Racing to the top

Surrey kart driver wins driving scholarship.

When 17-year-old Scott Hargrove went to get his driver’s licence, he had already driven faster than most people ever will.

In fact, Hargrove had motored along some of the most famous roads on the continent.

By the time he obtained his B.C. driver’s licence, Hargrove’s driving resume featured time behind the wheel as a kart racer at the Virginia International Speedway and Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway in California.

When it comes to kart racing, participants need to be at least 14 years old and attend a racing school to learn some racing basics.

That’s what Hargrove did, and the Surrey Christian Secondary Grade 12 student has his eyes set on the big show.

In December 2010, after racing for three years in the local karting curcuit, Hargrove had an opportunity to test his mettle against some of the best young drivers in North America at the Skip Barber Karting Scholarship shootout in Leguna Seca California, where drivers compete for seven scholarships in two levels of competition, the national series and the regional series.

Though the competition was extremely tight, Hargrove was awarded one of four regional scholarships to the Skip Barber Racing School summer series, where he’ll be behind the wheel of a 150-horsepower Skip Barber Formula racing car.

Hargrove credits much of his success so far to his coach, local professional driver Michael Valiante, who is himself is climbing the racing ladder.

“He has taught me a lot, says Hargrove. “He wants me to focus on hitting the corners as fast as I can.”

He is also learning the importance of patience during a race and that too much aggression early on can be costly,

“Focus and mental fatigue can be a such a huge factor in racing,” Hargrove says.

He hopes to take his current success and keep moving forward towards one day fulfilling his dream of becoming a professional race car driver.

However, when it comes to the often expensive sport of car racing, results are the goal, and success on the track means sponsorship funding – a key factor for every driver. The more wins, the more sponsorship money drivers attract.

Having grown up hearing stories about local racing star Greg Moore’s rise to the top of the racing world, Hargrove is well aware of the dangers of the sport.

“Every racer knows the dangers,” Hargrove says, but “I am so focussed on what is going on during the race it doesn’t even cross my mind.”

Since the death of Moore many advancements in racing safety have been made, including the “Hans” device that restricts the forward movement of the driver’s head in a crash.

“I have seen many accidents and everyone has walked away,” says Hargrove.

Although the road may be long and at times seem far away, Hargrove has a single goal: to one day reach the pinnacle of racing – Formula 1.








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