Ant Middleton assesses 'extremely focused' Supercars recruits

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 23/09/2021
  • By Charlie Bullis

SAS Australia chief instructor Ant Middleton has drawn a link between the level of discipline required by soldiers and Supercars drivers.

The elite ex-Special Forces soldier put Supercars drivers Garth Tander, Macauley Jones and Will Brown through gruelling physical and mental challenges for the Supercars x SAS Australia Special.

Just like on the hit show, the drivers were under the direction of Directing Staff Middleton, Mark 'Billy' Billingham, Jason 'Foxy' Fox and Ollie Ollerton for a military-grade ‘beasting’.

Jones was the only driver to complete the test for the special one-off episode, surviving the demanding course and interrogation session.

Speaking to Supercars.com, Middleton assessed the driver's performances after the course. 

"They are extremely focused guys," Middleton said.

"They are race car drivers, [they have] that attention to detail that we have also.

"I saw that straight away, they were listening, they were taking it all in, and they were executing what needed to be done.

"There was little that I had to pull them up on, which again, is a credit to them.

"It just goes to show that racing car drivers have that attention to detail, one little mistake for us on the battlefield costs a life.

"It does also for them, one little mistake could cost them their lives in the car.

"We are very similar in that way, and it came across very clearly that they are very well-disciplined individuals."

Serving in the military for 14 years, Middleton began his career in the British Army in 1998 before joining the Royal Marines in 2005.

The 40-year-old admitted he was impressed by the drivers and explained which of the Supercars recruits he would invite to complete the full SAS Australia program.

"Number two [Jones], I would love to see on the course," Middleton said.

"I knew just from the off that number two had that little bit of extra spark, a little bit of extra discipline.

"He's focused, he's disciplined, and he's almost got something to prove. I don't know what it is.

"He's a young lad, with something to prove, so I'd like to spend a bit more time with him to really bring that out and bring that to the forefront.

"Number one [Brown], just for morale.

"He can be the guy that we just go in hard on because he's got a little bit of a personality, and a little bit of a character there.

"But all in all, great guys, you know, just to be on my parade square, to walk through my gates and expose yourself to that character building.

"It takes guts, and it takes courage to do that, I take my hat off to anyone that's willing to do that."

The full episode of Supercars x SAS Australia Special can be watched on 7Plus and the Supercars YouTube channel.

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