MOTORSPORT: POLE position, fastest lap, and a class win all added up to a successful weekend for Southam-based racing driver Alex Sedgwick.
The 18-year-old travelled more than 1000 miles to take part in the first running of the 12 hour Imola endurance race for Team Cooksport as part of the FIA 24 Hour Series.
Sedgwick, the youngest driver of Team Cooksport, raced the Renaultsport Clio endurance car with two of the drivers he last raced with in Dubai where they finished second.
Following Dubai, the team – made of Sedgwick, Josh Cook, and Ollie Cook – set a target of going one-step better in Imola to reach the top step of the podium.
With A Level studies taking priority, Imola presented Sedgwick with his first chance to get back in the car since January.
However he needed little time to adapt to racing again as he finished his first 80 minute stint with a two-lap lead during the first part of the sprint race on Friday.
The remainder of the sprint race went without incident as Alex watched from the pit wall as his team finished the race in first place in their class.
The second part of the race started on Saturday morning, and Josh Cook started the race for Team Cooksport before handing over to the Southam racer.
Sedgwick completed a two-hour long stint before pitting and hand the car over again.
The lead built up from the first part of the race was maintained all the way to the chequered flag as Team Cooksport crossed the line in first place in their class to win the inaugural 12H of Imola.
A delighted Sedgwick said he immediately felt at home despite not racing for many months due to his school commitments.
He said: “Winning the 12H of Imola is a dream come true.
“After finishing second in Dubai, the aim was to go for the win and we did it.
“This win is for the whole team, who did a fantastic job.
“I now can’t wait for the next race as we are only three points away from the championship lead with one race to go.”
The trip proved to be a reflective one too for the youngster as he took to the track which infamously claimed the life of legendary racing driver Ayrton Senna.
Sedgwick said: “The Imola circuit is unbelievable.
“It is in a park in the centre of the town and the track flows up and down around the outside of the park past houses and over local roads.
“It is definitely the best circuit I have driven.
“It was also a little sad driving the track, as this is the circuit that the great Ayrton Senna crashed at in 1994.
“He has had such a lasting effect on the track that as you drive around there are still flags and messages attached to the catch fence where he lost his life.”
Picture credit: LJB Snaps.