The Local News reported earlier that the Motor Sports Association (MSA) had selected Keyworth teenager Will Orton to represent the UK in an international race series, the FIA-CIK Academy Trophy.
The 13-year-old has certainly made an impressive start in the opening round in Salbris France.
Racing against an international field of over 50 of the best junior drivers from 40 countries, he produced a series of top-10 results in time qualifying and heats, securing a place in the televised final.
Arguably his performance of the weekend came in timed qualifying, where drivers get just minutes to go out and produce that one ultimate lap.
This determines their seeding and grid positions for the elimination heats that follow. Will went out and put in the run of his life, qualifying an impressive eighth place ahead of many of the pre-event favourites.
He maintained this form with a ninth and two seventh places in elimination heats, ensuring he was part of the final featuring the top 34 drivers.
In the thrilling final he was shunted wide into the first corner but recovered his composure to finish a very credible 18th. Throughout the final, as he tried to gain lost ground, he showed his pace, producing lap-times worthy of the top 10.
Will said: “After such a strong start to the weekend, I was obviously disappointed to lose ground in the final but, on reflection, I’ve got the positive that I now know that I can run at this level.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to build on this, when we get to the next round in Italy in July.”
Up to this point, Will’s family have entirely self-funded his racing but they recognise that at this level it probably does compromise his performance.
His dad, Peter, said “Obviously in an ideal world, talent would wholly determine your child’s chances in their given sport, but when you see kids with dedicated mechanics, professional driver coaches and the opportunity to race or test wherever they want, you know it’s not an entirely level playing-field .
“I guess we hope that his results will eventually get him noticed and we’ll secure some sponsorship to help him build on his current successes.”
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