Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


11 Dec 2018

Automotive Student Karting Career…… So Far!

Oli x 670

Oli Wheddon is a current final year MEng Automotive Engineering student and we recently found out that Oli is a bit of a star in the karting world, so we asked him about his karting career to date:

“I've been racing since the age of 10, competing in various championships across the country, becoming Buckmore Park Iron Man Champion in 2013 and becoming National Endurance Champions in 2015, this resulted in me competing in the SWS World Finals in Le Mans and Paris in 2014 and 2016 respectively. My team qualified 4th in the world and finished 12th overall at one of Britain’s best ever SWS finishes. 

I've been racing for Loughborough University in the British Universities Karting Championship, (BUKC), since I started at Loughborough and in the year I was Captain and Chair we won the BUKC for the 5th time to become the most successful team in BUKC history! 

The race myself and my teammate, (Piers Prior, photographed here with Oli), competed in during the summer was the inaugural WTF1 GP at Buckmore park where myself and Piers have been competing as a team for a number of years, including at the Sodi W Series (SWS) World Finals. 

Oli and Piers x 300

The event was held by the YouTube group – WTF1, who are a famous group that follow Formula 1 all around the world.  For the hour-long endurance race, WTF1 managed to get Lando Norris, who will be racing for Mclaren in F1 next year and Kelvin Van Der Linde who races in the GT Series, competing in the event alongside more big names in karting.  Piers and I finished 2nd but beat Lando and Kelvin!  

There were a lot of top-quality drivers at the event from many different disciplines, so it was nice to be able to test ourselves against some of the best! We were happy overall with finishing second and I was especially pleased with the coverage of my battle with kart 27.  All coverage is good coverage and for it to be in an important race for the lead was nice!" 

This link will take you to the full video of the event, but the battle between Oli and the number 27 kart, which is well worth watching (more exciting than most F1 races as driving battles go!) starts at 1:12:30 and lasts until 1:16:00.

Oli continues:

Without making excuses their teams kart was quicker than ours, so my driving was just a matter of trying to hold him off as long as I could, not that I’m bitter... 

The competitive side of me was desperate for the win, but the realist knew I was fighting a losing battle!

I absolutely love racing and when it's shown live on the internet it’s nice to be able to show off a bit and let my friends and family watch from home. The BUKC that I'm racing in with Piers and Loughborough this year is shown live on Facebook and YouTube at every round, with the first occurring on February 13th at Buckmore park before trips to Three sisters in Wigan (5/03), Llandow in Wales (16/03) and Whilton Mill in Daventry (5/04) where we hope to regain our title after finishing 4th last year! (racing in number 4)”

We thank Oli for sharing this with us and we very much look forward to hearing more about Oli’s karting achievements in the future!