Former Wisbech karting world champion signs promising Marham prodigy
FORMER world karting champion Benjy Russell from Wisbech has signed up promising teen racer Jacques Morley to his Intrepid UK Racing team.
Morley, from Marham, will continue to race in the junior class KF3 British Championships, which is a stepping stone for racers hoping to become future F1 drivers, but will now represent Intrepid.
Russell, the 2007 Rotax World Champion, signed 14 year-old Morley after the teenager had raced in two championship rounds without representing a team.
“We tried to do it on our own but it’s very difficult because of the technical knowledge you need,” said Jacques’ father Peter, whose uncle is former F1 team boss Julian Randles.
“We realised we were holding Jacques back, he is up against teams with huge budgets, but is holding his own. Benjy was helping us out with advice and we were delighted when he asked Jacques to join the team.”
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But it was in race four of the series, at Larkhall on July 3, which really highlighted the new pairing’s potential.
After starting in last position on the grid because of a mechanical problem in qualifying, Morley fought his way up to 8th within four laps but was unfortunately hit by another driver and eventually finished 12th.
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Russell, who is now 25, said that Morley’s drive at Larkhall was the type of drive that got another former kart racer, Lewis Hamilton, noticed at an early age.
Russell said “He was the fastest on the circuit and, given the luck you need in this form of racing, there’s no reason why he can’t get a top three finish.
“The good thing with Jacques is that he wants to go fast. After the race a lot of drivers just go off and play on their iPods, but he wants to improve and find out where he could o better.”
Morley said: “I always wanted to race and know that karting is the first step into F1. I don’t really think about the danger - I just enjoy racing. Driving at F1 level is my ultimate ambition.”
Very often competitors are backed by wealthy parents or corporate backers, and this can be a huge challenge to kids with less funding. Morley is backed by Influx, the magazine of insurance broker Adrian Flux, and Marshall Toyota (King’s Lynn) and that funding is crucial to keeping him on the track.
Peter said “Basically, our sponsors enable us to go racing. Without their support we would not be able to carry on.”
Gerry Bucke, general manager at Flux, said “It’s obviously very tough to get all the way to the top in motor racing, but with Jacques attitude and sheer speed then he has as good a chance as anyone, “
Morley’s next British Championship race will be the fifth round encounter at the Clay Pigeon circuit in Dorset on the weekend of August 20 and 21.