Small steps to a bright futureTue, 16 Nov 2010 00:00:00 -0800
A small but very significant addition to the BSB paddock in 2010 has been the Racing Steps Foundation GP125 team. RSF is an organisation founded by wealthy businessman Graham Sharp, to help talented youngsters with no funding make their way up the motorsport ladder. As a boy, Sharpe wanted to become a racing driver but soon realised without a serious amount of cash, this was virtually impossible. He never forgot this dilemma so is now in the business of making dreams come true for young UK racers in Karting, GP2 and Motorcycle Racing. This year’s GP125 team was run by Mark keen’s professional KRP outfit and fielded the 2008 and 2009 Aprilia Superteen Champions Fraser Rogers and Wayne Ryan.
In 2011 Rogers will move on to the highly competitive Spanish GP125 championship alongside hot Scot, John McPhee. Ryan, who is still only fourteen will continue to establish himself in the British GP125cc Championship. In year three, RSF intend to expand the programme further, taking two riders to the new Moto 3 World Championship. Without tempting fate, maybe we finally have a structure in place that will take talented youngsters from club level all the way to Grand Prix, I salute you Mr Sharp!
I never really understood why the Spanish Championship was so successful but you only have to visit a race there and it soon becomes clear why Spaniards have cleaned up in GP 125, Moto 2 and Moto GP this year. Firstly, the main event of the day is the GP125 race so the focus is on young riders being fielded by teams closely linked to the GP paddock. There is also a different style of riding as most of the championship is on fast and flowing GP circuits giving the riders great confidence to use every inch of the track without compromising safety. The crowds may be a lot smaller than BSB however the paddock atmosphere is just as good and of course the sunshine always helps.
By Niall Mackenzie
See also: Moto3. Recession racers?, 2011 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC: First Ride, RSVP from an RSV4.