Could Lucas Ellingham, 15, be the future of motorsport?
- Credit: LICAS ELLINGHAM WEBSITE
Gorefield near Wisbech is home to an exciting young talent in the motorsport world: 15-year-old Lucas Ellingham.
After winning the 2017 British Open Championships aged 11 and enjoying success in Honda Cadets at both club and national level, he is competing in the LGM X30 Seniors championship.
Having worked with drivers who have gone on to win world karting championships and started to climb the ladder towards F1 racing, Lucas’ former coach Terence Dove describes him as “one of those elite drivers who stands apart from regular drivers”.
“He is one of the most exciting young driving talents currently competing,” he added.
His current coach and team owner, Jack Dex, commended
Lucas’ talent from his time watching him in cadets.
“But what really made him stand out was his hunger to win on circuit,” he said.
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“Lucas was not one of those drivers that was happy to finish second and would pull off some stunning moves to win the race.”
Lucas puts his racing success up to this point down to his own determination: “I work harder than my competition and make sure that I and my equipment are in the best condition.
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“I ensure that I use what I have available to the best of my ability to maximise my potential,” added the Neale Wade Academy student whose favourite subject is engineering.
It all started for Lucas at the age of six when he first got into the driver's seat at the Tattershall circuit.
His father, a keen sportsman himself, was driving past the PF circuit one afternoon as a race meeting was in progress.
Soon enough, a young Lucas was attending sessions once a week with his own kart.
His incredibly supportive mother and father have played a huge role in his success with Lucas spending as many as 36 weekends of the year racing.
His mum, Nathalie, has spoken of the impact karting has had on their home life, saying that they “haven’t taken a family holiday in ages.”
Despite this, she said “I am very proud of my boy and all that he is achieving. The main thing for me is that he loves racing.”
The step up to Mini X3 came as a result of Lucas’ height which was working against him at the lower level.
Lucas' dad Ralph, who has been his mechanic for four years so far with Jack Dex Racing, said: “Jack has been a brilliant support for Lucas.
"He gave us good advice even before we had joined his team.
“Right from the word go, he and Lucas just seemed to hit it off and I think that’s been a crucial factor in his success so far.”
This includes the incredible 2018 season, during which Lucas won nearly every race he entered.
Then, after moving up to Junior X30 in 2019, he was on the podium in his first race.
“It would be great if Lucas was given an opportunity to showcase his talents on a bigger stage to race at the level he deserves”, Dex said.
This is Lucas’ ultimate ambition: to become a professional race driver.
“Like almost all racers, the ultimate is F1, but I am realistic and would love to drive in any high level series from British Touring Cars through to formula such as Indycar, WEC or Sports Cars.”
The nature of motorsport means that budget constraints are a critical factor in determining whether young drivers are able to convert their passion for kart racing into a career racing cars.
But Lucas is passionate about helping to mentor younger drivers.
As he tackles life in the X30 Seniors, Lucas said “karting is the only form of motor racing I’m interested in right now’.
What is clear to see from everyone that has helped Lucas with the early part of his journey in motorsport is that he is as grounded as he is fiercely competitive.
As Steve Briggs, owner of BBMSport attests, Lucas is “a genuinely lovely lad who listens to instruction and is a pleasure to work with.
“Lucas has a very bright future in motorsport. We will be following Lucas closely and hope to help in his transition to cars in the future.”