University test drives teen's F1 dreams
Released: Friday 15th June 2012 at 14:47
A TEEN go-karting star is on the road to becoming the next Lewis Hamilton or Paul Di Resta with the help of sports experts at a North East university.
Connor Toghill is working alongside the University of Sunderland’s Faculty of Applied Sciences to boost his physical fitness and strength to help him become the next British Formula 1 champion.
The Durham Johnston School student is working with Stuart Dixon, a sports and exercise science technician at the University, to determine his strong points are and discover where improvements can be made.
Tests will include looking at the 13-year-old’s heart-rate during races, his maximum core strength, monitoring his blood pressure and improve his endurance levels. The university will also draw up an exercise programme for him to follow.
Based at the Warden Law racing track in Sunderland, Connor has been honing his driving skills for the past three years, ever since he celebrated a birthday party there. He is now highly regarded by those in the regional racing circles and competes around the North of England and Scotland.
From next year, he is hoping to compete at a national level, inching him ever closer to his dream of becoming a Formula 1 driver.
Currently, he is leading the Tyne and Wear Karting Championships and demonstrates his determined nature by claiming that if he finishes in second place, he has simply become a “second loser”.
Excited by the vision that working with the University could bring, Connor said: “This training could be very important and the difference between me winning races and not doing so. A lot of the races I compete in can be very long and if I run out of energy and my muscles get tired then I will lose speed.
“This training really helps me improve my muscle strength and endurance to last longer in the race and have a bigger chance of being successful in the future.
“My dream is to be a Formula 1 driver. Paul Di Resta is my favourite driver and I want to follow in his footsteps. He started racing at the same track as I did, he’s doing well in Formula 1 now and I’d love to be doing what he is doing.”
Stuart Dixon said: “The long term goal is to help Connor improve his fitness so he has higher levels of endurance during races and his strength to help him improve his balance, reaction times and his car control.
“We’re going to give him advice on the type of training he can do that will be specific for his age and go kart driving which in the long run should progress him up the ranks and help him achieve his goals.”