Young race ace Geena Mae Watkinson is a finalist in an X Factor style youth motorsports competition to find the next Lewis Hamilton.
She will be going head-to-head with seven other young drivers as they try to capture the public’s hearts and votes, with a two minute video appeal explaining why they should be chosen to become the next rising star in motoracing.
The public will decide which of them will win one of three racing contracts with The Blair Project, worth over £30k each, including a fully funded season, elite driver development and sports management.
The 10-year-old kart racer from Worksop dreams of making it to the highest levels of motor racing.
Your vote can help make her dream come true.
She said: “We have struggled along on a very limited budget where as the privileged get on because they have the finance to buy improvements, where as I can only rely on second hand gear and sheer determination and talent.”
“This means so much to me.”
“I really want to take my motoracing career further, and become a professional racing driver.”
“The Blair Project Rising Stars competition is my only lifeline.”
“I would really appreciate it if local people could vote for me.”
The Blair Project was set up by Nile Henry, who was sick of seeing his own brother, Blair, struggle for funding to continue his karting career.
It aims to help young drivers who don’t have the funding to move up the Motorsports ladder and create a more level playing field.
It’s an all too familiar problem in motor racing where many talented young drivers are forced to abandon their racing careers due to lack of funds.
It currently costs between £20k and £30K per season for a 10-year-old to race in major championships, which is beyond the means of ordinary families.
Nile Henry, CEO of TBP said: “We have been really impressed by the grit and determination shown by these young drivers to keep their racing dreams alive, some of whom are as young as 10.”
“Their stories are truly heart warming; it’s a great shame that we can’t help all of them.”
“Like the X Factor, it will be up to the public to decide who our three lucky winners are going to be.”
“So I hope their local community will get behind each of them.”
Karting is the first stepping stone for young drivers, who wish to pursue a career in motorsports.
Formula One drivers Lewis Hamilton, Jensen Button, Max Chilton, Paul Di Resta and David Coulthard all started out in karting.
The lucky winners will be developed by GW Motorsports’ team boss Gary Ward, who drove and won races in his Jordan Formula 1, and is a former instructor at the Silverstone Race School.
He said: “ I’m looking for drivers who come from a hungrier and edgier background, who haven’t yet made their names in the sport, but are fuelled by an all-consuming passion, racing talent, and the right attitude.”
“I will work on moulding them into champions and developing them to become great ambassadors of the sport.”
Voting is open from 9th June and will run until midnight on 29th June and you can cast your vote by visiting the Blair Project’s Facebook at www.facebook.com/theblairproject
The winners will be unveiled on 1st July at Old Trafford, in front of celebrities and motor racing personalities.