'I can't wait to get stuck in' - Edgar on maiden car racing season

By Andy GrayBBC Sport NI
Tom Edgar
The Ginetta Junior Championship supports the British Touring Car Championship package

For Northern Irish teenager Tom Edgar, motorsport is his big ambition.

A third generation driver, the Belfast schoolboy was gearing up for his debut in the Ginetta Junior Championship before the spread of coronavirus put the brakes on his maiden season in car racing.

Edgar's grandfather raced in Formula Ford at local circuit Kirkistown while his father Michael competed in various championships in England, so it is clear to see that racing runs in his blood.

"I really caught the bug from my dad, and I've been around cars all my life so it all I really know," said the 15-year-old.

The coronavirus outbreak meant the first five rounds of the series, which supports the British Touring Car Championship, were postponed and the earliest Edgar's season will get going is the event scheduled for Snetterton in July.

Until then, the Methodist College Belfast pupil has to focus on finishing his schoolwork from home, which he admits is a "weird feeling".

'I can't wait to get stuck in'

The Ginetta Junior Championship is the breeding ground for future stars. Formula 1 driver Lando Norris began his car racing career in the series, and Northern Irishman Dan Harper was a race winner in the championship before going on to be signed as an official BMW Junior Team driver.

"I've been watching the Ginettas for a long time now and it is a great championship," said Edgar, who has been racing karts up to this point.

"I love how everything is so close and competitive. I can't wait to get stuck in."

Last year on the British Touring Car package, Northern Irish drivers won three of the six championships available.

Colin Turkington won a record-equalling fourth BTCC title, while Harper won the Porsche Carrera Cup and Jack Young was victorious in the Renault Clio Cup.

Edgar feels that Northern Irish motorsport is on the "crest of a wave" and says he has been motivated by his compatriots' success.

"Since I started watching touring cars, Colin has always been the main man and he has been a big influence," he added.

Tom Edgar
The Ginetta Junior Championship will be Edgar's first foray into car racing

The Ginetta Junior test day earlier in March afford Edgar some valuable track time before the first half of the season was postponed, and the teenager says it "was a really good experience".

"The test day was really positive. We started off at quite a steady pace and built it up," he added on the Silverstone test.

"We were starting to get there towards the end of the session and be a bit more competitive.

"It's really different from karting, you can't really make a comparison.

"One thing that will transfer between the two is the race craft. Everything is so tight, so it is about knowing where to place your car and when you can make a move on someone.

"We have done a decent amount of testing and everything is looking the right way.

"At the minute it is about doing what I can, and doing the best that I can there."

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