Young race ace Ellis Wild Child is a little Lewis Hamilton in the making

Craig Salmon talks to former go-kart racing driver Tony Child about his young son Ellis Wild, who is following in his footsteps and showing great promise as a racing driver

With a name like his, seven-year-old Preston boy Ellis Child was always going to be a little bit on the ‘Wild’ side.

In fact, his mum Jade and his dad Tony Child must have seen into the future when they registered their new born son as ‘Ellis Wild Child’.

Certainly Wild by name and as it’s transpired in the seven years since his birth, Wild by nature.

Ellis Wild Child

It was December of 2019 when Santa Claus made his way down Ellis’ chimney on Christmas Eve clutching a large but neatly wrapped present.

Inside was none other than a brand, spanking new go-kart. As all children know, Santa is a very wise man and he was obviously very knowledgeable about young Ellis’ family history in motorsport.

His grandfather, the late Reg Child was a prominent Preston racing driver back in the 1970s and 1980s – a passion which he passed on to his son Tony. It must be something about the trio’s surnames which means they enjoy the adrenalin rush of racing.

Racing is certainly in Ellis’ blood and as he has proven since unwrapping his go-kart just under two years ago, that he has a natural flair for the sport. Just to rhyme-off a list of his successes this year, the St Mary’s and St Benedict’s RC Primary School pupil is the Hooton Park 2021 club champion in the six-to-eight-years-old bambino class.

Ellis Wild Child

He won the Cheshire Gold Cup and Cock of the North Cup and came second amongst his peers at the prestigious London Cup, held at Rye House Kart circuit where Formula One great and the most prolific Grand Prix winner ever Lewis Hamilton spun his first tentative wheels in the sport as a youngster.

Whether Ellis will one day follow in the tyre tracks of the British racing legend one day, nobody knows? Indeed his dad has described the chances as a million-to-one shot. But while he is young, then why not dream big?

As far as his dad is concerned, it’s all about enjoyment and Ellis certainly loves what he does.

“When you buy your kid a go-kart, you usually take them on a training session to teach them how to drive it,” said Tony Child. “But as soon as he sat in a go-kart, he just drove it like he had been driving 10 years.

“It was like magic ,as though his grandfather had come back and taught him how to drive.

“So we started racing last year but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we could not do much.

“It’s only this year that we have managed to properly start racing at Hooton Park, in Cheshire, which we class as our local circuit.

“In the six rounds in the club championship, he won four and came second in the other two.

“He races in the Bambino category in a go-kart with a 50cc engine.

“They are not allowed to race with a bigger engine than that – they are going 40mph which for six or seven-year-olds, is plenty.

“They go around fast – Ellis can do a lap at Hooton Park in 52 seconds. He has won the Cheshire Gold Cup and a meeting in Barnsley which is known as the Cock of the North.”

After those successes, Ellis then put the cat amongst pigeons when he entered the British Super One Championship for the first time and won the first race at the GYG circuit, in Wales, and ended up finishing eighth overall.

“Honestly when you turn up at the British Super One, it’s a total different level,” said Tony Child.

“Some of the teams there are like Grand Prix teams – there’s some dads with some serious money.

“We are just a dad and lad in a van. But we turned up for the first round at GYG in Wales and he won the first race. I couldn’t believe it.

“Everybody else was saying, “We were cheating.”

“We weren’t! It was just because Ellis is a good little driver – he blew everyone away.”

The plan is for Ellis to continue next season in the bambino category and then the year after he will be able to join the cadet class.

“The Super One Championship is well watched on YouTube by thousands of people around the world,” Tony said. “One lad came over from Mexico – his dad owned a Nascar racing team in America.

“There are a lot of wealthy dads out there who think their son is going to be the next Lewis Hamilton.

“But the chances of that happening are very, very slim.

“To get a seat in a car in Formula One is the equivalent of playing in the Premier League for Manchester United.

“My dream for Ellis is to just carry on being successful in the sport.

“He’s very hungry and he wants to be a champion. He’s said to me before, ‘Dad, I am going to be world champion’.

“If you asked him today, he would say he wants to race Formula One but that’s a very big dream.

“He’s a seven-year-old kid and he doesn’t realise how hard that is going to be. But there’s nothing wrong with dreaming big and I just want him to carry on being successful. It’s just a great sport.

"The great thing about is the friendships he’s building, he’s made loads of friends.”

Ellis is looking for sponsorship for next year and beyond. If you are interested, then please email his dad Tony on [email protected]

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