Ben on track for big kart race

Motorsport pumps through Ben Hughes' veins like petrol through his kart's supercharged engine.

Motorsport pumps through Ben Hughes' veins like petrol through his kart's supercharged engine.

And this weekend Ben is entering the British Superkart Grand Prix to test both his and his kart's mettle.

Ben, of Great Hockham, only just made the grade for the competition - hitting the minimum age of 17 just three days ago, making him the youngest competitor in the race.

His dad, Simon, who used to work at the Lotus factory at Hethel and who shared the same need for speed in his youth, has high hopes for his son.

Mr Hughes said: "Ben's much better than I was. For me it was all about the practice laps and maintaining the car.

"I always found the competitions a bit nerve-racking. But Ben loves it. He loves the speed and the danger."

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Ben has been driving for five years, starting out with the motor club at the Lotus factory.

He said: "My parents were taking me to events and car races when I was really young. The whole family loves it - well, my sister Rachel isn't that keen."

The big race takes place tomorrow at Cadwell Park near Louth in Lincolnshire and many of the races are being run as rounds of the European Superracekarts Championship.

Today will be spent practising on the track, with two heats in the afternoon to decide who qualifies for which of the two races tomorrow; the A final, with the strongest competitors, and the B final.

Ben said: "The way the car's running at the moment we should get right into the A final."

Ben has also managed to work at motor-racing's main attractions such as Brand's Hatch helping to turn cars around as they take their pit stops in big races.

Mr Hughes said: "I think he would like to have a career in motor racing but it is so difficult to get sponsorship. At the moment that car is bleeding me dry and entering competitions is an expensive business."

Ben is studying for A-levels in maths, ICT and graphics at Attleborough Sixth Form and hopes to go on to study car design or motor science.

Tickets on the gate cost £12 per adult per

day, with children aged 12 and under admitted free. Parking and paddock access are also

free.