Norfolk teenager Hatfield impresses SVR Racing at Rockingham Motor Speedway testing session
- Credit: Archant
Rising teenage star Adam Hatfield kicked off his 2014 Michelin Clio Cup Series testing programme in fine style at Rockingham Motor Speedway.
The 15-year-old, from Hingham, near Cranworth, recently graduated to the class after joining SV Racing (SVR) team having only made his competitive car debut in the SAXMAX Junior Touring Car Championship last year.
Following a hugely successful karting career the Norfolk protege enjoyed some expert advice from SVR director and former British Touring Car competitior Danny Buxton as he tackled the 1.94-mile circuit in wet and dry conditions.
Hatefield told SVR's website: 'We got on really well and I think I had a good technique by the end of play at Rockingham.
'We had a bit of everything as far as the weather and track conditions are concerned and, while I've never been on a test day due to my age or driven Rockingham Motor Speedway before, I managed more than 80 laps and feel far more confident in the car and my own ability.
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'The chief objective was to learn the car and work on braking, balancing the throttle and accelerating out of the corners. I've learned that you have to be a lot more gentle and smooth on the controls with the race-spec Clio and the speed you carry through the corners on slick tyres takes some getting used to as well, particularly when they're cool. I'm looking forward to heading somewhere more familiar so I can get a proper reference on my progress.'
Despite his age and inexperience, Hatfield demonstrated maturity and confidence and showed a great turn of speed that left SVR excited about what the future holds for the young driver.
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'Adam did a brilliant job, as he didn't put a foot wrong and did everything I asked of him,' said Buxton.
'He far exceeded my expectations, taking it nice and slowly during the morning before really putting the hammer down after lunch – I'm a good passenger, but I had to really tighten the belts. His technique was very impressive considering he's relatively inexperienced and he's going to star in 2015 if we manage the planned full year of testing.
'It's still very early days in his testing programme and, while he still needs to work on synchronising his braking and gear changes, the speed will naturally improve. He went a lot faster than I expected, filling me with confidence at the same time.'