Ollie takes the fast lane to success

His ambition is to follow in his heroes' footsteps and compete in Formula One racing.

IPSWICH: His ambition is to follow in his heroes' footsteps and compete in Formula One racing.

And today Ipswich student Ollie Skingley is one step closer to realising that dream as he prepares to compete in the highest level of karting competitions.

The 12-year-old is gearing up to take on the best in the country after qualifying for the National Karting Championships Super One - a similar competition to that previously won by the likes of future Formula One world champions Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.

The motorsport-mad youngster, of Glemham Drive, Rushmere St Andrew, said he first got into the sport after watching a TV documentary about Lewis Hamilton's career and how he got into Formula One.

“I would love to get in to Formula One,” he said. “I want to work my way through from karting to Formula BMW and GP2 to Formula One.

“My dad took me to Anglia Indoor Karting and I fell in love with it. I got better and better and got into outdoor racing, it is much faster, more competitive and I am winning trophies so I am happy.”

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Ollie is now preparing to take part in the seven-month racing season, battling through seven races the first of which is held on March 21, in a bid to win the championship in his first year.

Proud dad and team manager Andy Skingley said they are getting ready to travel to the four corners of the country.

“In karting terms this is the Formula One. I am very proud and also very nervous. I run the kart, I set it up and run it and maintain it. Ollie will be up against drivers who have lots of money behind them so it is going to be tough.

“He is really excited, even though he is just 12 he is totally single-minded, he knows what he wants and he wants to win it. His ultimate ambition is to be a Formula One driver, anything else will be second best.”

Despite all his success the Copleston High School pupil is quick to recognise the invaluable support he has received from his family, friends and school.

He added: “My dad is my team manager, driving mentor and main sponsor, my mum is always there for me whenever I need her and my sister is great, telling all her friends about me. I am also thankful for all the support school have given me.”

Veronica Howe, Ollie's head of year at Copleston said: “Ollie is passionate about karting. We are thrilled that he will be taking part in the National Championships and wish him well.”

National Karting Championships:

53 circuits are used for the championship, from Larbert (between Edinburgh and Glasgow) to Jersey in the Channel Islands.

It is run by the National Karting Association which regulates both indoor and outdoor circuits across the country - and has been running championships since the 1980s.

Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton both started karting at the age of eight - Button in 1988 and Hamilton five years later.