Q&A – Tom Canning, British motorsport champion
Q&A: Tom Canning, British motorsport championAfter helping to deliver the Aston-Martin racing team to victory in Round 7 of the British GT at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, 17-year-old racer Tom Canning continues his rapid rise in motorsport.
Focused, determined and at the top of his game, Tom represents all that we value at Roger Lewis. And that’s why we’re his proud sponsors – thrilled to have our logo emblazoned on the door of Tom’s Aston-Martin, which is just about visible as he whizzes past at full speed.
As well as being a brand partner, our managing director, Marc, also provides mentorship. Because as well as bags of talent, it takes a strong support network to nurture success. Both of which Tom has in bucketloads.
We recently sat down with Tom to talk all things motorsport, find out how he prepares for each race and what he likes best about being British (presumably not the weather!)
We recently sat down with Tom to talk all things motorsport, find out how he prepares for each race and what he likes best about being British (presumably not the weather!)Now, over to Tom…
CONGRATULATIONS TOM ON YOUR FIRST VICTORY OF THE SEASON AT SPA, YOU MUST BE DELIGHTED WITH HOW IT WENT?
- “Yes, I am over the moon. It was a great feeling to win at such an iconic circuit. It’s definitely something I have dreamed of for a long time. Winning the race in the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 was brilliant for myself and also Aston Martin, since it is the first ever win for that particular car.”
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO DRIVE AN ASTON MARTIN AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE? I’VE BEEN WANTING ONE FOR YEARS!
- “It is a great feeling. Also to be noticed by Aston Martin as someone with potential, being selected for their driver academy, just fills me with confidence going into every race. The car is honestly a pleasure to drive, I love every second of being behind the wheel.”
WITH THE RACING SCHEDULE AS INTENSE AS IT IS, WHAT DO YOU DO TO PREPARE YOURSELF BEFORE COMPETING IN SOMETHING NEW?
- “It is a hard balance, especially doing my A Levels alongside my racing. You certainly have to work for it. I will still find time to go on the simulator, keep on top of my fitness and watch onboard videos and look at data before heading into a race weekend. This is something the Aston Martin racing driver academy has been a big help with.”
ARE YOU SUPERSTITIOUS? ARE THERE ANY UNIQUE THINGS THAT YOU DO BEFORE EACH RACE?
- “Not really. I always listen to music before I get into the car but that is more just to switch off a little bit as tensions can be quite high.”
YOU’VE WORKED WITH OUR MD MARC AS A MENTOR – HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU FIND MENTORSHIP?
- “Very important. Marc has been a brilliant help to me with my fitness and mental preparation. Some of the areas that we cover are where a lot of drivers do not pay that much attention. In my opinion, mentoring is one of the ways that makes the difference between a good driver and a world class driver.”
WHAT MADE ROGER LEWIS THE PERFECT SPONSOR FOR YOU?
- “I have a strong connection with Aston Martin; being a part of the academy and racing in an Aston Martin car. I feel Roger Lewis and Aston Martin both have the same approach to what they do in their respectable areas. Bespoke, unique design orientated heavily around the customer’s needs, wants and values.”
YOU'RE HELPING FLY THE BRITISH FLAG WITHIN MOTORSPORT, ARE THERE ANY OTHER PEOPLE WHO INSPIRE YOU WITHIN SPORT?
- “I do have idols in the sport. I think an obvious role model would be Lewis Hamilton for what he has managed to achieve while never losing the motivation to keep pushing for more. I have a similar mindset in what I would like to achieve. I have my goals and if I manage to reach them I do not intend on stopping there!”
WHO DO YOU ADMIRE MOST IN BRITISH MOTOR RACING?
- “It would be hard to pick out an individual. One thing I do really admire in British motorsport is being part of a team. “You are in a team in all of motorsport but you can see in the British teams there is such an amazing feeling of teamwork and it drives everyone to succeed, not just for them, but for their friends and colleagues. I love the feeling of being ‘in it together’.”
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO BE ‘BRITISH’?
- “I am very proud to be British, especially as a racing driver. Motor racing has always had an incredible following in Britain, and the level of racing here is the highest in the world. It is a great feeling when you get on the podium and hear your national anthem being played.”
IF IN YOUR JOB YOU WERE SAT BEHIND A DESK RATHER THAN BEHIND THE WHEEL, WHAT WOULD YOUR OFFICE LOOK LIKE?
- “There would be lots of pictures of race cars, I would imagine!”
AND, FINALLY,Fish and Chips or a Sunday Roast?
“Of course, a Sunday roast!”
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