Maidstone teenager Loui Hounsell prepares for Junior Saloon Car Championship rookie title
He’s not old enough to drive on the roads yet, but teenager Loui Hounsell already knows how to move around the track.
The 16-year-old from Maidstone is flying high in the Junior Saloon Car Championship and looks well positioned to claim the rookie title.
He has a 47-point lead at the top of the standings with his CitroÃ«n Saxo just three races to go, having paved the way since the opening race.
Hounsell, a student at Mid Kent College, raced in a kart before switching to cars and is keen to carve out a career in motorsport.
“It’s going well,” said the former Valley Park schoolboy.
âI have always been interested in cars and racing. It came from my parents who are both passionate about oil.
âI grew up watching Top Gear and have always been a huge fan of Formula 1 and motorsport in general.
âI started karting and sim racing and then we discovered the Junior Saloon Car Championship, which was perfect for us.
âIt’s a big step up from karting, where you really only hit 50/60 mph.
âI remember my test to get my racing license at Mallory Park in a 200hp Renault Clio Sport and hit 115mph.
âIt was surreal, but you just have to trust the car and be confident.
âThis is something I learned quickly: if you don’t believe in yourself, it won’t happen.
âI’m a confident driver, I’ve been told a lot. I had an idea in my head of how to drive and the instructor, Howard Hunt, was a great help.
âHe almost changed my driving style to make the car faster, flatter and more balanced.
“He explains things in a way that makes so much sense.”
Hounsell, who turns 17 in November, is exploring the possibility of competing in the Civic Cup next year.
It would be ideal for the next stage of his development as he works on his dream career.
âWe went to Donington to have a look and it was a lot of fun,â Hounsell said.
âIt would be a step forward from what I’m doing now: the Honda Civic Type Rs have more than twice the power of the Saxo.
âIn the long term, I really like the idea of ââstaying in open-top cars, so either GTs or British Touring Cars.
“But with that, I would also like to become an instructor and teach people.”
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