Speed merchant

Shillington kart racer Ollie Howell is hoping to follow the lead of local boy Lewis Hamilton. The 14-year-old has shown potential to become a future racing star but now needs some cold hard cash to guide him on his way to emulating new Formula One recruit

Shillington kart racer Ollie Howell is hoping to follow the lead of local boy Lewis Hamilton.

The 14-year-old has shown potential to become a future racing star but now needs some cold hard cash to guide him on his way to emulating new Formula One recruit Hamilton.

Ollie started indoor kart racing at nine-years-old and quickly showed the commitment and determination plus talent needed to succeed.

Over the last five years, he has managed to win himself 170 trophies!

Last year he won the 2005 indoor Superkarts championship and was on the podium every week.

As well as Superkarts, he started racing outdoors last year at Redlodge and also achieved a podium position every race out of more than 30 drivers.

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Ollie has now moved to the next level of karting which is the MSA national kart racing - these races are held at circuits all over Great Britain - and has bought his own kart.

He decided to race at the Hunts kart racing club in Kimbolton and race in the Junior Rotax class which is the fastest class for juniors (karts can reach speeds of 90mph).

For the first six races, Ollie was classed as a novice but proved his skills were up their with the best.

Mum Claire said: "Ollie has now completed his novice stage and is competing with the front runners showing an outstanding ability to drive.

"Due to Ollie's talent and potential, he has been approached by a team wanting him to race at the BRDC Stars of Tomorrow next year - which is the British Championships - which is more than Ollie could of hoped for.

"Like with any sport, the dream is to become the best and reach the top and Ollie is certainly no exception, with a dream to progress one day into Formula One.

"With an ongoing training programme and support from friends and family, there is no reason why Ollie can't fulfil his dream and become a professional racing driver, with one exception - money."

Karting is a non-funded sport and there is a high expense for him to compete in the British Championships for things like race entrances to tyres, fuel and parts and mechanics.

Claire continued: "Ollie deserves this chance to fulfil his dreams. All he needs is help to fund his future."

If anyone is interested in sponsoring Ollie (this would include company names advertised on his kart) whether it be for costs towards fuel, race entrances, tyres or even a donation, please call 01462 711167.

Claire added: "This would make a dream come true.

"Ollie is also keen to earn money to put towards his costs, so if anyone has any ideas for after-school or weekend work please call us as well."

P Stevenage teenager Francis Harrold is another making his way in the karting world.

The 13-year-old from Foster Close won the British Karting Grand Prix at the PF International Circuit in Lincolnshire.

This national title win allows him to race under the distinguished 'GP' plate in 2007 and was a terrific achievement considering 2006 was his first year in the Junior TKM class (for 12 to 16-year-olds).

In addition, he finished fourth in the final round of the Super 1 British Karting Championship at the Shennington Circuit in October.

This resulted in a creditable 18th place in the championship despite missing a round due to prior commitments.

Without the missed round he would have finished in the top 10 and would have been the youngest driver to do so since Jenson Button.

It followed a year of tremendous achievement at national level in 2005 in the cadet class and confirms his status as one of the favourites to take the British championship next year.