One of the things I enjoy doing with Motorsport Prospects is shining the spotlight on innovative approaches to driver development and TedTrax Racing is a perfect example. TedTrax Racing is currently a community group of young sim racers where the emphasis is on an inclusive, safe, and fun environment. The program is run by Tom Hockley who decided to start TedTrax Racing because his son had become absolutely hooked on motorsport and subsequently sim racing. I recently sat down to have a virtual chat with Tom about his plans both short and long term. I have made no secret of my belief that sim racing will become more and more important to introducing children to motorsport and this is just another demonstration of how this can happen.
It is early days yet but the plans according to Tom is to encompass a non-profit organization that will introduce and fund youth into motorsport, using sim racing as a base.
Currently TedTrax Racing is setup as a non-profit organisation within the UK with Tom being the sole proprietor. To the side of that the Team at TedTrax Racing are also working with the Community Interest Company Regulator to register TedTrax Community Racing as a recognised non-profit CIC. All profits made from TedTrax Racing will be reinvested into their youth initiatives, used for junior development and scholarships, junior funding to attend motorsport events and to host their own charitable events. They’ve already taken part in charitable events elsewhere, being recognised by Children with Cancer for example, but they would love the opportunity to work with more. They are also working with Motorsport UK to become recognised as an Esports organisation as the governing body is developing their own Esports strategy that they are keeping very close tabs on.
At present they have 20+ active drivers competing in various well established Esports Leagues. They have hosted test bambino races where they have had kids from 3 – 12 partake. “In the ranks we have an extraordinarily talented esports driver who’s 13 and holds his own against seasoned competitors, someone we’ve developed and trained over the last 6 months. With our community outreach on social media platforms growing daily, we expect to see a further surge of members when our hosted leagues go public.”
One of the things I find so exciting about the TedTrax approach are their plans to run educational and development programs for the drivers. I asked Tom to expand on this and asked where they are with these initiatives. “This is absolutely something we are aspiring to achieve as an organisation. With our Junior Esports Series in development, our aim is to provide a fun safe community platform for families to provide their kids an opportunity to race, learn and develop at a fraction of the cost of being on track. With the ability to then identify on track talent, we could then look to support children with real world applications on track by linking up with already established academy programmes. As we discussed, with the correct funding there’s no limit to how far we could support juniors in their roadmap to pursuing a career in motorsport, either on track or the industry itself.”
Tom also has big plans to expand beyond sim racing to the real thing as he builds a pathway for his young drivers. “With the Junior Esports Series we have in development, we have engaged with karting academies with the aim to provide a selection of youth participants the opportunity to experience karting for perhaps the first time, at their local track. For our first Junior Esports Series we have already partnered with Club73 Karting. The competition will see every junior that qualifies an opportunity to experience karting free of charge at an event hosted by the TedTrax Racing Community. The winner of the competition will also experience a full Club73 Karting race day, again at no cost.“
“As a community we also host social days which look to fund youth into experiencing Motorsport trackside, taking full advantage of the relationships we build to provide them unprecedented access. So far, we’ve hosted socials at both Brands Hatch and most recently Donington Park. The more relationships and awareness we build within the industry, the more experiences we can share with our youth members.“
If you would like more information or would like to get involved, Tom advises the following: “Our website is currently under further development but can be found here: https://tedtraxracing.com. At the moment we operate primarily on Discord, Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ TedTraxRacing) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/tedtraxracing/).”