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Trent College karting talent Tom Wood has brought the curtain down on his season in style after finishing in the top 10 at the junior World Karting Finals at France’s famous Le Mans track last month.
Tom, who turns 14 this month and is in Year 9 at the Long Eaton school, races in the X30 IAME Junior class and went head-to-head with over 100 of the best young drivers in the world before finishing a hugely credible eighth overall.
The youngster, widely regarded as one of Britain’s leading kart talents, had looked on course for an even more impressive end result after romping through his five qualifying races with two wins, two seconds and a fourth.
But a 10 second penalty for accelerating too early in one of the heats saw Tom positioned seventh on the grid for the Pre Final, before a power issue and then an unsuccessful tyre gamble in the Grand Final led to him finishing in eighth place.
A week later, Tom, who lives in Castle Donington with parents Moira and Mike and has had backing from Donington Park racing circuit this year, was back in action bidding to win a prestigious national junior racing scholarship, against 64 of the country’s other best young drivers, at Bedford Autodrome.
The Ginetta Junior Championship runs alongside the televised British Touring Cars Championship (BTCC) and the Ginetta Junior Scholarship gives the chance for one young driver to win a fully funded drive for next season.
The drivers took part in driving, media and fitness assessments over three days and received one-on-one tuition and advice from experienced touring car drivers and coaches. Despite having never driven a Ginetta car until a day of testing just before the event, Tom impressed to make it through to the final cut of 12.
Now Tom is looking forward to rubbing shoulders with World motor racing’s glitterati, including the biggest stars of Formula One, at the glamorous Autosport Awards 2015 in London on Sunday 6 December, having been crowned Formula Kart Stars (FKS) 2015 Junior Champion earlier this year.
Formula Kart Stars is a British-based karting championship, supported by Bernie Ecclestone and Formula One Management (FOM). Triple F1 Champion Lewis Hamilton is a patron of the series and raced in the category on his way to F1 glory.
Tom has been driving since he was three-and-a-half years old, whizzing around in electric karts at local leisure centres during school holidays. He moved into petrol karts aged six, and competed his first Motor Sports Association (MSA) - UK’s motor sport’s sole governing body - race when he was eight.
He said: “I am extremely fortunate to have had the full support from Trent College who have always been behind me, which is very important if I am to succeed.
“Next year I plan to race in the Ginetta Junior Championship and am looking for support from businesses and individuals who would like to be involved in motorsport, and who would benefit from the TV coverage and media this has to offer, with the Ginetta Championship running alongside the BTCC.”
For more information on Tom Wood or if you are interested in supporting his campaign visit www.tomwoodracing.com