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Thompson targetting strong start

17:00 13 February 2014

Hornchurch youngster Bobby Thompson is forging a career in motorsport

Hornchurch youngster Bobby Thompson is forging a career in motorsport

Archant

Hornchurch youngster preparing for Formula Ford debut

When the lights go out above the starting line at Brands Hatch next month, Hornchurch youngster Bobby Thompson will be able to count on plenty of support.

The 17-year-old will be competing in his first Formula Ford Championship and will never be far from the thoughts of the Caudwell Childrens’ charity.

Former Emerson Park pupil Thompson, who began racing karts at the age of eight, is particularly keen to promote the practical and emotional support of the group and has their logo on his car, crash helmet, overalls, team coat and website.

And he is hoping to increase awareness through his work on the track.

Dad Paul Thompson said: “This is a highly regarded championship which dates back to the 1960s. It has become a breeding ground for talent, allowing young riders to develop, refine and ultimately prove their racing ability before going on to better things.

“With former champions including the likes of F1 legends Ayrton Senna and Jenson Button, it’s not surprise the championship generates much interest.”

The series will be shown live on ITV4, receiving 229 hours of coverage, and hopes to reach a UK audience of over 19 million.

A total of 152 radio stations are also set to broadcast 51 hours of coverage to an estimated 54 million listeners, with crowds of around 30,000 expected at the likes of Donnington Park, Snetterton and Thruxton during the British Touring Car season.

And with teams havinng to invest £100,000 to fund a place on the starting grid, the younger Thompson is determined to impress.

He added: “To be given the chance of showcasing my skills in front of such a big audience, and on some of the most iconic circuits in the world, is a real privilege.

“This will be the first time that I’ve raced on some of the tracks, so I’ll have to do my homework.

“There are some fast and flowing circuits to compete around but the high speeds won’t worry me. I particularly like Silverstone, as I had some success there in the Vortex Dunlop Ford Fiesta Championship last year, when I secured my first maiden car racing podium finish.”

Former F1 world champion Button has no doubt about the quality of the championship and the benefits to drivers.

He said: “Formula Ford was a great championship for me to start my career in single-seater cars. For drivers making the step up from karts to cars, Formula Ford couldn’t be a better championship to introduce rookies to open-wheel racing.

“After winning the British Formula Ford Championship and the Formula Ford Festival, the next step up for me was Formula 3.

“I definitely think Formula Ford gave me the right preparation and experience needed to move up again in my career.”

Formula Ford Championship – March 29/30: Brands Hatch; April 19/20: Donington Park; May 3/4: Thruxton; June 7/8 Oulton Park; June 28/29 Croft; August 2/3: Snetterton; August 23/24: Knockhill; September 6/7: Rockingham; September 27/28: Silverstone; October 11/12: Brands Hatch.

n To find out more about Bobby Thompson visit www.bobbythompson.co.uk or email management@bobbythompson.co.uk.

For moe on the 2014 Formula Ford Championship visit www.britishformulaford.co.uk.

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