Liam has a driving ambition

TEENAGE racing driver Liam Hamilton has put his name firmly in the frame for a future seat in the British Touring Cars with an outstanding start to the BMW Kumho Championships.

Stuart Watson

TEENAGE racing driver Liam Hamilton has put his name firmly in the frame for a future seat in the British Touring Cars with an outstanding start to the BMW Kumho Championships.

The 17-year-old Ipswich resident has caught the eye of a number of top drivers this year after impressive performances in Class D of the Championships.

Despite racing a substantially slower car compared to the majority of the field - most competing in 3.2 litre M3s compared to Hamilton's 1.9 litre 318is - he has more than held his own.

Presently, after ten rounds of the championship, the Team AFM driver is leading his class having never finished outside of the top two. The teenager has also set the fastest lap for his class at all five tracks he has raced at this season.

Hamilton - now in his second season of the championships after BMW specially lowered the minimum age of entry to 16 so that he could compete last year - was particularly impressive at Rockingham recently where his ability to overtake a number of M3s saw him awarded 'Driver of the Day'.

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His performances have caught the eye of many in the motorsport world, none more so than Team AFM's British Touring Car drivers Rick Kerry and Nick Leason.

Hamilton said: “I have been noticed a lot more than I thought I would this year. People in my team and other people in the Kumhos have commented on how well I am doing.

“I have always been confident in my own ability, but I didn't realise quite how many people I would impress this year.”

Kerry built Hamilton his car for his debut season in the championship, but this year BMW Racing Drivers Club were keen for him to compete in one of their cars in order to use his success as a young driver to promote the series.

Plans are now already afoot for Hamilton to make the big step up to an M3 car and race in Class A next season after his Kumho team mate Joachim Ritter's offer for him to test in his E36 M3 Evo this winter.

Hamilton said: “I know I can be up the front with an M3 so I am excited about making the step up. It's going to be a challenge to make the change as it will be a left-hand drive and I am going to have to get used to the extra power, but I am looking forward to it.”

Hamilton is currently studying on the Silverstone Race Academy where he mixes testing at the famous British circuit with classroom based training on race craft at Loughborough University.

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