Malmesbury’ s rising racing driver Louis Harvey had a number of dreams come true last weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed including the opportunity to chat about kart racing and Formula One with championship contender Valtteri Bottas.
“He was really great” said Louis “He started in karting with his dad just like me and made it to F1. He encouraged me to never give up as anything is possible, he is now following my progress on Instagram and sent me a really nice message.”
Louis and his kart were on display at the Wera Tools stand who became one of his sponsors after an introduction earlier this year by another sponsor Ideal Displays of Swindon. Ideal Displays have supported the young driver almost since he started karting. The chain of events that then unfolded at Goodwood were out of this world for Louis who turns thirteen this week.
Unknown to Louis another sponsor and mentor David Mitchell of dna-rB Ltd had a few surprises lined up for him at Goodwood Festival of Speed. This started with an initial visit to the Mercedes F1 pits for a look around the car and garage. Here Louis and his sister Lilli both got to hold one of Lewis Hamilton’s F1 steering wheels and were told all about the controls before being given a guided tour of the garage and an F1 car. But this was only the beginning of a string of exciting events.
Saturday morning Louis and his family were made welcome in the Mercedes VIP hospitality area where they all got to meet and chat with Valtteri Bottas. This was followed by the Mercedes Silver Arrows guided tour which went over all the decades of Mercedes involvement in all aspects of motor racing.
Later that day in the F1 pits area Louis was invited into a number of the garages including McLaren, Renault and Redbull where he was lucky enough to meet former F1 and Formula E driver Nick Heidfeld plus Red Bull young driver Pierre Gasily for pictures and autographs, and to sit in the F1 cars of Jenson Button and the iconic Ayrton Senna. Back on the Wera Tools stand later in the day he was introduced to Luke Reade who drives the Wera Tools Renault Clio in the Renault Clio cup which supports the British Touring Car series.
“Luke and his family were really nice people, Luke talked to me about racing and touring cars and let me sit in his race car and we had pictures taken” said Louis
Thinking his day couldn’t get any better his phone lit up whilst he was having his tea at the campsite with a message that Valtteri Bottas had started following him on Instagram which was directly followed with the personal message of encouragement to the youngster.
His dad Chris said “This is just unreal, I doubt there are many kids in karting that have an F1 driver following their progress, Valtteri was great with Louis and you could tell he was passionate about giving him real encouragement to keep on pushing. His comment that anything is impossible was a real boost for the whole family, Louis has had a few disappointing rounds in this year’s SuperOne series through no fault of his own so this really helps”.
Sunday and another dna-rB surprise came in a return visit to the Mercedes hospitality for morning tea and the opportunity to meet the current Formula one champion Nico Rosberg.
“Nico was great, he stopped for a short chat even though he was very busy and commented on my race suit and that I had done well to gather sponsorship” said Louis.
But this wasn’t the end of the young driver rubbing shoulders with the stars as later on the day he was wandering past the Renault F1 garage when lots of people started shouting “Robert” Louis and his family wandered over and tried to see over the crowd. As the security pushed people back Louis slipped through a gap and came face to face with former F1 driver Robert Kubica who it is rumoured maybe making a return to the sport. Kubica noticed Louis in his race suit and happily stood for a photo and signed an autograph. Kubica later shared Louis’s picture on his own Facebook page to Louis’s delight.
Robert Kubica also took a shine to Louis in his racesuit
Wandering further up through the paddock Louis found the Subaru of 3 times British rally champion, James Bond Film stunt driver and the fastest man around the isle of man on four wheels Mark Higgins. Louis initially met Mark Higgins when he sold his Honda Cadet kart to him last year. Mark promised to watch Louis’s progress and has become a personal friend of the family.
Louis said “It’s always good to catch up with Mark and his family at Karting they are really nice people and I get on really well with them all.”
Louis is hoping that his exposure with the stars of motorsport will encourage additional sponsorship as he starts to prepare financially for the 2018 SuperOne series.
Maybe one day…
“What happened this weekend to Louis and the whole family will stay with us for ever. These were once in a lifetime opportunities and we are eternally grateful to the sponsors who made this happen and have given us some fantastic memories”. Said dad Chris
Anyone wanting more information on how to sponsor or support Louis as he furthers his racing career should contact firstname.lastname@example.org