer the expertise and the hardware, Nick is best placed to offer the nurturing and guidance – both in the kart and in their circuit racing.
“On the karting side, our job will be to get them ready and build in good practices, so when they make the next step, they have a big head start on the next phase of their career.”