Tom is 14 years old and lives in Castle Donington. His ambition is to become a Formula One World Champion. He is competing around the United Kingdom in the Simpson Ginetta Junior Championship.
Follow his progress through 2016
Follow his progress through 2016
Heavy rain overnight lead to tricky conditions for Saturday qualifying. Ginetta Juniors were first on to a wet track and Toms pace was good. With 4 mins to go he was lying 7th and continuing to improve. However the track started to dry quickly and Tom felt the car was unstable through Craners. The team elected to leave Tom out rather than bring him in and put a dry set up on the car (due to time remaining). Unfortunately a car in front lost its rear bumper in the chicane which lead to several drivers including Tom having to take evasive action on to the grass. This effectively ended qualifying and Tom finished the session in 14th .
Race 1 was dry but with black clouds threatening rain . Tom was P14 and got a good start gaining 3 places by the first corner. Tom was trying to find a way through the traffic in front and then it started raining followed by hail. Tom coped well with the tricky conditions even with his limited experience and battled with his team mate before finishing 14th .
For the second race of the day Tom started P14 and the track was dry with no rain forecast. Tom got another good start and worked his way up to 7th place by the end of lap 7. Coming into Redgate Tom went for a move for 5th. Unfortunately there was contact from behind which forced Tom to spin and although he recovered he was off the back and finished a disappointing 16th .
Tom started 16th for the final race of the weekend. Tom gained a couple of places straight away and showing great pace started to pick off drivers in front of him. Tom caught a group of 3 ahead of him and coming down into Redgate, Tom got on the inside aiming for 10th place. Unfortunately under braking was hit from behind and pushed wide , he did well to hold the car and managed to continue but was in 16th place . Tom showed great pace and consistency and clawed back a gap of 4 seconds to the pack to finish 15th and 0.1 seconds off a group of 4 cars.
Tom commented on the weekend “It was a dream come true, to be racing at Donington Park and I was hopeful of giving my sponsors and home supporters a great result, I was also extremely privileged to feature on a full page in the BTCC official programme.
I had great pace and was P5 in official testing and felt positive for the weekend. After a great drive up to 5th in race 2, it was disappointing to be hit off the track, and to then finish way down the field. I really enjoyed racing here in front of my sponsors and home crowd, and have taken a lot of positives away from the weekend.”
Brands Hatch hosted the first round of the British Touring Car Championship at the weekend. The Simpson Ginetta Junior Championship is held at the same prestigious meeting and is watched by millions of TV viewers on ITV4.
Thousands of spectators attended an action packed weekends racing under sunny skies in Kent.
It was Tom’s first race in a car, and he has had a limited amount of testing in the Ginetta.
He is signed up with ‘Elite Motorsport’ a team based near Snetterton, run by Eddie Ives and his team mate is 15yr old Harry King.
He is extremely proud to have the continued backing from ‘Donington Park‘ who have been a tremendous support. Tom is also very happy to welcome his newest partner, the successful company ‘Cool Milk‘. Having two major sponsors behind him has given Tom’s career a huge boost, making it possible for Tom to progress from karts to cars this year, in front of a massive audience.
In practice on new tyres, Tom felt unhappy with the handling of the car compared to Fridays practice session. The car was under steering making it difficult to drive out of the corners, subsequently dropping off the pace. After the end of the session, checks were made and a broken tie bar was found to be the cause of the problem.
In the 15mins timed qualifying, Tom was confident with the car and at one point was lying P6. Getting held up and unable to get a clear lap, Tom was disappointed to finish P16. Still remaining confident with the car he felt he had good race pace and looked forward to the afternoons race.
In Race 1 Tom was slow to get off the line, bogging down a little. Going into the first corner he was sandwiched between 2 cars, dropping a place. After battling to keep his position for a couple of laps, the leaders had pulled a gap on him. There was an incident towards the end of the race, and the safety car led the field for two laps. Tom was not prepared for the restart and lost time on the car ahead. Although he had managed to make a place back, he came over the line to finish 15th. Both Tom’s car and his team mates car were slightly lacking in pace . A decision to make some changes to them was made overnight.
Race 2 (Sunday) Tom made a good start off the line and was on the inside going into turn one. He got a switch back on the car in front and got alongside him. There was contact which pushed Tom on to the grass. He managed to keep position as they went into turn 2. In the middle of turn 2 the car ahead spun and he had to take avoiding action but still gained 3 positions. The pack spread out and Tom, found himself struggling with pace and couldn’t catch the pack in front. There were a couple of incidents ahead of Tom where two drivers crashed, which then put Tom 12th. In the closing laps of the 15 minute race, Tom was managing to keep the gap to the driver behind. He crossed the line in 12th and a fantastic 3rd rookie place. Subsequently Tom was promoted to 11th place due to a penalty for another driver. After the race the team found that Tom’s car had suffered damage to the steering after the impact, causing him to lose pace.
Tom has made a good solid start to the season and is hoping to make his mark at his home track Donington park on 16th/17th April.
Tom’s comments “ I have really enjoyed the fantastic experience of racing in TOCA package, the Ginetta Junior Championship. I would have liked to have made more of an impression in the first round but there are still 9 rounds to go. I’d like to thank all my sponsors for giving me this amazing opportunity and to Ginetta for a brilliant championship. Also thank you to Ed Ives and Elite Motorsport for their hard work over the weekend. I am very excited to be racing at Donington Park in just over a weeks time in front of my home crowd, and hope I can make them proud.”
Photos courtesy of Ebrey Photography
Donington Park-backed racer Tom has confirmed he will be racing in the 2016 Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Championship with the experienced squad from Elite Motorsport.
Wood dominated the F1-backed Formula Kart Stars Junior Championship in 2015, and the move up to Ginetta Juniors means the 14-year-old will race cars for the first time. Having enjoyed great success in karting since the age of nine, with multiple championship titles to his name, Tom was a finalist in the Ginetta Junior Scholarship in 2015, and has since enjoyed several test sessions at the wheel of a Ginetta G40 Junior machine, which boasts top speeds of 120 miles per hour and 100 horsepower.
The move means Castle Donington native Tom will be competing in front of thousands of spectators in the 25 races across 10 rounds on all the UK’s top racing circuits, including Tom’s home rounds at Donington Park on 16-17 April, the first time he will have raced at his home track. Most of these Ginetta Junior races will be shown live on ITV4 in front of annual TV audiences of over 20 million, in a championship that has become renowned for producing motorsport stars of the future.
Tom’s chosen race team, Elite Motorsport, based in Norfolk, has already enjoyed success in Ginetta Juniors, having won the Top Rookie title in the 2015 Ginetta Junior Winter Series, and will run two cars in the championship this year.
Tom commented: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining the Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Championship with backing from Donington Park and newest sponsor, Cool Milk. It’s always been an ambition of mine to compete on the big circuits around the UK, and I’ve really enjoyed working with the team so far, and can’t wait to go racing, especially on my home track at Donington Park! It feels great to be stepping up to cars, and I’m looking forward to showing what I’m capable of in front of thousands of spectators.”
Edward Ives, Elite Motorsport Team Manager commented: “We are really pleased to add Tom to our driver line-up for the 2016 Ginetta Junior Championship. His karting record demonstrates that he’s an incredibly talented young driver and I’m confident with our engineering and management support, he will develop strongly as the year goes on. Testing has gone well and he’s shown a lot of promise, so it should be a strong year for us.”
Donington Park Managing Director Christopher Tate added: “We are thrilled that Tom will be making the move up to cars this year. He has had an exceptional career in karting and it was only natural that he should make the move up into cars, and Ginetta Juniors is a proven destination for young up and coming racers. Thanks to partners like Cool Milk, and as ever in search of further sponsors, Tom is now set to thrive this year. We obviously can’t wait to see him in action here at Donington in April.”
Tom’s season will kick off at Brands Hatch on 2nd/3rd April, before his home round at Donington on 16-17 April, with eight further race weekends following that.
The Ginetta Junior Championship is a dramatic series of races which pits 26 young drivers against each other in similar Ginetta G40 sports cars.
In 2016, there will be 10 events, three races at each round, in support of the world famous British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).
Fantastic circuits, large crowds of fans and live TV coverage at every round on ITV, covering all corners of the UK.
Tom’s race car can carry his sponsors company livery and will be run by a top team of engineers, with full factory support from Ginetta. Tom will be coached by top BTCC drivers and advised by highly technical engineers – a superb, exciting backdrop against which to entertain sponsors, their customers and staff!
2016 Ginetta Junior Championship race calendar
BTCC Rounds Date Circuit
1,2,3, 2-3 April Brands Hatch,Kent
4,5,6, 16-17 April Donington Park, Leicestershire
7,8,9, 7-8 May Thruxton, Hampshire
10,11,12, 4-5 June Oulton Park, Cheshire
13,14,15, 18-19 June Croft, North Yorkshire
16,17,18, 30-31 July Snetterton, Norfolk
19,20,21, 13-14 August Knockhill, Fife
22,23,24, 17-28 August Rockingham, Northamptonshire
25,26,27, 17-18 September Silverstone, Northamptonshire
28,29,30, 1-2 October Brands Hatch, Kent
Tom is a young, talented, articulate and promotable British sports star, and he would be an asset to any business. Come on board with him!
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
It was a truly inspiring evening on Sunday, where many of motorsport’s biggest stars flocked to the Grosvenor House Hotel in London for a glittering evening of prize-giving celebration. Tom was invited on stage in recognition of his achievements in winning the Formula Kart Stars Junior Championship.
Tom commented ” I feel incredibly privileged to have been invited to such a special occasion. I have had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people, past and present Stars of Motorsport. I’d like to thank Carolynn Hoy and to the Autosports organisers for making it possible.”
Link: Autosport Awards
Formula Kart Stars, the only karting Championship supported by Formula One Managment and Formula 1® Teams, is set to take to the stage once again at the coveted Autosport Awards Evening, Grosvenor House, Mayfair, London this Sunday (6th December).
Continuing to emphasise the unrivalled links that Formula Kart Stars posses to the highest echelons of motorsport, Formula Kart Stars 2015 Champions will be presented with their bespoke trophies live on stage in front of the Worlds media and the most influential people in the motorsport community.
With a history of presenting drivers with opportunities to progress their careers, it was at this very same event that a young former FKS ‘Old Boy’ and newly crowned Cadet Champion Lewis Hamilton first met McLaren boss Ron Dennis, promising that one day he would be driving one of his F1 cars. The rest as they say is history.
Tom comments” I am really looking forward to such a ‘special’ evening. It is a massive opportunity to meet so many successful and influential people in the world of motorsport, thank you to Carolynn Hoy.”
Tom is a step closer to launching a major racing career after passing his Junior ARDS (Association of Racing Drivers Schools) test at Donington Park on Sunday 29 November. Tom passed his test thanks to instruction from The Motorsports School, who will start running ARDS test courses at Donington in 2016.
Donington Park-supported Tom, who claimed the Formula Kart Stars Junior title this year, is aiming to graduate from karting to cars next season, and is now eligible to enter circuit racing series such as the British Touring Car-support series Ginetta Junior Championship, which is renowned as the first stepping stone for junior drivers out of karting.
The test saw Tom experience his first laps in a car on a racing circuit, during which he received plenty of instruction from the team at The Motorsports School, before taking a written theory test and then taking to the track again for the test itself, where he needed to show consistent pace and control of the car in order to qualify for his licence.
In typical Tom Wood style, he passed the test with flying colours, and can now send off for his racing licence ahead of a planned entry in the Ginetta Junior Championship in 2016.
Pete Edwards, owner of The Motorsports School commented: “We were very pleased with Tom’s progress on the day, he took everything we told him on board and was fully deserving of passing his test.
“It was great to launch our school’s activities at Donington Park, and we will be holding many more school days at the circuit next year, and help many more budding racers in the process.”
Tom said: “I’m so happy to have passed my Junior ARDS test, I’m looking forward now to confirming my racing plans for next year. Thank you to everyone at The Motorsports School for their help and advice on Sunday and to Christopher Tate and Bob Adams for making it all possible. The Donington Park circuit was amazing and I’m really looking forward to racing at my home track !”
Donington Park Sporting Director Bob Adams welcomed The Motorsports School to the circuit’s portfolio of on track providers: “It was great to see Tom Wood, our Little Racers ambassador completing and passing his Junior ARDS test, well done Tom!
“A big thank you to Pete Edwards and Mel Townsend from The Motorsports School for carrying out the test. We are really pleased to confirm that The Motor Sports School will be carrying out more ARDS courses at Donington in 2016, with the first date on Sunday 24 January.”
As part of his prize for winning the FKS Junior Championship this year, Tom just turned 14 years old, was given a free entry into the 2016 Kick Start Ginetta Junior Scholarship. The competition this year saw sixty aspiring 13-15 year olds all going head to head for just one prize!
The competition took place over three days at Bedford Autodrome, the first two days saw the entrants split into two groups of thirty. The drivers were assessed in Fitness, Media and Driving where they were each given two sessions in the Ginetta Junior Car beside instructors including British Touring Car Drivers Tom Ingram, Adam Morgan and Bradley Smith.
At the end of the day around ten drivers from each day went through to the third and final day. Tom passed the first day with flying colours and was crucially into the final day where sixty drivers became twenty three.
So on Wednesday Tom and his fellow finalists were given more media assessments and due to a late start just one session in the car. The weather really played a part with the track flooded, giving Tom a whole new challenge.
After some deliberation the judges then narrowed it down to just twelve drivers which Tom made! Other finalists included Seb Priaulx, Enzo Fittipaldi, Jordan Collard and Alex Quinn.
At this stage the drivers were each given another session in the car but this time with no help from the instructors.
Tom was put in with Bradley Smith and did an impressive job! He was one of many to have a spin in the tricky conditions, but that spurred him on even more as his lap times started to come down!
Once all drivers had completed their session the judges announced the final three which Tom was unfortunately not in. However, looking back on the day with his lack of experience and age he did a fantastic job and has the chance to compete again next year where he’ll come back even stronger!
On his performance Tom commented “Winning the FKS junior title gave me a fantastic opportunity with a free entry to the Ginetta Junior Scholarship. I really enjoyed the event and I came away having learnt a lot about driving, media and fitness. For many of us it was the first time driving the car and the instructors were fantastic. I was thrilled to have made it through to the second day and to the final 12 drivers. Although I was disappointed not to win, it was a great experience and gave me an insight into the Ginetta Junior Championship and the progression that it offers young drivers such as me. Ashley Gallagher and the rest of the team made it a truly worthwhile event.”
Tom’s instructor Bradley Smith commented “Tom showed great car control and maturity in his runs in the Ginetta Junior which is one of the main reasons we sent him through to the final. Coming from karting there is a lot of extra elements to think about such as gears, front brakes and weight transfer which Tom developed a good understanding very quickly. Unfortunately, a spin on the wet track in his final run cost him in what was a very closely ran competition, but I can see a bright future for Tom in motorsport.”
A spokesperson for Ginetta commented “The Ginetta Junior Scholarship is an ideal first step for anyone wanting to gain first-hand experience of the driving, fitness and media skills required to become a racing driver. We wish Tom all the best for the future and look forward to following his progress.”
After winning the MSA British Kartmasters X30 Junior Grand Prix title in August, Tom qualified and won a free entry to the World Iame Karting Finals in Le Mans, France.
Tom finished in the top 10 at France’s famous Le Mans track in October. He went head-to-head with over 100 of the best young drivers in the world before finishing a hugely credible eighth overall.
He had looked on course for an even more impressive end result after romping through his five qualifying races with two wins, two seconds and a fourth. But a 10 second penalty for accelerating too early in one of the heats saw Tom positioned P8 on the grid for the Pre Final, before a power issue and then an unsuccessful tyre gamble in the Grand Final led to him to finishing in eighth place. Still another oustanding result to add to his CV.
Tom commented “It has been a fantastic experience here in Le Mans. It was disappointing that I had a loss of power in the Pre Final and a grip issue in the Final, which made it difficult to catch the leaders. I’d like to thank Piers sexton for all his hard work in running me. Also thank you to TVKC for giving me this fantastic opportunity.”
Tom attended the North West Leicestershire awards evening on Thursday after being nominated for Junior Sportsman of the year. As a sportsman, he has excelled in motorsport and has demonstrated considerable commitment and is an inspiration and positive role model to others. He has also used his achievements and experiences to make a positive impact on his community.
He was rewarded for his outstanding achievements by being awarded the prestigious ‘Junior Sportsman of the Year’.
Tom commented ‘ I am very happy to receive this special award, and would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who have helped and supported me so far in my career. Also to NW Leics Sports Alliance for this wonderful award.’