Ryde-based WightKarting is celebrating teaching almost 300 young drivers different racing disciplines as part of their ‘Adrenaline Junkie’ race academy: a unique programme for school groups and young people from across the Isle of Wight and holidaymakers alike.
In a commitment to training the young people of the Isle of Wight in the foundation skills of motorsport, the team at WightKarting announced the development of the new scheme in Easter 2018. Since this time, 297 youngsters from the Isle of Wight and visitors have started on the training programme, with 70 of them completing all 5 levels to date.
The Adrenaline Junkie programme has been designed around the principle that kart racing is the best and safest way for young people to learn the disciplines of the motorsport industry. The programme, taught by Connor Gudgin at the track, takes place in 5 levels. Level 1 is the all about teaching the children all about motorsport safety, and the importance of staying safe whilst driving on the track.
Once this has been cleared, levels 2 and 3 take learners through how they can drive quickly without losing control and how they can break and accelerate effectively. Level 4 takes them through the racing line of the track and how this can be used to increase their speed safely. Finally, level 5 explores lap times and how these can be improved and refined, to shave off the seconds and ensure that they can be at the top of the leaderboard. Once the children reach level 5, they are able to graduate from the smaller, restricted cadet and junior karts, and move into the adult karts for faster race times.
To celebrate the shining stars who graduated from the programme, the track held a Young Racers F1 race in early September for drivers between 8-11 years old, which saw 16 racers go head to head in a series of racing styles. The winner of the day was 11-year-old Harrison Crickmore, who won the cadets race in the Junior karts. 13-year-old Jack Goring took victory in the Juniors race in the adults karts.
There is another race for the graduated Adrenaline Junkies on taking place on Friday (28th September), where many more will be vying for the first place position.
Connor Gudgin, Course Leader at WightKarting, said:
“We’re really happy that these young people have had the chance to take part in this scheme. They all really love coming to the track and learning from the staff here. Their confidence builds so much since their first visit, and their track times are improving with every drive. It’s something I would really recommend for other parents with children who might not be interested in typical sports like football or rugby.”
Cathy Foulkes, owner at WightKarting, said:
“Developing young people through fun activities and building their skill sets and confidence is something that we think is really important here at WightKarting. When you look at most of the Formula 1 greats, you can see that they started their own journeys in karts, and so we’re always on the lookout for the next Hamilton on our track! We run a series of events throughout the year designed specifically for young people, and we always see great success with these. We’re really looking forward to our next Young Racers F1, and will be interested to see who comes out on top next time!”