Sam gearing up for debut

Sam practising in the Formula Ford 1600
Sam practising in the Formula Ford 1600

A Deesider who is one of the top-ranked junior karters in Great Britain will be making his car racing debut this September.

Sam McKenzie, who has just turned 16, will become one of the youngest drivers to ever race a Formula Ford 1600 car on Sunday, September 13, at Knockhill.

Sam after the final round of the British Super One Karting Championships

Sam after the final round of the British Super One Karting Championships

Sam said: “I can’t wait to start racing the formula Ford. I’ve done four or five tests in the car with my new team already and the pace has been good.” Sam is the youngest driver to ever have recieved permission to drive a Forumal Ford on pre-race Saturday practices. To drive the car you need to be 16, and as Sam only turned 16 last weekend, he was the first 15-year-old to ever be granted this privilege.

Sam is driving for Graham Bunting Racing, one of the premier Formula Ford teams in the country, and they have been supporting his transition from karts to cars, and the young man from Banchory is eager to impress on his first outing.

“For my first race I’m aiming for a top 10 finish, but it’s going to be part of the British Championships, so there’ll be three times as many cars on the track compared to normal,” Sam explained, “so it’ll be interesting.”

Last year was Sam’s last year karting, and it saw him finish eighth overall in the British Championship, and pick up top 10 finishes against top-level competition in his European debut.

On where it all started, Sam said: “I really wanted a quad bike to drive around the fields in, but my mum wouldn’t let me because they were dangerous.

“Then a couple of years later my parents took me to the Grampian Kart Club to watch some races, and towards the end of the day, my dad managed to get me a go in a kart around the track.”

Sam’s dad, Ross, said: “The instructor that was showing him round the track was driving around in a bigger, adult kart, but after a couple of laps he couldn’t keep up with Sam. “That’s just mental for a guy who’s never been in a kart before.”