On Friday 23rd May 40 motorsport enthusiasts from all over the UK took part in the race of their life as they battled against each other at Buckmore Park for the chance to win an incredible F3 test experience with Carlin complete with a dedicated team of mechanics, data engineer and race engineer - a prize worth over £10,000!
40 nervous drivers sat in the briefing room looking forward to what may lie ahead of them. As John Surtees entered the room there was a deafening silence as this well respected legend in motor racing addressed the group of hopefuls.
John Surtees added after:
"I am very pleased to be part of Lets Race to Reality and offer competitors the chance to experience something that is normally out of reach for even the most ardent motorsport fan. Not only will this be a once in the life time experience for the lucky winner, it will also raise money for the Henry Surtees Foundation and the great causes we are sponsoring."
After 12 heats and three very tense final races the chequered flag came down on the event and the five finalists through to the next round of the competition at Carlin were determined. First place went to Piers Prior from Essex, third place to Darren Pullen from Dartford and fourth place to Bradley Philpot from Banbury with brothers Jack and Andy O'Neil from Sussex coming in second and fifth place respectively.
All five of the drivers will now be put through their paces at Carlin's headquarters in Surrey allowing them a real glimpse inside the world of a professional racing driver. All finalists will take part in various exercises including a simulator session with a Carlin race engineer, before taking part in an interview process with racing industry professionals.
Piers Prior, commented: "The second round of Lets Race 2 Reality was a really good day out. The short and frantic race format made for some great exciting racing. The standard of driving was also incredibly high, especially considering a large proportion of the drivers came from sim racing, some never having raced karts before. I'm glad I managed to win as it gives me an advantage into the next round at Carlin, which I am looking forward to. It is going to be very competitive at the last round, but I am confident in my ability which will help me going forward."
Speaking on behalf of himself and his brother, Jack O'Neil commented: "We are both thrilled to be going through to the next stage of the competition. Although we have been karting for some time, this means so much to us especially as we are going through to the next stage as brothers. We know that we are up against some amazing drivers now in round three so we need to pull out all the stops and let our passion for motorsport and determination for winning come across."
Darren Pullen who finished third on the podium added: "I am thrilled to be going through to the next stage of the competition. Although I have been karting for some time now, this means so much to me, I even took part in eight qualifying sessions at Lets Race to make sure I set my best lap time. Although the simulator is very different in terms of controlling the car it really helped set me up for a great days racing at Buckmore. I am up against some amazing drivers now in round three so I need to pull out all the stops and let my passion for motorsport and determination for winning come across."
Bradely Philpot concluded: "The Lets Race to Reality 2014 competition has been a fantastic experience so far. I was happy to have led Round 1 for almost two months before being narrowly beaten into second place right at the end. The Lets Race simulators are incredibly realistic and I had a lot of fun setting my laptime. In Round 2 at Buckmore Park I enjoyed a really strong day, winning two races and coming third in the other - despite giving away quite a few kilos to my main rivals!For the final round I plan to be as prepared as possible and I fully intend to become the inaugural Lets Race to Reality champion. I am fully aware that the other four drivers are all extremely talented - so I will have to perform flawlessly to beat them. However, I'm confident that I will achieve my goal."