It was only a few weeks ago when the news broke that ten year old “blonde bombshell” racer, Maxwell Dodds announced his endorsement from the Silverstone Circuit. Silverstone is known as the ‘heart of British Motorsport’ and is not only the biggest circuit in the UK, but one of the biggest in the World. It pulls in every big motorsport event on both two and four wheels and attracts one of the biggest crowds throughout the Formula 1 Calendar. Yet they saw something in young Max and they describe his as an ‘immense talent’ with a ‘very bright future’. Here’s the full story on how it all happened.
Last year was certainly Max’s ‘breakthrough year’. He finished 2nd in the Formula Kart Stars Cadet Championship and 15th in Super One in the IAME Cadet class along with 14th in LGM. Towards the back end of last year, he also rolled the dice out in Las Vegas for the SKUSA Supernationals XIX in the Tag Cadet class, his 2nd visit to the famous Vegas strip meeting and competed in the Dubai ‘O’ Plate meeting, where he so should of won that but finished 3rd after a first corner collision .
It was his combined performances throughout the year that made Silverstone approach Max about an endorsement, something Max was very proud of!
“It’s really cool to be backed by a big racing track, Silverstone is the best in the country so to be endorsed by them is great! We’ve since been to see Patrick Allen (MD) a lot and have been able to use the IZone Simulator whilst at Silverstone. We’ve used the kart simulator to help prepare for tracks and sometimes they let me go on the car simulator which is really good fun!”
I followed Max very closely last year having commentated on a huge amount of his races and the one thing I always noticed is that he was always there and that’s the most important part of Cadet racing. We all know in a Cadet race it doesn’t matter where you are in the lead group, but if you’re there when the inevitable battle kicks off you’ve given yourself a chance at winning.
Those results and experiences of racing abroad would have certainly given him a huge amount of confidence heading into this season and with the added endorsement his desire to win has grown even more.
“I haven’t had the best of luck this year but things seem to be turning round now. Ive always been at the sharp end for the finals but seem to get involved in crashes. I know we now have the pace to win something like Super One or LGM next year and I’d like to start that by winning Kartmasters this weekend.”
So what does the endorsement involve?
Speaking to Patrick Allen, the Managing Director of Silverstone, he explained to me:
“We’ve always liked supporting drivers but we usually look at them at an older age, however with Max we feel he is an immense talent and we’d like to keep an eye on him now. It’s just an endorsement for now, but we can offer him support and guidance and introduce him to various people. I think Max is more than capable of being a part of something like the BRDC Rising Stars program one day and that’s where we’ll be pushing him once he makes the move into cars.”
Max currently sits 9th in the Super One standings with a round to go after some unfortunate luck and in LGM currently sitting in 6th position.
He’s confident a win isn’t too far away and will hoping for a top 7 finish in S1 with at least a top 5 in the LGM championships with eyes firmly set upon both title assaults next year!
As Max mentioned it is the Kartmasters GP plate meeting this weekend at PFI and after testing last week Max feels very confident he can win the biggest one off event in UK karting.
“It went very well I was very fast in every session last weekend we just needed to prepare everything for next week. I think I can definitely win the GP plate as we were very fast during testing and it’s a track I love, at times last weekend I was the fastest! It would be great to have a GP plate on a Silverstone kart.”
Personally I think Max is more than capable in winning and it’s an event that seems to set drivers on their way if winning. Take Kiern Jewiss for example, his drive from the pits to victory in 2014 saw him immediately signed to Mark Blundell’s management company MB Partners. Taylor Barnard’s drive through from 15th last year has since seen him run at the front in all major events. Could this be the year Max Dodds really makes his mark on British Karting?
As for the Silverstone backing well it’s something very exciting for young Max. He couldn’t be in much better hands and when the inevitable jump up to cars comes he’ll have every young driver program after him. It’s fantastic to see Silverstone keep an eye on karters and a motive for every young driver to keep pushing!
Max may only ben ten years old, but his future already looks very exciting!
Kartmasters GP 2016 Champion? It’d certainly go nicely with the Silverstone logo…
Written by Chris McCarthy
Images courtesy of Chris Walker, Kartpix
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