Wera Tools British Kart Championships Senior X30 competitor Marcus Littlewood has been named Motorsport UK Academy 2023 Young Driver of the Year, having impressed against tough competition at the iZone Driver Performance shootout finale last Tuesday (4 July).
Each year, standout second-year Motorsport UK Academy Enhanced DiSE students are shortlisted for the award, which recognises sporting excellence as well as academic performance, attainment, effort and overall engagement.
Five drivers made the cut in 2023, but with Daryl DeLeon Taylor unable to attend, it came down to George Davis, Jack Meakin, Will Orton and eventual winner Littlewood.
The shootout involved three simulator assessments featuring a variety of tests, including eye tracking analysis in TCR cars at Brands Hatch, race runs in British F4 machinery, and taking on a circuit unknown to all drivers while engaging in distraction tasks such as counting backwards from 100 in four seconds.
There was also a fitness assessment including a VO2 max test and upper-body muscular endurance and reaction testing on a ‘cardio wall’, which is commonly used for driver training. Each driver then presented a piece on what they’ve gained from their time on the Motorsport UK Academy Enhanced DiSE programme, and how they’ll use what they learned for their future motorsport career.
Littlewood delivered an “outstanding performance on the day” according to Adam Gould, Motorsport UK Academy Coach and Elite Sport Assessor at Loughborough College, who made up part of the judging panel.
Gould continued: “His preparation, effort and work ethic shone through in all the assessments, and he thoroughly deserves to be named Young Driver of the Year. I look forward to following his career and seeing what he achieves next!”
The full judging panel consisted of iZone’s Neil Riddiford, Bart Horsten and Bernart Rafols for the simulator tasks and Keven Hoyes for fitness. The presentation panel was made up of Gould, motorsport commentator and presenter Chris McCarthy, and Becky Maidment, Competitors Pathway Coordinator at Motorsport UK.
The panel highlighted the finalists’ “incredibly professional conduct,” and the presentations were a particular strong point, with each driver identifying how they have genuinely implemented the DiSE course into their race preparation and career planning.
Motorsport UK would like to thank the entire iZone Driver Performance team and Chris McCarthy for their extensive time and support with the award.
Marcus Littlewood, 2023 Motorsport UK Academy Young Driver of the Year:
“I feel extremely happy and honoured to win and I cannot thank Motorsport UK enough for this award. We were tested in all areas and it was extremely close. All of us had a strong chance of winning after the incredible efforts we put in. I would like to say a huge well done to everyone for a great shootout!”
Littlewood, who is currently fifth in the Senior X30 championship standings, will now receive a bespoke driver development programme with Motorsport UK Academy partner iZone, and will be awarded the official Trophy at the Motorsport UK Night of Champions in January 2024.