Indigenous racing team in Hidden Valley debut

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Meet Australia’s first ever all Indigenous car racing team.

In a long overdue addition to Australian motorsport, Indigenous Australian’s can now add becoming the next Daniel Ricciardo to their list of sporting dream’s following the creation of the barrier busting team.

Inspired by Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton’s campaign for diversity in Formula One, the all Indigenous team of 10 called “Racing Together” took to Hidden Valley Raceway to compete in a Darwin Supercar’s curtain raiser.

Beating out almost a hundred hopefuls to become Australia’s first Indigenous race car driver, Braedyn Cidoni could not wipe the smile off his face after racing in front of V8 greats Craig Lowndes, Mark Skaife and Jamie Whincup.

“It is a dream come true,” Cidoni said after racing in his Hyundai Excel.

“Just awesome. I am so grateful to get the chance.”

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The man that gave the 17-year-old his shot is a Brisbane-based motorsport steward named Garry Conelly.

Inspired by Hamilton’s campaign for racial equality in Formula One, Connelly is hoping to create our first Indigenous racing star.

“We don’t really have an Indigenous presence in Australian motorsport and that needs to change,” Connelly said.

“Three per cent of the Australian population is Indigenous but I struggled to find an Indigenous person who was employed in the Australian motorsport industry. That needed to change.

“My wife and I were thinking about it for a while but we didn’t do anything. It was actually Lewis Hamilton’s call to arms last year that prompted us to finally do something.

“We actually have formed a good relationship with Lewis’ father Anthony. It was his idea to form a team rather than support an individual racer.”

Working as mechanics, engineers and pit-crew, Racing Together has an all Indigenous crew of ten.

Including a 14-year-old female that is being groomed as a driver, the Supercar’s hopefuls beat out 90 rivals to win their spots in the ground breaking team.

“We had about 100 kids turn up to a test day in Brisbane,” Connelly said.

“We picked 30 and put them through an intensive two day course where we assessed their physical, mental and driving skills. We further narrowed that down to ten. We are not only training a driver but engineers, data loggers, mechanics and logistical experts. We want them working in all areas of motorsport.”

Cidoni is now dreaming of becoming the first Indigenous Supercars driver after winning the prized racing seat.

“Oh that would be unreal,” Cidoni said.

“But I have a lot ahead of me. I have only just started so I just need to focus on what I am doing now. I just need to work hard and be a good student. But yeah, it is my goal for sure.”

Now set up as a charity, Connelly revealed he had invested a “six figure sum” into the team.

“I am not expecting to get it back,” Connelly said.

“This is a passion of mine, not a business. The reward will be watching these kids succeed in life.”

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