11 March, 2011
Oldham kart racing sensation, Alex Walker, makes the step up to car racing this year and will contest the newly-launched InterSteps Championship for the 2011 season.
The recently-turned 16-year-old has signed up with the Fortec Motorsport outfit - themselves no strangers to success - and will add his name to a list of drivers, including the likes of reigning Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel, and Nico Rosberg, who both began their car racing careers with the same Mygale FB02 chassis.
The InterSteps Championship, which was officially launched to the media with a two-day test at Rockingham, Northamptonshire this week, is supported by the Racing Steps Foundation and caters for drivers between the ages of 15 and 19, who will all drive the identical BMW-powered single-seaters, capable of speeds of up to 140mph.
With the calendar consisting of 20 races over 7 weekends, Walker will make his debut at Silverstone's Grand Prix circuit on March 26, and will also pay a visit to Donington to support the World Touring Car Championship in July. The series will also benefit from television coverage through a standalone 30-minute programme on Motors TV.
And the 2010 ABKC National KF2 Vice Champion was quick to prove how well he was adapting to his new racing environment by setting the fastest time of the day in testing on Wednesday.
"I'm really happy with the car and how it behaves so I was able to get settled in with it in a short space of time. We've had a very productive two days and I'm looking forward to making my car racing debut at Silverstone later this month.
"The InterSteps Championship is the perfect platform for me to develop my skills as a racing driver at the same time as allowing me to focus on my GCSEs.
"Of course this year will be a learning curve, but a lot of the fundamental racing skills I developed in karting will still apply, and Fortec Motorsport have a lot of experience which I'll be absorbing as much of as I can - so I can't wait!"
Richard Dutton: Team Principle, Fortec Motorsport:
"We're delighted to have Alex on board this year, and it's always exciting for the team to see a new talent make the switch from karting to cars with us.
"In testing on Wednesday he really raised his game and was very impressive in the demonstration race that was held. We have another two-day test at the beginning of next week at Silverstone where we hope to continue our progress and provide him with a strong package for the first race."
2011 InterSteps Championship Calendar:
March 26 - Silverstone GP (Rounds 1 & 2)
May 7/8 - Snetterton (Rounds 3, 4 & 5)
July 2/3 - Rockingham (Rounds 6, 7 & 8)
July 16/17 - Donington (Rounds 9, 10 & 11)
August 13/14 - Thruxton (Rounds 12, 13 & 14)
August 28/29 - Brands Hatch Indy (Rounds 15, 16 & 17)
September 24/25 - Croft (Rounds 18, 19 & 20)