A 22-year-old former karting champion, David Sutton, is to get his big break in motorsport thanks to victory in Team HARD’s Scholarship contest to win a prize drive in the 2013 APR Volkswagen Racing Cup.

Rotherham-based David has won the use of one of Team HARD’s fleet of Golf GTIs and will begin his saloon-racing career in the championship’s opening rounds early next month.

Sutton beat off 120 hopefuls in the contest, which was judged by 2007 Volkswagen Racing Cup Champion turned BTCC racer Tony Gilham. “David excelled in every area – fitness, media handling and, of course, on the track,” said Tony. “The judges were hugely impressed by his attitude and drive as well as his speed. He is the complete package and we have high hopes that he will go all the way.”

Sutton last raced in 2009 in a Formula Renault single-seater, but was driven away from the sport through lack of funds. “I started competing in karts when I was seven,” said David, “and won a lot of races. After winning the 2006 British Junior Rotax Championship I switched to single-seaters for a season but the budget ran out, and I thought that was the end of my career.

“I saw the Team HARD competition and entered it without much in the way of expectation, but then I made the final 10 and I began to think that I could actually win it. Then I was selected for the top three and was called to the Team HARD factory for the prize-giving ceremony, where I heard that I had won. I couldn’t believe it. This is a life-changing experience and I will work harder than ever to repay the trust placed in me.”

David says he hopes to do as well as possible as he learns the ropes this season, with a view to finding backing for more racing in 2014 and his ultimate goal, a seat in a British touring car. His championship debut will come on Easter Monday, 1 April, at Oulton Park in Cheshire.

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