Dereham schoolboy in pole position to show Lewis Hamilton how F1 is really done
Rookie racer Josh Vallance doesn't just want to be the next Lewis Hamilton, he wants to be even better than the Formula One superstar.
And the young starlet had no qualms telling his hero when he met him in person.
That was five years ago – and the Dereham schoolboy is already proving he is a force to be reckoned with at the age of 10.
Having taken up karting just over a year ago, Josh has the most wins under his belt for a racer in their first year at Anglia Karting Centre in North Pickenham, near Swaffham.
The budding Grand Prix star is already beating seasoned youngsters older than him and has attracted attention from talent scouts.
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He has been offered a place at Formula Kart Stars – but with entry fees for the premier Formula One training school costing a cool £28,000, his racing career may stall on the starting grid if his parents cannot find the funds to support his dream.
His mum, Tina, said: 'We don't have racing in the blood or any racing background but when Josh first tried karting, he was extremely natural at it.'
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Josh first became interested in motor racing after watching Disney Pixar's big-screen hit Cars. He then went to the F1 exhibition at Mercedes-Benz World where he saw Lewis Hamilton.
'All of the teenagers who were there were in awe of Lewis. They were asked what they wanted to be when they were older and they all said how they wanted to be like him – but Josh shouted out 'when I get older, I'm going to show Lewis Hamilton how to drive a McLaren properly',' said Mrs Vallance.
Since taking up karting at the age of nine, Josh has had a string of podium finishes and wins. He races three times a month and his best lap time at the 1,030m track at Anglia Karting Centre is 49.82 seconds in a 160cc kart – less than one hundredth of a second slower than any times achieved by youngsters in a 200cc kart. His parents plan to buy him his own kart, which will cost at least £2,500 secondhand, and fund all his races, kit and travel.
Josh, whose bedroom walls are covered with posters of Hamilton and motivational quotes from his racing hero to keep him focused, has been saving all of his pocket money to help him realise his dream.
• To donate to Josh's karting development fund, go to www.gofundme.com/gjhq58. Any businesses interested in sponsorship should email firstname.lastname@example.org
• Do you know a youngster who is showing talent beyond their years? Email email@example.com