What does it take to be a racing driver?
Guts? Skill? Determination?
Yep, all three are correct.
But it also takes an unwavering belief in your own ability, unrivaled teamwork, and a state of mind that not everyone possesses.
After all, you need to have something about you if you are prepared to take the wheel and launch yourself around a race track as quickly as possible all while testing the limits of what’s mechanically and physically possible.
One mistake, and it could seriously hurt, and to make things even more intense, you have a load of other drivers around you all trying to beat you!
This is why racing drivers have my utmost respect no matter whether its Formula One, Club Racing or Karting (hell, even lawnmower racing).
One driver who particularly impressed me in 2019 was Joel Wren.
Racing in the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship, Joel is a confident driver who I was fortunate enough to interview at Brands Hatch earlier in the year.
Joel had just won race one and would go onto start on pole for race two later in the day and I must admit I caught him a little off guard with the microphone (I have a habit of doing that with drivers!) but he was happy to talk.
And I am glad he did because, for such a young man, he spoke with the calm confidence of a man far beyond his years.
But that is hardly surprising from a driver who is no stranger to success on the track with supportive parents (I can safely claim his Dad – named Ian, great name by the way – has become a mate since we first met at Brands) who have intelligently supported him in his still young racing career.
Win and I’ll buy you a car
Like many, Joel started out in karting (inspired by his mum Lisa) and achieved multiple podiums early on in his career highlighting the undoubted talent Joel possesses.
This was enough for dad Ian to say to Joel if you go to Kimbolton kart meeting and win, he’ll buy him a car.
That is exactly what he did! So, it was time for Ian to pay up and true to his word he did, and the pair went racing in the Fiesta Junior Championship in 2019 to great success.
Credit must also go to Tom Bell, Ed Pead, and Pete Edwards who have helped Joel develop as a driver in the Motorsport School and now as we head to 2020, exciting plans are afoot.
Already having tested a Ginetta (and whipped the car round at an impressive pace), the plan is 250hp Fiesta possibly in a 750 Motor Club series or CSCC organised event.
Wherever Joel races in 2020 I know one thing, the grid will be a better place for it.
Keep your eyes and ears peeled as Joel is undoubtedly a future star and having met him a number of times since first meeting him, I know having interviewed some of the biggest names in sport (Eric Boullier, Nick Tandy, and Greg Rutherford – to unashamedly namedrop a few), I can tell you Joel matches up to the best of them.
Best of luck for 2020 Joel.
(Follow Joel’s career on his Facebook page right here)