Rookie Scott Swann eyes a £20,000 dream machine for '17
Fourteen year old Scott Swann, one of Northern Ireland's latest band of prodigiously talented motorcycle racers, is hoping January will bring him his heart's desire - a Moto3 machine to compete in next season's British championship.
The Magheramorne youngster, who is the son of multiple Irish champion Michael Swann, has just completed a dream debut year in the Santander Consumer Finance KTM British Junior Cup in 2016.
Despite not having ever ridden any of the British circuits previously, young Swann made the World Final at Assen in the Netherlands earlier this year, having taken third place in the KTM British championship in his debut season.
With Santa unable to oblige, dad Michael is left with the unenviable task of trying to secure a slightly bigger budget of £20,000, to run a standard Moto3 machine in next season's British championship.
Said Scott: "I had a brilliant first year in British championship and never dreamt that it would go so well. I just love the British championship paddock and the circuits are brilliant.
"Now with a year's experience I'd really love to move on to a Moto3 bike. They are a proper racer bike and that's where I think I'd really learn even more and there's a standard class, which would give me a year without any pressure."
His father Michael and the man who Scott calls his 'second dad', Stephen Ferguson, himself an accomplished former racer, also believe the standard Moto3 class, which is run within British championship's Motostar series, is the place to be in 2017.
Michael said: "We gained a lot of publicity this year for Team #109 and Scott's personal sponsors in the KTM class and it was a superb way to learn the British circuits, but the Moto3 class is where he needs to be; we just need to find the budget now."
Explaining what's required, Swann Senior added: "The standard Moto3 bikes are around £10,000; then there's the running costs, entries, spares and travel for the team. Even though it's mainly myself and Fergie looking after the bike.
"The GP class bikes is the next step after that, but you are looking at £30,000, which is scary money, but at least the standard class within the class gives the likes of Scott a chance to show what he's capable of in year one."
Having also made the opening selection for the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup back in October, alongside Monkstown schoolboy Aaron Wright, who went on to win this year's British KTM Cup series at his second attempt, Scott's progress and ambition further proves the strength in depth we have coming through from an very early age in Northern Ireland.