Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship racer Sean Walkinshaw has become the first member of the illustrious Walkinshaw Racing dynasty since 1988 to get behind the wheel of one of the family run cars.
24 years after Tom Walkinshaw last piloted a Holden Commodore at Bathurst, son Sean took to the driving seat of a Walkinshaw Racing-run V8 Ute at Calder Park Raceway in Australia last week.
Walkinshaw’s debut at the Melbourne track evoked some emotional memories for the 18-year old, whose father enjoyed a successful career in touring and sportscars before going on to form Walkinshaw Racing, the most successful racing operation in V8 Supercar/Australian Touring Car history.
“It was an amazing feeling being out on track in a Walkinshaw Racing car, obviously there was a bit of emotion there,” said the Oxfordshire youngster. “It was such a good experience driving the Ute and completely different to anything I’ve done before, there was so much more power than I’ve been used to – absolutely incredible to drive.
“It was amazing to have the Walkinshaw Racing guys there, especially Cam [Cameron McConville – V8 Ute and V8 Supercar racer] who gave me a lot of advice. It really was a fantastic opportunity and it’s definitely given me a taste for trying that style of racing in the future.”
It’s been an incredible month for the youngster who made a stunning Formula 3 debut with two victories in the MSV F3 Cup at Anglesey, posting the fastest lap and setting a lap record in the process. In only his second full year of competitive action at any level, Walkinshaw is keen to gain as much experience as possible in a variety of cars and disciplines as he plans ahead for 2013.
With that in mind, the aspiring professional racing driver will also test the recently launched MRF Formula 2000 at Chennai in India next week.
The car, which is constructed by Dallara and is powered by a 2.0-litre Renault engine, will run in the brand new MRF Challenge which will begin on 27th/28th October at Buddh International Circuit in New Delhi, running as support to the FIA Formula One World Championship’s Indian Grand Prix.
“I’m really looking forward to testing the MRF car,” said Walkinshaw. “It’s going to be another great experience, a great opportunity to have more time in an F3-style car, and having driven in the F3 Cup a couple of weeks ago that will hopefully help me adapt quite quickly.”
After the test outing in India, Walkinshaw will fly back to the UK for the Dunlop InterSteps single-seater championship season finale on 29th/30th September at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire. A week later, he will then contest the last two rounds of the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship at his home track, Silverstone in Northamptonshire on 6th/7th October.