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The making of a future champion? – 333 Sam Champion Interview

Sam Champion has been one of the standout drivers of the southern junior scene, and is set to make his adult debut in the 2L Bangers at Standlake this weekend for the A1 Open. Bryson caught up with Sam in the off-season to discuss his racing exploits to date.

As is typically the case, Sam got into racing due to his father as he reveals. ‘My dad got me into racing. I remember going racing with him since I was young to a local track to us at the time called St Brides, and ever since I was young I knew it was the sport for me. Once I was 10 that was when it all started really.’ 

Sam began his career in the Non-Contact classes at his local track of St Bride’s before converting across to the Junior Bangers/Teen Streets where he regularly raced at tracks such as Standlake, Ringwood and Ilfracombe. Sam identifies some of his highlights. ‘My early racing memory has got to be winning my first race in the non-contact junior class at the local in wales when the track was around in 2018 – that was one of the best moments and then winning the Ilfracombe Junior Points Championship in 2021 was a good one aswell.’ 

Racing both Non-Contact classes and Bangers comes with it’s perks, with driver’s being able to adapt a different understanding and more of a race-craft than they perhaps would if they just went straight into bangers. Sam comments on what the appeal of racing the Junior Bangers was to him. ‘Being able to tap and spin and not just drive round. There was always a good turnout of cars at every Standlake meeting and all the people in the formula were fairly good racers and Standlake run the formula very, very well. The main attraction for me was to have a taste of contact compared to non-contacts and to get me ready for next step in racing. It was my favourite time of racing being out in the Teen Streets.’

As mentioned, Sam is set to make his adult debut at the A1 Open, with a well presented Ford Mondeo his choice of machinery for the occasion. It was always his aim to make the step up into National Bangers, as he admits. ‘This season I’ll be going into the 2 Litre National Bangers with the goal of hopefully qualifying for Mendips PRI World Final later on in the year and hopefully do some travelling back down to Ringwood Cheetahs and Matchams, as well as do a bit up at Standlake. There’s always a good turn out of cars at 2L meetings and you can’t beat a Mondeo can you! It’s the formula which many drivers I look up to race in, and it’s a formula that since young I’ve always wanted to have a go in, so we will see what there like at the A1 at Standlake, but cars are expensive now,’ he laughs.

Once Sam has had a season in the 2L Bangers and found his feet in the formula racing relatively local, he plans to do a bit more racing wise. ‘My aim would probably be to do some travelling and do a few Micro Banger and Rookie meetings as well as the 2 Litres. I would one day fancy a go in an Unlimited, but travelling is the main aim as there’s a good few tracks I’d like to tick off the list. Smallfield and Kings Lynn look very smooth and fast and I would love a trip to Loghelly for the Micro Banger World Cup/Scottish Championship weekender up there. Hednesford , St Day, Stansted and Mildenhall are all tracks I’d love to tick off the list in the upcoming seasons.’

With that in mind, Sam identified his dream team to race alongside himself. ‘961 Brad Deeprose as he can drive the wheels off a motor, but he can certainly crash when he wants to crash as well. He is fast in anything he drives and is a fair racer. 720 Kenny Gabriel can pilot a Mondeo and he loves a good crash, but is also a very fast driver. 77 ‘Aario’ Aaron Charles – he is keen; very keen – travels everywhere week in week out off the back of a transit and loves to crash. He is a proper entertainer and can certainly drive a Lexus. 333 ‘Chaz’ Charlie Randell. I’ve always liked Chaz and watched videos of him and seen him at many meetings. He can pilot a Mercedes and loves a crash; especially at these current BWS rounds and then finally 746 Deejay Tyler. He loves an Astra and is a Standlake regular and is another that can drive the wheels off a car at most tracks and can crash as well.’

Sam would like to conclude the interview with a few mentions to people that help with the racing. ‘I’d like to thank my dad for taking me to all the meetings and keeping me going all day. CS Motorsport for the videos and pictures and Galley Signs for always coming down sometimes on short notice and making the motors look mint.’

We wish Sam all the best for his debut on Sunday and the upcoming season and look forward to seeing how he progresses.

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