A young racing driver has made history in his Formula One stock car last weekend.
Tarleton’s Henry Hunter, became the first BriSCA novice driver to win three heat races and the final from white grade at Birmingham Wheels Raceway – a feat never previously achieved in the 60-year history of the sport.
The 20-year-old, who works for the family business Huntapac, was taking part in only his fourth full race meeting, having decided to follow his elder brother Will Hunter into the sport.
Father Warren Hunter raced successfully in BriSCA Formula One stock cars himself between 1990 and 1994 before retiring to concentrate on running the expanding family business.
Both Hunter brothers enjoyed successful karting careers as they grew up, but at the end of 2013, Will decided that he wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps and race in BriSCA F1. He was awarded the Rookie of the Year title at the end of last season.
Meanwhile, having given up karting at the age of 13, Henry took up cycling and was a member of a semi professional road racing cycling team.
However, increased work load at Huntapac put an extra demand on the time needed to train properly
But having sampled stock car racing for himself at the end of 2014 when he raced his brother’s car at the Gala meeting at Birmingham, the stock car bug bit hard and Henry decided to quit cycling and concentrate on work and stock car racing instead.
Henry is currently racing Will’s new shale car at select race meetings while preparing his own car for it’s debut later in the season, so the four wins on the fast tarmac at Birmingham in a car designed for the loose shale surface made his achievement all the more special, particularly when his main competitors were racing state of the art cars built to suit tarmac.
Henry kept a cool head in every race and looked very much at easy racing the 600 hp Chevrolet engined car.
Speaking afterwards, Henry said: “Following practice, I knew that the car was going to be fast and we saved our best tyres for the races.
“I went out in the heat races and managed to get a good clean start in each of them and started to build up a comfortable gap to the chasing drivers and heats one and two were quite comfortable wins for me.
Heat three was a bit more exciting as there was a crash in front of me on the start straight which I only just managed to avoid. On the restart I had Gold Cup Champion) Daniel Johnson right behind me and I was expecting a big hit to come from Dan as the race resumed but it didn’t happen and I managed to pull away from him and hold off his challenge for the remaining six laps.”
Going into the final, Henry was very confident even though the racing distance was 20 laps instead of the 16 laps in the heat races.
“If I could get a good start and build up a gap again, I was pretty sure I had a good chance of holding it until the end of the race,” he said.
“I had about five yellow top drivers between myself and Daniel Johnson and multiple champion Tom Harris, so I knew that I had a little buffer for a couple of laps before they would be chasing after me at the front.
“The car felt better as the race progressed and I managed d take the win in the Final as well.
It felt fantastic to win my first Final so soon in my stock car career, but to win all three of the heat races too, made it feel all the more special.”