Motor racing: Tom’s in pole position

SCHOOLBOY Tom Dunstan is this week a step closer to realising his ambition of sitting on the starting grid of the Formula BMW UK Championship in April. Tom, 15, recently tested for the 2005 Championship-winning team Nexa Racing, based in Thetford, Suffol

SCHOOLBOY Tom Dunstan is this week a step closer to realising his ambition of sitting on the starting grid of the Formula BMW UK Championship in April.

Tom, 15, recently tested for the 2005 Championship-winning team Nexa Racing, based in Thetford, Suffolk.

The test at Snetterton went so well that Nexa racing have confirmed an offer for him to drive for them in 2006.

Steve Phelps, of Nexa, said: "I spotted Tom on a kart track last year and I've wanted to get him into one of our cars ever since.


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"He did himself proud."

Andy Kidby, managing director of the team, said: "It was tricky out on the track, very damp and greasy.

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"Tom listened to his engineers and did what he was told out on the track, getting to below the target time we had set for him.

"I was very impressed - I had to remind myself sometimes that Tom is only 15!"

An ecstatic Tom, said: "I really enjoyed myself at Snetterton - Nexa have made me feel very welcome.

"It was great to work with Nexa's engineers - they are a great bunch.

"The information they gave helped me learn so much more. I am really looking forward to sitting on the grid in a Nexa car."

Tom's father Keith and his management team are trying to raise the funds to enable him to take his place with Nexa, an effort helped this week by the announcement that Design57, a web design company based in St Ives, are to offer Tom sponsorship.

Tom's week was made even better when he collected his trophy for second place in the Red Lodge Club 2000 Junior Rotax Championship, despite missing the first quarter of the season. Tom's exceptional progress was recognised by race officials, who judged him the Most Improved Driver of the season in his class.

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