Motor racing: Walker’s rising star

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The BRDC, whose president is motor racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart and whose chairman is Martin Brundle, is regarded as the world’s leading motor racing club and is for drivers who have had international success over a number of seasons.Its Rising Stars programme recognises outstanding young talent.

and gives the benefits of membership to young drivers who are considered to be international champions of the future.Taking time out at home this week, Walker said that when he found out he’d been selected he was delighted.’Winning the championship this year made it a pretty fantastic season but the recognition by the BRDC really crowned it all.

Basically, it is confirmation that I have been recognised by the people who matter in the sport.

The Club has a big say in the industry and there are just a handful of drivers in the UK who have been recognised like this.’He explained that the Rising Stars are required to give up five days in the year for the BRDC’s sponsors – but in return they are allowed the use of the BRDC’s facilities, such as the VIP boxes at Silverstone, for the young drivers to entertain their own sponsors.’It’s another tool to impress people, to be honest – and that is vital in this sport where sponsorship and funding can make or break a driver’s career.

Now I have a foot in the door the club will provide more help – possibly in the shape of financial assistance, but certainly they will be able to point me in the right sort of direction to move up the ladder.’Walker’s next driving engagement will be for the F1 Menardi team – although not in a Grand Prix yet – for the Johnny Herbert charity karting event.’I’m looking forward to that, it will be fantastic to meet some of the Menardi team and to drive as part of it, and it’s all for a good cause.

I used to go karting whenever I could, while I was at school, at Victoria College, so I have done it before – though never for a Formula 1 team!Walker, who won 11 of the 20 races in the UK Scholarship Championship this season also regularly beat a number of the senior class runners in his year-old car – in itself no mean feat – and scored several overall podium places.

Regarded by some as possibly the UK’s most naturally talented young racing driver, he is currently trying to put together a budget for Formula 3 next season with race-winning HiTech Motorsport, which has offered him a drive for 2004.F3 is the main training ground for F1 and British drivers who graduated direct from F3 to Grand Prix include Brundle and Jenson Button.

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