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.
Insp Lloyd Cresswell of West Mercia Police, added: “West Mercia Police is happy to support this initiative as a way of engaging with younger drivers.
“Unfortunately, young drivers are over represented in our collision statistics so anything we can do to support initiatives like this has got to be a good thing.
“This innovative scheme aims to harness the enthusiasm and interest that most young drivers have with their cars and Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb provides a place where drivers can not only have that social interaction, but also the chance to learn the basics of car mechanics and the opportunity to drive in a safe, controlled environment.”
Visit www.shelsleywalsh.com for more on the championship.