It's been a busy start to the racing season with my move to compete in the FIA GT1 World Championship for the first time with Sumo Power GT, but it's been an exciting start to 2011 for another big reason.

In between the FIA GT1 rounds at Zolder and the Algarve, my son Sam made his national karting debut in Formula Kart Stars.

Sam's really just starting his karting career and so he has lots to learn. The idea of the first few rounds of Formula Kart Stars is for him to learn as much as possible - learn about the kart, how it needs to be set-up, learn about the tyre pressures. I'm making him do reports after each day and get him into that zone where he needs to think like a racing driver off the track as well as when he's out there racing.

We're trying to put the foundations down for him right now and Formula Kart Stars is a great place for him to be. The competition is very tough and he's going to have to dig deep, but you've got to learn that as a racing driver.

The opening rounds were at Rowrah, in Cumbria, and that's a great track and facility. It was Sam's first time there as we didn't get the opportunity to test. It's a tough place and any circuit knowledge was going to be useful, so obviously if he had done some testing the weekend would have probably been a bit easier.

He's going to be a little bit better prepared for the next outing as not only has he done the first round, but he's going to do a club event at Three Sisters, near Wigan, before the Formula Kart Stars event there later this month.

We are very lucky to have partners already in Sam's career. Liberty International Underwriters (LIU), a division of Liberty Mutual Group, is a company that have got behind Sam and I'll be doing a bit of work with them as well. We also have Grand Priv?, the private and exclusive supper club for car enthusiasts and racing drivers. He's got to learn to develop those relationships early because he's going to need that level of support to keep progressing in the sport.

There's a hell a lot for Sam to learn this year, both on and off the track, but you've got to start somewhere and he's lucky in that he's got people around him that can show him the right way to go about it.

At the end of the day, we can only show Sam, it's down to him to do it and his application of the job. The way he does it will dictate what kind of future he has, so he's going through that learning process now.

The most important thing is that Sam enjoys what he is doing. Obviously there are certain pressures he's got to deal with but he's got to learn how to deal with those himself. He's a great kid and he's got a great attitude to life and I'm sure he'll be fine.

DB

 

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