Alford teenager revving up to take the track by storm as new season kicks off

A young driver is gearing up to take the motorsport world by storm after getting the new racing season off to a flying start.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 5:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 5:55 am
Up-and-coming driver Fergus Chalmers (photo: Stephen Fisher)
Up-and-coming driver Fergus Chalmers (photo: Stephen Fisher)

Fergus Chalmers (16) from Alford is working hard to juggle exam preparation with racing in the UK’s longest running and most prestigious junior series, the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship which kicked off at the Donington Park National track on April 23 and 24.

Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Fergus has already recorded success on the circuit, knocking on the door of a top ten finish in a field of almost 30 cars in his section in 2021 and achieving an end-of-season podium finish at the Brands Hatch GP circuit layout.

His outstanding debut season followed a final eight placing out of 65 entrants in the prestigious 2020 Michelin Ginetta Scholarship for 14-17-year-old drivers but, far from putting the brakes on, he has now set his sights on a top five finish in 2022 and is hoping to attract sponsors interested in joint success.

In round one of the season, Fergus banked valuable points in his quest to finish in the top five and recorded a sixth-place finish in Sunday’s televised race, after battling it out with a rival in a thrilling opening race.

Supporting Fergus in his endeavours on the track are his family and a professional, title-winning race team, Preptech, which includes renowned, multiple championship title winner and now head driver coach, James “Jiggy” Gornall.

The Ginetta Junior Championship supports the British Touring Car Championship, visiting some of the country’s leading race tracks and including a Scottish leg which will take place at Fife’s Knockhill on July 30 and 31.

The 26-race calendar is broadcast live on ITV4 to an audience of millions worldwide and is the ideal grounding for youngsters seeking to take their racing to the next level.

For Fergus, the British Touring Cars or British GT are the ultimate goal.

Fergus said: “I’ve always loved watching my dad and brother race at various gravel rally and tarmac events, and I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel myself.

"I guess it’s quite unusual not to have come up through the ranks of the karting scene but I got my first car when I was 14 and I haven’t looked back since.

“There’s been a lot to learn both on and off the track, and there are some great life skills to be gained in motorsports which stand you in good stead long after the chequered flag.”

He continued: "Working as part of a team, staying calm under pressure, respectfulness of competitors and how to pick yourself up and get back behind the wheel when things don’t go to plan are all things which I’m lucky to be learning, as well as driving fast!”