OLI Basey-Fisher won a sought after tour of the Mercedes GP headquarters at Brackley, which looks after the German giants’ Formula One team, as part of his prize for winning last season’s British Karting’s Super One Rookie Cup.
Oli, who lives at Great Finborough and attends Woodbridge School, races Junior TKM, which is one of the UK’s premier classes and where 2009 Formula One champion Jenson Button cut his teeth in.
The Rookie Cup is awarded to the highest-placed newcomer during the seven-round championship, which is held throughout the UK, and was presented by two-time Le Mans winner and Audi racing driver, Allan McNish, at the Autosport Show held at the NEC.
The 16-year-old started his driving career quite late, only sitting in a kart for the first time the previous year and raced at his local tracks of Ellough, Red Lodge and Kimbolton.
Due to winning one championship and being runner-up in another, Oli decided he wanted to take the next step and compete in the national Super One series.
The season started better than expected as he secured a second place in the first round and went on to remain third in the points for the first half the year. When the season finished in November, he was eighth overall, meaning he was in the top 15 in the UK, which entitled him to run with that number on his kart for the following year.
Dave Litchfield, who manages Litchfield Motorsport, the team Oli joined when he started Super One, said: “It was a fantastic first year for Oli who, despite having far less experience than the rest of the grid, showed what great potential he has and we look forward to the future season.”
After visiting the impressive Mercedes Formula One site, Oli said: “It has been a fantastic experience as we had the opportunity to sit in last season’s F1 car and also see Michael Schumacher’s and Nico Rosberg’s cars being prepared in readiness for the next race at Monza.
“The site is much larger than I had expected as there is a team of over 500 people working on either developing or manufacturing the cars. All the wind tunnel testing is also carried out on site although the engines are still looked after by Mercedes at a separate facility.”
Ron Meadows, Mercedes GP sporting director, who works alongside team principal Ross Brawn, said they like to show their support for the Super One Karting Championship as it is the route most racing drivers come through.