A NEW innovative car championship to encourage young drivers to get off the streets and learn to compete in a safe and controlled environment is being launched at the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb.
Midland Automobile Club has teamed up with Autocar magazine and been backed by Motorsport UK and West Mercia Police to host a championship for drivers aged between 17 and 21.
Competitors will be driving similar cars with agreed cost restrictions and be racing against the clock.
Car parts salesperson Ben Evans, 21, who is one of the first drivers to sign up, said: “I’ve had a licence for three years and have been to Shelsley Walsh many times as a spectator but the cost to actually take part is far too much for me, so this chance to compete at a beginner’s level is a great opportunity to really get involved with motorsport.”
One of the organisers Paul Matty said: “The aim is to provide a low-cost competitive championship for novice drivers who hold a valid road licence but have not competed before.
“They will get assured entry to prestigious events at the historic Shelsley Walsh venue and receive ongoing mentoring from experienced instructors and competitors throughout the season.”
The cars will be identical standard Vauxhall Corsa 1.2litre three-door models and participants will have a total budget of £3,000, including safety equipment.
Drivers will race individually against the clock
Lille Racewear will supply individual sponsored overalls and the helmets will be Snell approved.
Vicky Bristow, from West Mercia Police, Road Safety Team, added: “This is an excellent scheme, and as young drivers are one of our target groups we fully support this initiative.
“We are keen to be involved to highlight the need for safe and responsible driving, which this innovative championship should help to encourage.”
Visit www.shelsleywalsh.com for more on the championship.