EXCITING CAR RACING ROOKIE WALLACE POISED TO MAKE HUGE IMPACT IN 2015
Few car racing newcomers parachute into a category as competitive as the high-profile Ginetta Junior Championship mid-season and make the sort of impact as the one achieved by Southport teenager Benjamin Wallace this year, the 15-year-old scoring in five of the six races he contested.
Arriving in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship support series for the sixth event of the 2014 season at Snetterton 300 Circuit in early August with multiple title winning team Hillspeed, the Anglo-German youngster starred with a top 12 finish in only his second race.
Aged just 14-years-old at the time, Wallace had only tested a Ginetta G40 on two occasions prior to his competitive debut but rapidly got up to speed and improved markedly on his championship bow throughout the first weekend.
Going on to race in two further events, the season-concluding rounds at Silverstone National Circuit and Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit, the karting graduate proved his Snetterton performance was no fluke by adding a brace of 14th place results to his tally. Wallace was actually on course to match his top 12 best in the opening Silverstone encounter but a five second penalty dropped him to 14th spot.
Out-pacing drivers with significantly more circuit experience, the rookie is now setting his sights on a sustained front-running challenge in Ginetta Junior in 2015 with the priority to secure more funding from commercial partners for his first full season.
“I really enjoyed my three weekends in Ginetta Junior this year, I learnt a huge amount with the guys at Hillspeed, with a lot of fantastic support and help from driver coach Matt Shawyer, and they really helped me to improve my driving and competitiveness”, commented the talented teenager, “We’re working really hard to be back on the grid in 2015 and build on the great start we made this season.
“It’s a tough championship so we need to try and do as much testing as possible over the winter before next season, the biggest challenge though is to try and secure more sponsors. Racing on the BTCC package is fantastic, the crowds are huge and the live TV is obviously something you can’t get anywhere else at this level.”
While the performances delivered by Wallace across his three race weekends in Ginetta Junior were impressive, they’re all the more noteworthy considering the youngster not only balances his GCSE studies with his racing, he also has Type 1 diabetes.
“Ben really has impressed everyone at Hillspeed”, commented team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “We’ve been fortunate to work with some extremely talented young drivers over the years and Ben is another rookie with a huge amount of promise and ability. To finish in the top 12 on his first ever weekend in cars, with only a couple of days in the Ginetta before that, was quite exceptional.
“Ginetta Junior is an incredibly tough championship with such evenly matched cars, so putting a strong winter testing programme together will be of utmost importance to help Ben move further up the grid. He’s undoubtedly an exciting talent and a young driver who would be very beneficial to the marketing strategy of any forward thinking business with a desire to be involved in motorsport.”
Wallace will be back in action with Hillspeed on 8th/9th November at Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk for the Ginetta Junior Winter Series. The main 2015 season will then commence on 4th/5th April at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent.