Suffolk youngster Ben Cochran on track to follow footsteps of Formula One favourite, Lewis Hamilton
- Credit: Archant
Young Ben Cochran is following the footsteps of his favourite Formula One driver, Lewis Hamilton.
The nine-year-old, who lives in Kesgrave, recently won the Martin Hines Memorial Trophy at the Karting Awards in Bedfordshire, an award which F1 superstar Hamilton claimed in 1995.
In an awards ceremony that saw more than 700 young drivers from every corner of the United Kingdom vying for recognition in varying classes, Cochran received the award mostly for his sportsmanship on the track during the British Championship race season from January 7 to December 14, 2014.
From Grantham in Lincolnshire, to Larhall in Scotland, to Glan Y Gors Park in north Wales, and to Rowarth in Cumbra, Cochran has been competing at tracks up and down the UK at weekends in the IAME Cadet class 8-14 years age group.
Among hundreds of hopefuls, and younger than many other candidates, Cochran’s achievement was therefore a huge shock to dad Johnny.
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“I was, and still am shell-shocked when Ben was announced as the winner,” he said.
“I couldn’t be more proud of him.
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“Basically, the award is given to the person who has shone the in terms of sportsmanship and how they conduct themselves on and off the track.”
Over the course of 12 race meetings, Cochran finished 8th overall out of 34 drivers, with his highlight coming as he was crowned IAME cadet champion at Red Lodge near Mildenhall.
Cochran first started driving when he was five, and has made significant strides in karting, which is seen as the feeder sport to Formula One, with Hamilton, among many other top F1 drivers, starting off in the sport.
The youngster, who goes to Gorseland Primary School and plays football for Kesgrave Kestrels Under 10’s, competes in a 60cc kart which can reach speeds up to 65mph.
Assisted by well-established company Simon Wright Racing Developments/Wright Karts, who have helped the likes of Formula One drivers Jenson Button and David Coulthard progress in their careers, the youngster holds high hopes of emulating his idol Hamilton in the future.
Johnny, who used to race at a high level himself, continued: “In Ross Martin, Simon (Wright), and Nick Chantler, Ben has the best mentors and people around him.
“He’s got the right team around him and he’s just going to keep on going at it.
“He drives around the Monaco circuits with Lewis Hamilton perfectly on the Playstation, and hopefully that could be him one day!”