SAWTRY karter Elliot Burton says he is ready for next year’s Formula Ford championship after making his single-seater debut at Rockingham last week.

SAWTRY karter Elliot Burton says he is ready for next year's Formula Ford championship after making his single-seater debut at Rockingham last week.

The 19-year-old was given the chance to test a Formula Ford car as reward for finishing third in the 2010 MSA British Kart Championship Super KF.

Formula Ford has in the past been a stepping stone for F1 world champions such as Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna and Jenson Button, and former Sawtry College student Burton feels now is the time for him to graduate from karts.

“I have very much enjoyed my time in karting, It has taught me so much about racecraft, discipline and team work. I am delighted with the results I have been able to achieve and I am very grateful to the people that have helped me.

“I feel that I am now ready to take the next step in my career and move into Formula Ford next season. Jenson Button won the British Ford Championship in 1998 and then got a seat in Formula One 2 years later on so I know it can be done.”

Burton completed 22 laps for the JTR Racing and Jamun Racing teams, finishing within a second of the day's fastest time on a drying track.

Despite not having driven a Formula Ford car, or having raced at Rockingham before, Burton impressed JTR Racing team principal Nick Tandy.

He said: “It is very difficult to come to a track you have never seen before, in a car you've never driven before and get somewhere near the pace. For Elliot achieve what he did was really very impressive. He clearly has a big future ahead of him and I hope that he can secure some sponsorship we he can compete in next year British Championship as I think he will do great things.”

Burton has secured half the budget needed for a drive in next year's championship, with JTR and Jamun Racing both reported to be keen.