A YOUNG racing driver from a village near Basingstoke is turning heads in the national motorsport arena after taking two podium finishes and a pole position at Silverstone last season.

Joseph Dalgarno, 20, of Monk Sherborne, is striving to make a career in the world of motorsport and getting ready to compete in his fifth season of the MG Trophy Championship.

Joseph started his racing career in 2015 when his family bought an old MG hatchback for the farm.

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“Ever since I was a child, I have always dreamed of being a professional racing driver and specifically a BTCC (British Touring Car Championship) driver,” Joseph said.

“Watching BTCC on the TV makes me extremely intrigued and motivated which helps me push on in my motorsport career.

“So when I got the MG sedan, I had a bit of fun with that on the farm. Then I participated in the Castle Combe arrive and drive championship, where I won the novice of the year in my first season.”

Basingstoke Gazette: Joseph DalgarnoJoseph Dalgarno

In 2017, Joseph joined the Basingstoke Motor Club to pursue a professional career in racing.

He came home with a first-place trophy in his second autotest, before competing in a couple of auto-solos in which he won the young drivers award.

In 2018, he joined the high-profile MG Trophy Championship. After a successful debut season in class C, he progressed into Class B, a race he described as the biggest challenge in his career.

“I have worked harder than ever before,” Joseph said.

“I have been doing simulator days at iZone at Silverstone, which helps expand my knowledge and gives me the ability to stay cool under pressure. I also plan to do a one-to-one session before each round this season. I have also spent a lot of time working on my mindset and fitness to ensure I’m up for the challenge.”

In September 2020, Joseph became one of the 23 people in the UK to be part of the Motorsport UK Academy, a programme aimed at giving young drivers a helping hand in making a successful career.

Basingstoke Gazette: Joseph Dalgarno's new car getting readyJoseph Dalgarno's new car getting ready

However, Joseph had an engine blow-up during the penultimate race weekend of the last season before receiving a contact during the last weekend.

Although his car had to be written off, Joseph came off the season with two podium finishes and a pole position at Silverstone.

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He is getting a new car ready now – fully kitted with full roll cage and bucket seat, full custom exhaust, custom cold air intake, front strut brace, Gaz Gold coil-overs, upgraded HT leads and semi-slick tyres.

The first race of the new season is on March 20.

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Kimberley Barber