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'I caught the bug': Meet the teenage motorsport star following in family tyre tracks

 

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Next generation: Tom Edgar is the third member of his family to take to the race track

Next generation: Tom Edgar is the third member of his family to take to the race track

Next generation: Tom Edgar is the third member of his family to take to the race track

He is the third generation of a renowned Northern Ireland racing family and now Tom Edgar is preparing to begin his cross-channel career in the UK Ginetta Junior Championship, a series which first brought Andrew Watson and Daniel Harper to prominence.

Still just 16, Tom is the son of two-time former Irish Formula Opel champion and multiple Formula Ford winner Michael Edgar, whose father was also a formidable competitor in Irish Formula Ford racing.

"I've been around cars all my life and I really caught the bug from my dad," said Tom, who attends Methodist College where another rising Ulster racing star, Jack Young, is also a student.

He is graduating to cars after starring in kart racing, where he was a triple champion, and has elected to join the Ginetta series, which benefits from being one of the televised events which supports the British Touring Car Championship.

Tom had originally planned to begin his new career back in April but everything had to be put on hold following the coronavirus outbreak. Now it is scheduled to get under way as part of the first Touring Car meeting at Donington on August 1.

And Tom has already shown he could be set to follow in the footsteps of race winners Watson and Harper by emerging at the top of the time sheets during two days of pre-season testing at Silverstone despite having been forced to make a late switch of teams.

He had signed up to race with fellow Ulsterman Wayne Douglas' Corby-based team, but when Douglas pulled out of the junior series, Edgar was left without a drive.

Fortunately, Total Control Racing still had a seat available and Tom has made the switch seamlessly, going on to set the fastest time in all four test sessions conducted at Silverstone last weekend.

Meanwhile, Harper, who went on from Ginettas to become British Porsche Carrera Cup champion, is hoping for better fortune with the BMW Junior Team at the Nurburgring in Germany this weekend with two four-hour races scheduled.

In the first round of the Nurburgring Endurance Series, team-mate Max Hesse crashed their BMW240i Racing early in the race before Harper or Neil Verhagen had an opportunity to take part.

Belfast Telegraph