Homework to workshop for schoolboy rally driver Tom Delaney

For many 15 year-olds, once their homework and revision is over for the evening, their chores take over. While this might involve tidying or doing the washing-up, for rally driver Tom Delaney, it's a bit more involved. Tom is no arrive-and-drive sportsman - he works on his rally car alongside his father in the evenings and at weekends and is an integral part of the team, not just the driver.

Tom's father Dominic has a long heritage in motorsport, dating back to the 1980s and as long as he can remember, Tom has wanted to, and has, been involved at all levels. So when Tom showed an interest in driving rally cars, like his dad, Dominic did everything he could to help him.

However, Tom also has to help out himself. That's why once the schoolwork is over, it's time to get on the tools and help finish preparing his one-litre Suzuki Alto for the 2015 Formula1000 series.

The car has undergone a complete strip-down to bare bodyshell and rebuild over the winter, ready for the start of this season on March 1. It is almost completely rebuilt and ready for its first test in half-term but a few crucial components are yet to be fitted, including the brand new suspension and wheels.

Tom has been working on the car because he enjoys it and also, it will stand him in good stead for the end of his schooling, when he will join his father's business, independent Porsche experts Specialist Vehicle Preparations in Droitwich, as an apprentice technician. So while rallying is important to Tom, his studies are even more so.

It also gives him an implicit understanding of the car's components and workings, so that if there are any problems while on a stage, he knows how to get the car back to the service area for essential repairs before continuing.

Commenting, he said; "I'm quite looking forward to finishing school and starting working with dad at the workshop. I know it won't always be race or rally cars but I will be learning a trade in an area I love."

Dominic explains; "Tom has always been at the workshop in his spare time. He moves the cars around, so he has grown up jumping in and out of cars. When he started to show an interest in driving, I was delighted and am very excited to see how he can progress.

"Of course, being in his last year of exams, this will be tricky to manage - it goes without saying that his studies are most important but the schedule means that he can compete on most of the 11 rounds that make up the series this year.

"In fact, his interest has spurred me on to start driving again. Perhaps I'll get a one-litre car as well and see how we get on against each other. Although he might have a weight advantage!"

The team plans to carry out the first test of the new car in February half-term, ahead of the first round of the series at the Three Sisters kart track near Wigan, on March 1.


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