Young talent ?

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Sebastian Vettel, age 7.

The picture above is Sebastian Vettel aged 7 - winning races and championships.

When I clicked the online entry form for Drumlanrig Castle, I was disappointed to see a minimum driver age of 14.  My lad Anthony will be 9 in September and has raced at Belchford, Denholm and others, and will be at Worlaby next week.  He has also tested on some big and demanding hills here in Snowdonia.  He is certainly not a novice driver.  Please check out our facebook page - (and like us).

We have seen a lot of middle aged men on the winners podium at recent events, which is why it is essential to have junior races and encourage our young talent. How can they learn and develop their skills unless we can include them? If they are not given sufficient opportunities to learn from others at relatively safe venues, then they will do it at the school of hard knocks on open roads.

I understand the problems that organisers have with risk assessments, insurance etc. but other sports like skateboarding, mountain biking, motocross and go karting manage to organise junior championships. 

Our cartie construction regs are quite comprehensive (and need to be to prevent dangerous contraptions), but driving experience seems to be a lesser issue. Do we assume that if a team can produce a good cartie, they must be serious sensible people with a realistic opinion of their own driving skills? Could the same assumption be made of car drivers we see on our roads?

Our little cartie "Little Red Bull" has disc brakes all round and tops out about 40/45mph. Which is quite fast enough for us at the moment. Our problem is finding enough challenging events to compete in. Any suggestions would be most welcome.

This post is not intended to be critical of anyone, but if it provokes some debate and provides more venues for young talent to meet experienced racers, that can only be a good thing.

 cheers Steve P.


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ffestiniog soapbox's picture

New Skills ?

Further to my recent post about the minimum age for drivers at the Drumlanrig Gravity Grand Prix - I would like to contact the race organizers ........

My boy Anthony is keen as mustard to take part in any soapbox cartie racing events. Not only is he a fast and fearless, talented young driver ......... He also enjoys the atmosphere, the teamwork, the camaraderie and the razz a ma tazz of racing. Perhaps there could be an opportunity for him to participate in a different role. He will be happy to wave a flag, blow a whistle, help with timekeeping or make orange sqash for the marshals. Anything at all that gets him involved (and to wear a marshals armband).

We live in North Wales and (apart from having some spectacular hills) there is nothing for budding soapbox racers around here, so we have to travel (which is expensive). Also our little cartie is nearing the end of its potential development, and next year we will need to build a new more aerodynamic racer. So we will be looking for sponsorship. I think that if Anthony had marshalling experience to add to his portfolio, it would demonstrate his commitment and enthusiasm ....

Please check out our facebook page -  (and like us).

cheers,  Steve Pritchard 

ffestiniog soapbox | July 13, 2013 - 00:21
ffestiniog soapbox's picture

anthony pritchard

WinkLittle Red Bull will be coming to Drumlanrig.  Dad will be driving and Anthony will be helping the organizers and marshals. We look forward to seeing you all there ....


ffestiniog soapbox | July 18, 2013 - 00:01
scottishcarties's picture

age limits

I'm not really sure why you've singled out Drumlanrig here (a moot point in any case since it has had to be cancelled anyway). Plenty of cartie races have minimum age limits for drivers, and at 14 years for a race where top speeds could easily have reached 50mph the limit was a lot less conservative than some. There are some much slower races that have higher age limits e.g. Richards Castle and Buckland Monachorum - 12, Whitehill & Bordon, Shenley, Aldington - 16, Clones - 18.

Different organisers are working to different contraints and have different objectives. If you want to see more races suitable for 8 year olds, why not run one yourself? It's not that complicated really and we'd be happy to advise.

scottishcarties | August 15, 2013 - 12:23

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