Budding race ace, Leyton Clarke, starts his 2009 race season diary. Hi there. I?d first of all like to introduce myself ? if you’re mad keen on saloon car racing then you may already have heard of me, but assuming you’re not, my name is Leyton Clarke. I?m a 17-year-old with three years? of racing experience and I already have two championship wins tied down.
I started my life in racing in karting, at the age of 10, which taught me the basics of how to hold onto a vehicle at speed. Then, at 13, I hit the racetracks for the first time in a Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 at Donington Park. It was awesome, and I was hooked (as you would, Ed!). Since then, I?ve been lucky enough to drive some extreme cars ? from your fast road Ferraris to your modern-day LM Prototypes.
I started my first championship in 2006, the SAXMAX series, a touting car series for 14- to 17-year olds, which was interesting as you can imagine. I finished seventh in my first year and then won in 2007. I then stepped up a class and moved championships into the Dunlop Sport Maxx Championship, driving a 2008 Thorney Vauxhall Corsa Turbo, which I also clinched the title with. For 2009, I will drive for Thorney Motorsport again ? in their 300bhp Astra VXR. So with a lot of luck I would like to make it 3 out of 3.
Thanks to all the help I?ve had, which has allowed me to achieve my successes, I have now gained BRDC Rising Star status which I?m thrilled to have managed. Anyway, speak to you all after our first test day. There are just a few days left before the epic N’rburgring Nordscleife 24-hour race, and Tim Schrick ? Road friend, driving god and D-MAX TV presenter ? has still not driven the fully fledged version of his totally reengineered Aston Martin V8 Vantage: Madness! But we can at least show you some pictures of the animal, now its nearing completion.
And, you have to agree, it’s a total bloody weapon of mass destruction. I am in love! With just days to go, Tim is still waiting to finally sign of his uber-highrevving, daft horsepower 3-litre V8, on the Schrick test bed dyno. And the innovative DJ Motorsport sequential transmission, being handcrafted by imagineering genius, Dave Plant (Road mate, who build Colin McRae’s rally cars and the R4), is still in the UK. Gulp!
This one is going right to the wire; but such is the nature of building such an outstanding engineering project, for such an outstanding race. Tim says: ?I?m not nervous now. I know the car will be finished on time, even if the first time I drive it is in qualifying.? Go on my son!