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Is James the next Jenson Button?

JENSON Button may not be the only successful race car driver out of Frome, as a 17-year-old Formula Ford driver is set to finish his first successful season.

James Alexander Webster, or Jaws as he is known to his family, will wrap up his first Formula Ford championship on Saturday 6th of October.

He forms part of a race team that includes his father and chief mechanic, Malcolm Webster, who runs Vallis Auto and MOT Centre on the Vallis Trading Estate in Frome.

James competes as part of the Castle Combe Formula Ford championship. His car can reach a top speed of 120mph, which he proved he could handle when he flew off the a wet track in his latest race in August, only to recover, keep the engine running and then overtake three places before he finished the race. This is all before James has passed his driving test.

His dad Malcolm said that although it is nerve-racking to watch James race, he hopes he might have what it takes to follow in the footsteps of the Frome Flyer.

Malcolm said, “Four years ago, James joined Clay Pigeon Kart Club, based in Dorchester, the same as Jenson Button.

“Last year, James won the National Kart Racing Association championship, beating opponents from all across the country at the Clay Pigeon race track.

“To reward him for his efforts, I took him for a track day at Silverstone in October last year. He enjoyed it and passed his racing driving test on the same day.

“We sold up James’ old kart and an old Volkswagen Golf to pay for his Formula Ford car, which he raced for the first time this season.

“He’s done well. Unfortunately we did not have the car for the first few races of the season, which meant he has taken a hit on his scores. However, it looks as if he’s going to finish up mid-table, which is excellent considering how much ground he had to make up!

“He could be the next Jenson Button. He’s definitely got the gift of the gab and is one of those that does well at whatever he turns his hand to.

“We’ll concentrate on the next race and then get ready for the new race season.”

If you are interested in sponsoring the race team then contact Malcolm at Vallis Auto and MOT Centre on 01373 473349.

Vallis Auto Centre is an independent, family run auto repair centre and has been established for over ten years employing qualified technicians with a combined experience of over 65 years.

Above: James with his dad Malcolm and the Formula Ford racing car