Alex Sedgwick has been crowned the new Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner, emerging victorious from a group of thirty drivers to secure a fully-funded season in the 2014 Ginetta Junior Championship.
The three day event saw the thirty participants assessed on their driving ability, fitness and media, with Sedgwick impressing in all three areas to be crowned the victor at Bedford Autodrome.
The 14 year old will make his car-racing debut next season, having competing in karting for the past five years. The Warwickshire-based racer won the WTP Cadet title in 2011, before racing in Super One for the past two years.
“I am over the moon to have won,” said Sedgwick. “I didn’t expect it at all and I am really looking forward to racing the car next year. The competition was really tough and the other drivers were great. Thanks to Ginetta for the opportunity.”
A total of thirty drivers attended the two ‘qualification’ days on Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 October. They were assessed on track by the judging panel of Jake Hill, Tom Ingram and Adam Morgan, as well as being tested on their fitness levels and media ability.
Twenty-two drivers were selected to move on to Wednesday’s final, when the opening session saw the youngsters given one final session with an instructor, before they were left to set a ‘hot lap’ with no tuition.
Cutting the numbers to nine for the next session, the remaining candidates went out with an instructor and were assessed on their performance and development since their first time in the car, before the final four were selected.
Sedgwick was joined by Stuart Middleton, Jamie Caroline and Matt Chapman in the final shootout, where they were asked to put everything they’d learnt into practice and set a hot lap alongside Ginetta factory driver Mike Simpson. Sedgwick performed best under pressure to emerge as the winner.
2013 Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner Jamie Chadwick was also on hand over the competition to offer advice to all the entrants, whilst ITV4 anchor Louise Goodman also joined the team to offer media guidance.
On top of his 2014 racing season, Sedgwick will also receive a media training session with Louise as part of her Goodman Media outfit, as well as a half-day assessment at the iZone driver performance centre at Silverstone.
“The standard this year was probably the highest it has been for a number of years,” said chief instructor Tom Ingram. “The drivers who had never been in a car before made fantastic progress in the short time we spent with them. Along with drivers which had been in a car already, we managed to get them to an even higher standard than when they joined us.
“It was difficult to cut the numbers down as all the drivers were so close but in the end, we have a worthy winner in Alex Sedgwick.”