Last Wednesday was my first ever visit to the Henry Surtees Foundation Challenge event and what a day it was. Competing on Club100 karts, 26 drivers were competing for prizes that included tests in a:
BRDC Formula 3
British Formula 4
It’s really the opportunity of a lifetime and could help lucky drivers make some contacts that could become key to helping them move on to the next stage in their careers. The good thing is the HSF Challenge happens every year and the prizes, from what I have seen, seem to get better every year!
However, I was surprised and also slightly disappointed that there were not more drivers there who are struggling to find a budget to progress into car racing. The grid was fantastic! Entries included; Jake Dennis, Ben Barnicoat, Alex Quinn, Callum Bradshaw, Ross Martin, Archie Tillett, Laura Tillett, Charlie Turner, Ben Green, Will Tregurtha, Matthew Taylor and many more!
What kept going through my head was why were there not many drivers in Piers Prior’s position there? Piers (who writes our A&D column) has won prizes from the event three times and out of it has had tests in Formula Renault and British F4, experiences he has been able to use to chase sponsors.
Piers openly admits his knowledge of Buckmore Park and Club100 karts have played a big part in his success so where were the Club100 front runners? Or the drivers who have won corporate events at Buckmore Park? What about club racers who race in Rotax, TKM or X30 at Buckmore Park?
Okay so the entry fee is quite expensive, the event costs £500, but it is all for a good cause and can win you fantastic prizes. If anything just being on the same track as GP3, F3, F4 and Ginetta drivers should be worth it alone?
Karting magazine worked with the HSF Challenge this year and I really hope we do the same again next year. When there I hope to see more people who are looking for a career in the sport. There are some fantastic schemes out there including the likes of the Ginetta Junior Scholarship and Want2Race.
In those you have to drive a car, in this you are racing karts. Come to the event prepared and finish in the top eight, then you’ll be walking home with a prize that may just change your career!
For updates on the 2017 HSF Challenge keep an eye on #kartingmag and to watch this year’s’ Final in full with commentary just head to our Facebook page!
Written by Chris McCarthy