BRSCC Chats With… Nathanael Hodgkiss
Welcome to our series of interviews here on the BRSCC website called “BRSCC Chats With…”, where we sit down with some of the personalities from the paddock and gain a little insight into who they are, what makes them tick and what they love most about racing with us and motorsport in general. While we wait for track action to begin again, this is a great chance to keep us all occupied and entertained until that time!
Our second interview is with Fiesta Junior racer Nathanael Hodgkiss, who is set to contest his third season in the championship with the aim of moving forwards towards tin-top stardom. Here’s a chance to take a peek into his karting experience as well as how he feels about FJC and his future ambitions!
What was your earliest memory of motorsport?
My earliest memory in motorsport is driving around a series of cones Dad had set out on a patch on concrete in my first kart, just to get used to it. On this day I was described as ‘dangerously slow’ which still sticks with me and I think is a small incentive to constantly try and go quicker!
Who or what inspired you to get interested?
Watching Formula 1 back in the early 2010’s was probably what started the interest, even if it was just on in the background. This has stuck with me and I am now, like many others, an avid fan of the sport.
Who is your motorsport hero?
How would you describe your first experience of taking part in motorsport?
Nerve-racking. The idea of racing against other people myself was exciting and at the same time, you have to try and remain calm throughout.
What memories do you have of your first race weekend?
It was a wet kart race at a track near Wales. I think I’d qualified roughly 5th, so around mid-pack. Since it was wet there was an accident in front taking out three drivers, which left me in a race on my own (I’ll admit I wasn’t able to catch first at this point). Even so, I was still happy to come home in second without crashing in the first race, to be honest.
What do you love most about what you do in motorsport?
The atmosphere of being a racing driver. The adrenaline rush in the car, or looking through data and trying to find the final elusive tenth, or even having lunch after an eventful first race. The best bit, in my opinion, is when all the hard work pays off and you get that pole or victory. Nothing compares to that feeling in my opinion.
How can someone get involved as a driver within the BRSCC?
We got involved by contacting a team, namely Race Car Consultants, tested the car and discussed the practicalities of a race season and then we organised to go to the first round in tandem with the team at the BRSCC.
Which driver would you love to be a teammate to and why?
Fernando Alonso – I feel he would be able to get the most out of the car straight away and therefore a great benchmark, also I think he is quite fun as a person but a fierce rival as well. We also share a birthday!
If you could drive any race car and circuit combo in the world, what would it be and why?
The Ferrari SF-90 (their 2019 F1 car) around Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. I think the speed of this experience and the flowing nature of the track would just be phenomenal.
What would you class as your proudest achievement in motorsport?
My proudest moment would have to be in Fiesta Juniors in 2019 at Snetterton where I achieved my first win in the championship, following it up with a double later on in the day. It was just amazing to experience winning in car racing and there were also some hard-fought battles which were very rewarding too.
What do you enjoy most about racing in your BRSCC championship?
The supportive atmosphere coupled with competitive racing. Fiesta Juniors is great groundwork for a beginner and the fact that it doubles as a competitive championship is something that’s hard to find.
Describe your driving style in three words.
Calculated, sharp, decisive.
What are your plans for the 2020 season and beyond?
As much racing now as possible, I’m hoping to do the FJC in however many rounds are available now. As for future goals, we also have some testing with JHR in a British F4 planned as well.
What is your ultimate motorsport ambition/ goal?
The BTCC is always an ambition. It would be amazing to get there, as a lot of my idols are in that series.
Who has been the one person that has influenced your motorsport career the most and why?
My dad – he has given me the opportunity to enter racing, and a continued passion always drives me. His interest and support is inspiring.
Who is your best friend in motorsport?
I can’t pick just one! I’d have to say Magnus Kriklywi, Josh Hislop and David Ellesley.
How did you feel when you won your first race?
Just ecstatic, I can’t find another feeling that gives such a rush of adrenaline, especially since all the hard work paid off.
What is your favourite story or anecdote from your time in motorsport?
I think it was the Saturday of a race weekend in karting and the track was slightly greasy from the previous day. I turned up with a nice new suit which was from my team at the time (it was white). I went out for the first session and went to actually overtake my brother, as he was in a slower class being younger, but the move was slightly overambitious and I went straight into a puddle, dirtying everything, including the suit. It was no longer white!
Many thanks to Nathanael for the interview and providing us with some great insight in the process! If you fancy tackling these questions, whether you’re a driver, marshal, volunteer, coordinator, team owner or official, then e-mail Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be featured in our next interview!