Promoted: The karting star taking on Ginetta Junior

He may share a name with a rugby legend but it is in the world of motorsport that Jonny Wilkinson wants to succeed

Promoted: The karting star taking on Ginetta Junior

The 13-year-old has had an impressive career in karting and is now preparing to make the switch to cars. But it was a birthday party several years ago that started his motorsport journey.

"For my ninth birthday I went to Formula Fast, which was my local indoor karting track, and I really loved it," recalls Wilkinson.

"After a few goes, I went to do a club championship and won it and it built up from there."

His success in club karting paved the way to a switch to the main Super One series and he finished third in IAME Cadet in 2016 with KMS, the small team he had started out with. Then this year he achieved fifth in Junior X30 - one of the most competitive karting series there is - becoming one of only five drivers to win a Super One final this year.

After enjoying that success, Wilkinson is now eager to make the transition to cars. He was one of the finalists for the Ginetta Junior scholarship last month and, although he ultimately missed out on the prize, he gained a lot from the experience, describing it as a "good learning curve".

That learning curve will now only get steeper as he will compete in the championship in 2018 with Elite Motorsport - the team that helped to power Tom Gamble to this year's title - and is busy testing ahead of the season.

"I've got to make the most of it and test at as many different tracks as I can as I'm too young to do the Winter Series," says Wilkinson.

"I think the rookie championship is the main goal for next year but any overall wins and podiums would be amazing."

Elite team boss Eddie Ives adds: "Although Jonny will be the youngest member of our squad next year, with a serious test programme planned we are confident his talent will shine through."

Longer-term, Wilkinson is aiming to make a name for himself at the top levels of motorsport, but not necessarily in Formula 1.

"In F1 there are only 20 drivers but there are a lot more options in touring cars or GT racing," he says.

With that kind of mature attitude, Wilkinson is well-placed to enjoy more success, both next year and further into the future.

Profile

Age: 13

From: Brackley

Results

2017: 5th in Super One Junior X30

2016: 3rd in Super One British IAME Cadet; 4th in LGM National Cadet; 1st in Welsh IAME Cadet

2015: 1st in Welsh IAME Cadet

2014: 4th in Welsh IAME Cadet

shares
comments
Sacha Fenestraz denies Will Palmer in 2017 Formula Renault Eurocup

Previous article

Sacha Fenestraz denies Will Palmer in 2017 Formula Renault Eurocup

Next article

Memories of the greatest junior contest

Memories of the greatest junior contest
Load comments
The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership Plus

The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership

This weekend’s British GT finale will be a tense title showdown for some but, for those not in the championship fight, it’s a chance to end a challenging year on a high. In the latter camp is Paddock Motorsport's team owner Martin Plowman, whose 2021 season has been a rollercoaster ride of non-stop learning

National
Oct 15, 2021
Remembering Goodwood’s heroes at 78th Members' Meeting Plus

Remembering Goodwood’s heroes at 78th Members' Meeting

A year and a half after it was originally scheduled, this weekend’s 78th Goodwood Members’ Meeting honours key figures from the circuit’s history, including the likes of Stirling Moss, Dan Gurney and Gerry Marshall

National
Oct 14, 2021
The restorer keeping a land-speed record-holder's memory alive Plus

The restorer keeping a land-speed record-holder's memory alive

From a famous land-speed special to an Indianapolis 500 frontrunner, restorer and racer Geraint Owen has a fascination for making old machines work

Historics
Oct 4, 2021
The real-life Jedi revival earning rave reviews in club racing Plus

The real-life Jedi revival earning rave reviews in club racing

The F1000 championship celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2021, and is going from strength-to-strength. While that hasn't always been the case, the series for lightweight Jedi cars has learned valuable lessons that are making it a force to be reckoned with

National
Oct 1, 2021
The questions posed by British F4's imminent shake-up Plus

The questions posed by British F4's imminent shake-up

It’s all change in British F4 next year with a different car, engine and promoter. But with the British motorsport governing body set to become a competitor to organising clubs, and a question mark over the external funding to replace the shortfall previously put in by Ford, a lot remains unclear

National
Sep 23, 2021
The 17 penalties that led to a bizarre timetable issue Plus

The 17 penalties that led to a bizarre timetable issue

OPINION: An unprecedented 17 alleged cases of gaining an advantage at Thruxton’s Club chicane in Ginetta Junior made for a set of truly baffling events, and poses further questions about the consistency of penalties in such situations

National
Sep 2, 2021
The question marks resulting from national racing's rediscovered freedoms Plus

The question marks resulting from national racing's rediscovered freedoms

OPINION: When government restrictions relaxed last month, so too did rules surrounding how club events operate, leading to a range of views on the best way forward. Beyond scrutineering, there's also the matter of in-person driver briefings and trainee marshal involvement to consider too

National
Aug 27, 2021
The uncertainty and opportunity of British F3's enforced identity change Plus

The uncertainty and opportunity of British F3's enforced identity change

OPINION: It was inevitable that British F3 would need a new identity someday amid the FIA’s stance on series outside its remit using the ‘F3’ branding. But while its mid-season switch to the GB3 moniker was met with some surprise, many championship insiders are adamant that nothing will change

National
Aug 11, 2021