Boston College's Learning Bus will again be a feature of the Formula Kart Stars in 2012, offering drivers and their siblings a chance to study for their GCSEs trackside.

The association with Boston College comes through Chief Clerk of the Course Matt Daniels who works as a lecturer at the college.

College staff member Mark Marsh and other tutors man the bus from Friday evening to Sunday at the track. It is equipped with audio and visual learning aids, an outdoor presentation area and an interactive whiteboard that allows drivers to download and annotate coursework.

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"At first a lot of people were unsure about using the bus as the drivers are not used to thinking about school on a race weekend," said Marsh. "But as the year progressed, especially during May and June when a lot of the Junior drivers are in the middle of their GCSEs they began to realise that an hour of quiet study after a days racing can be extremely useful."

The Learning Bus forms an important part of the Formula Kart Stars mission to equip karters with the education to make the most of F1 if they have the opportunity to ascend to it or to succeed in other areas if they don't.

Anthony Hamilton, who now manages Force India driver Paul di Resta and KF1 World champion Nyck De Vries, is involved with Formula Kart Stars.

In an interview earlier this year he spoke about his experience karting with his son Lewis: "It was very hard work, we pulled together as a team, we had a plan, and we always had in mind that-if the plan failed, then Lewis still had his education and there would be other options," he said. "Too many kids have given up their education, and that's not good news."

The Learning Bus will be on display at the KartMania show in Coventry this weekend (December 3-4). It will have a new livery displaying its new commercial partners.

by Simon Stiel