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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Teen Cumbrian racer eyeing British Kart Championship glory

Cumbrian motor-racing starlet Nathan Aston hopes a bit of help from Lewis Hamilton’s mentors will put him on the fast track to winning the MSA British Kart Championship.

Nathan Aston photo
Nathan Aston

Aston’s ambition is to be Formula One world champion, and the 14-year-old hopes to this year underline his rich potential which has already seen him snapped up for McLaren’s Driver Development Programme.

The programme hopes to unearth the next generation of F1 drivers for its Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team.

Aston caught the eye of the McLaren scouts after clinching the 2010 Formula Kart Stars Cadet Championship in only his second season of serious racing.

The Appleby Grammar School pupil will contest this year’s MSA British Kart Championship and will begin his preparations by spending a day at McLaren’s headquarters in Essex next week.

McLaren chiefs, who helped develop Hamilton into an F1 champion, will advise him on his best route to the top and how to become a future star.

After showing strong pace in a winter series race in Lincolnshire, Aston flies out to France later this month to test his kart in the French Championship on March 31. But it is the British Championship which will have his full focus when it gets underway at the end of April.

Dad Mark said: “Nathan is considered a contender for the British Championship which is why he is going to France for a one-off race because it will give him an opportunity to get competitive racing under his belt.

“The training camp with McLaren has also come at a good time. They will reassess where he is and advise him on physical training and preparation.

“McLaren really look after him and are advising him on all aspects of being a racing driver. He trains three times a week with a personal trainer, has to write a daily food diary and does gymnastic training.

“He is in contact with McLaren three times a week and they really look after him.

“Last year was a big learning curve for him as he was getting used to a new kart and new tracks in Europe.”

As well as contesting the British Championship, Aston, who divides his time between family homes in Shap and Dalston, will also compete in big one-off races in the CIK FIA European and World Championship.

The youngster has been driving competitively for just over three years, but is already a champion after winning the 2010 Formula Kart Stars Cadet Championship.

He finished 12th in his debut season in the WSK European Karting Series last year, but McLaren have pulled him out of this year’s championship because of his GCSE studies.

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