Grand Prix dream of teen go-karter

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A TEEN go-karting star says he would “love” to follow in the footsteps of Formula 1 hero Paul Di Resta.

Connor Toghill is working alongside the University of Sunderland’s Faculty of Applied Sciences to boost his physical strength and fitness.

Ever since celebrating his birthday at Warden Law racing track three years ago, the highly-regarded speedster, 13, has been hooked on racing.

From next year, he is hoping to compete at national level, inching him ever closer to his dream of becoming a Formula 1 driver.

Connor, who is leading the Tyne and Wear Karting Championships, said: “This training could be very important and the difference between me winning races and not doing so.

“A lot of the races I compete in can be very long and if I run out of energy and my muscles get tired then I will lose speed.”

Connor added: “My dream is to be a Formula 1 driver.

“Paul Di Resta is my favourite driver and I want to follow in his footsteps.

“He started racing at the same track as I did, he’s doing well in Formula 1 now and I’d love to be doing what he is doing.”

The Durham Johnston School student is working with Stuart Dixon, a sports and exercise science technician, to determine his strong points and to discover where improvements can be made.

Tests will include looking at the 13-year-old’s heart-rate during races, his maximum core strength, monitoring his blood pressure and looking at how to improve his endurance levels.

The university will also draw up an exercise programme for him to follow.

Stuart said: “The long term goal is to help Connor improve his fitness, so he has higher levels of endurance during races and his strength to help him improve his balance, reaction times and his car control.

“We’re going to give him advice on the type of training he can do that will be specific for his age and go kart driving, which in the long run should progress him up the ranks and help him achieve his goals.”

Twitter: @sunderlandecho