The next Lewis Hamilton could be unearthed at Europe’s biggest motorsport show, Autosport International, through a new and unique competition for aspiring race drivers in conjunction with Formula Kart Stars, the only junior karting series backed by Formula One Management. The initiative is supported by Formula One Management and counts current points-leader and 2008 F1 World Champion Hamilton, among its graduates.
One young driver aged between eight and ten years old will start their career with a funded drive in the Formula Kart Stars Cadet class in 2015. The prize includes ownership of the £25,000* kart, tyres and fuel, series entry and the appropriate racing licence.
Karting is motorsport’s undisputed nursery and Formula Kart Stars’ Road to Formula 1 provides racing and education to Britain’s racing stars of tomorrow.
Boys and girls who are aged at least eight by 3 April 2015 and no older than ten on 1 January 2015 can enter by sending a 200-word story about their desire to be an F1 star to firstname.lastname@example.org before 2 January 2015.
Responses will be reviewed by the official governing body of motorsport, the Motor Sports Association, with 20 finalists invited to test their skills in a timed session on Autosport International’s karting track on Saturday 10 January.
Five finalists will then be shortlist and following an interview with a panel including ex-F1 driver Mark Blundell, McLaren test driver Gary Paffett, karting legend Terry Fullerton, father of Lewis, Anthony Hamilton and current British Cadet Champion, 12-year-old Teddy Wilson, a winner will be crowned.
“I am very excited to be part of this dynamic competition. Every year, the Road to Formula 1 programme helps young drivers enter motorsport. Having been closely involved in Formula Kart Stars, I’m proud to see so many alumni go on to enjoy success around the world, and hopefully through this unique opportunity we’ll uncover another future champion,” said Mark Blundell, ex-F1 driver.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in January, Autosport International encompasses every level of motorsport, from karting to Formula 1, with some of the sport’s biggest names and exclusive collections of machinery on display.
The Formula Kart Stars stand will be accompanied by the presence of leading karting suppliers and the Teesside Karting-operated track where show visitors can get their adrenaline fix behind the wheel of a kart.
“This competition is a special way to celebrate the significant role karting plays in motorsport. Even as the sport has evolved during Autosport International’s history, it remains the best place for young drivers to get their start and learn vital skills,” Ian France, Autosport International Show Director, said.
“Formula Kart Stars has been at the forefront of this for young drivers in the UK and the quality of its graduates, not just those who have reached the top, but those who are on their way in classes such as GP2 and GP3, is a testament to its success.”
Tickets to Autosport International are available from £32 for adults, with children’s tickets priced from £21 and children under five years admitted for free. For tickets, visit www.autosportinternational.com.
Tickets are now on sale for the public show, which is held at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, on 10-11 January 2014. Advanced adult tickets cost £32, with children’s tickets priced at £21 (children under five years of age go free). Group tickets are also available. Paddock passes are available from £42, with VIP tickets from £120.
Paddock passes include general admission plus: access to Driver Signing Area where visitors can get autographs of famous drivers and motor racing celebrities, access to the backstage Paddock Area and a paddock guide.
VIP tickets include: exclusive access to the VIP enclosure at the very top of the Live Action Arena grandstand, complete with complimentary champagne and canapés, a dedicated Club Lounge where VIP Club ticket holders can chill out, complimentary parking at the NEC, complimentary cloak room, access to Driver Signing Area and dedicated VIP signing sessions, fast-track entry to the Live Action Arena and access to the backstage Paddock Area, plus a paddock guide, show guide and goodie bag.
For more ticket information call +44 (0)844 581 1420 or visit www.autosportinternational.com