In a challenging first season of car racing, Max Bird a 16-year-old student from Chidham, has achieved four podium places for top finishes in the Ginetta Junior championship.
Bird coped well with the highs and lows of a season in top-flight motorsport and despite being knocked back by mechanical issues a number of times, he has remained focused and determined and each time has come back stronger and more competitive than ever to complete a successful first season.
He has improved as a driver during the season and shown a level of maturity normally associated with someone older.
Bird said: “I have learned a lot in my first year and I am now looking forward to next season.”
He combined his racing with taking GCSEs and is now studying motorsport engineering at Cemast section of Fareham College in Hampshire.
He hopes this will provide him with the skills to better understand the mechanical factors affecting racing-car performance and how he can work withengineers and mechanics to improve the car, the performance of which can have such a significant effect on results.
Bird is also getting hands-on work experience with local racing-car preparation specialist Chris Snowden of CS Racing, where he is getting an understanding of modern and classic racing-car design and manufacture.
For 2017 he will take the next step up with a move to the Ginetta GT5 Challenge series. The Ginetta GT5 is similar to the car he has raced this year but with a more powerful engine and racing on slick racing tyres instead of road tyres, which combine to make the car some seven to eight seconds a lap quicker than the car he has been racing.
The Ginetta GT5 championship runs alongside the British GT championship and includes an overseas race at the challenging Belgian Spa Francorchamps circuit in addition to races at major UK circuits including Silverstone, Thruxton, Croft, Donington and Oulton Park with TV coverage from Motors TV and ITV4.
Bird has started his preparation with test sessions in the new car at Rockingham where within ten laps he set a time that would have put him fifth on the grid for this year’s race and at Oulton Park, where he set a time that would have put him on the front row.
I have learned a lot in my first year and I am now looking forward to next season.Max Bird
He has received support from national companies 2KM and Morris Lubricants and local firms, including Artec Engineering, Sycamore Cars and Chichester gym and personal trainers Core Results.
Paul Butler of Core Results said: “We are delighted to be able to have helped Max in his first season to achieve his goal of becoming a professional racing driver.”
To compete at the highest level Bird needs further support and is hoping to work with local and national companies to promote them through media coverage, promotions and trackside hospitality.
Anyone interested in supporting him can contact his father Tim Bird on 07850 218010 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, to discuss it.
Follow Max’s progress in 2017 at www.maxbird.co.uk or on Twitter – @maxbird35 – or at www.facebook.com/maxbirdracing
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