Thompson trying new formula

After spending a good part of this year in Italy, honing his kart racing skills, Red Deer’s Parker Thompson is eyeing the big step to formula racing cars.

After spending a good part of this year in Italy, honing his kart racing skills, Red Deer’s Parker Thompson is eyeing the big step to formula racing cars.

The 15-year-old said there isn’t much left to learn at the kart level, which means it is time to start training on the real thing.

“Next year is kind of a leap year,” said Thompson. “I’m pretty young for the formula car, but I’m already at the point in karts where we’re at the top and there’s nothing else to prove.

“It’s time to make the next step.” He is back in Red Deer for a few days, before heading out to the U.S. for more business.

He was in Italy until July, when the European kart season winds down, when he moved in with Buddy Rice, an IndyCar racer, in California as part of his driving education.

“In my down time instead of coming home and relaxing like a normal 15-year-old should after a big adventure like that, I went down to live with Buddy Rice,” said Thompson.

“We’re training in karts and preparing ourselves for formula cars next year.”

His year living in Italy and racing around Europe included eight top five finishes, four podium finishes, five Superpole sessions (top drivers of a race), two Superpole wins and a final win.

“The whole purpose with racing all over the world is to eventually move into formula cars,” said Thompson. “We’re doing that next year.”

It will be a change of pace for Thompson as he won’t be racing next year, instead the focus will be on development, preparation, testing, training and learning formula car racing.

“Instead of rushing through it and missteps, we really want to take time to develop into it,” said Thompson. “You write off a go-kart when you get in an accident and it’s expensive, especially in Italy, but you write off a formula car and it can really put a dent in your budget.”

Thompson is looking for partnerships going forward to support this expensive driving habit.

This year for Thompson has been about proving himself as a Canadian and North American driver in a much more competitive place for the sport.

Placing in the top five consistently was a good step for the young driver’s career.

Though he hasn’t driven a formula car yet, he is excited to take the wheel in the new year.

“It’s going to be a great experience,” said Thompson. “Having Buddy Rice and being in his driver program, his connections are huge within formula car racing.

“I think you could see me moving up the formula ranks pretty quick, hopefully in the next few seasons.”

Just Posted

Gasoline Alley Harley Davidson hosts 7th annual Toy Run

Bikers jumped on their motorcycles this weekend to help make Christmas better… Continue reading

Innisfail RCMP locate drugs during traffic stop

A Rocky Mountain House man is facing charges after Innisfail RCMP located… Continue reading

Expert says acquittal of Alberta parents in boy’s death unlikely to set precedent

CALGARY — A law professor says the acquittal of an Alberta couple… Continue reading

Take Back the Night rally marches through downtown Red Deer

Dozens marched through the city’s downtown chanting, “Red Deer unite, take back… Continue reading

Houston area sees relief, rescues after Imelda leaves 4 dead

HOUSTON — Emergency workers used boats Friday to rescue about 60 residents… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Tuesday Bower Place Community Association Seniors Card and Coffee party at 1:30… Continue reading

Missing hiker found safe after spending night on North Vancouver mountain

VANCOUVER — Rescue crews have found a missing female hiker safe after… Continue reading

Trudeau was only one in dark makeup at 2001 party but nobody took offence: attendee

VANCOUVER — A man who attended an “Arabian Nights” gala held by… Continue reading

McKenna defends Canada’s climate credibility amid Trudeau controversy

OTTAWA — Liberal cabinet minister Catherine McKenna says Canada still has credibility… Continue reading

Blue Jays rookie Bo Bichette trying to “be smart” with head injury

NEW YORK — Blue Jays rookie shortstop Bo Bichette says he’s feeling… Continue reading

Climate activists step up protests in Britain and France

PARIS — Environmental activists in Britain and France stepped up campaigns Saturday… Continue reading

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — A hiker has been found dead in Banff… Continue reading

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

OTTAWA — Jagmeet Singh and Elizabeth May are continuing on the campaign… Continue reading

Most Read