Motorsport: King of the castle Kellett already planning for 2014

James Kellett.

James Kellett.

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LEEDS motor racing starlet James Kellett is determined to blow away the competition and clinch next year’s Ginetta G40 Junior Championships, writes JAMES SCOTT.

The 15-year-old topped off a stellar debut year in the Ginetta Junior G40 by sealing the 2013 Junior Rookie Championship in his penultimate race.

And Kellett, who drives for Boroughbridge-based HHC Motorsport, is showing no signs of slowing down as he looks to become champion next year.

“I’m planning to race in the Championships again, but this time I want to win the whole thing,” Kellett told the YEP.

“I’m improving every time I get in the car, I’m getting faster and faster and with all the help I’m getting off the team, I think I can go one better next year.”

Reflecting on his first year on the Ginetta circuit, Kellett emphasised his delight at his seamless transition from racing go-karts to cars at 120mph.

“It’s been an absolutely amazing year for me,” said Kellett.

“The car has been working really well all season and I feel like I’m getting better and better. It’s been totally different from the high level of go-karting I was doing, and I’ve had to start at the bottom in order to get to the top.

“To win the Rookie Championship in my first year was a high point of the season, as I don’t think anyone’s done it before.

“Another high point was winning at Rockingham, as I beat everyone on the grid, including my team-mate Harry Woodhead, who I left for dead!”

Kellett’s emergence as a motor racing wonderkid has brought him more exposure, but the Roundhay teenager has relished his time in the limelight.

“I’ve loved having the extra coverage this year,” he said. “I’ve found that the more cameras are put on me, the better I get at driving.

“A year ago I wouldn’t have been able to speak in front of the cameras, but now I really enjoy it and I love getting interviewed.”

Kellett also faces the challenge of juggling the twin demands of his education at Roundhay High and racing on the circuit.

“I’m doing my GCSEs at school now so obviously it’s getting a bit harder, but at the moment I’m doing well,” he said. “It can be difficult when you’re given homework on the weekends, because that’s when I’m driving, but the teachers understand and I manage to catch-up.”

Indeed, not just catch up but overtake with Kellett also chuffed to be driving for a Yorkshire team. The teenager remains immensely proud of his Leeds roots.

“I’m the only Yorkshire lad in the Junior Championships and I am proud to represent my county,” he said. “I think the fact that I’m from Yorkshire gives me more exposure as Ginetta is a Yorkshire-based manufacturer and they’re keen to get me on camera.”

Reflecting on her son’s continued success, mum Julie added: “We expected this to be a learning year, with no pressure, where James would get used to the different circuits. But for goodness sake! We never imagined James would do so amazingly well! It has been a roller coaster of emotions watching from the sidelines.”

Lewis Hamilton celebrates victory at the 2016 British Grand Prix (Photo: PA)

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