A SPEEDY youngster from Blaenavon is following in the footsteps of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

Jez Williams, a pupil at Ysgol-Gyfun Gwynllyw, has been racing karts competitively for two years.

And now the 12-year-old is preparing to enter the British Karting Championship, which begins next month.

“He’s always liked speed,” said dad Chris Williams. “He started off on two wheels. His hero is Marc Marquez, the MotoGP rider.

“I used to do motocross myself, but there’s so many accidents there. I didn’t want him to go through that.”

In 2017 Jez started competing at club level with a cadet kart, racing the same tracks that Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button started on.

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12-year-old Jez Williams (Number 68) leading a race. Picture: Chris Middleton.

Now he has moved up into an adult-size kart with an engine restriction - which can reach speeds of more than 70mph.

Mr Williams said: “He is racing against the best racers in Britain.

“These kids are all a couple of years older than Jez and have been racing since they were seven or eight years old.


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“By the end of the year we would have spent about £25,000, this is a quarter to what other boys in the same race are spending.

“They money they spend is unbelievable but we are still managing to hold our own.

“Last year he was leading both championships he had entered until the last races of the season. He finished runner-up in both.”

Mr Williams praised Jez’s school, as he regularly has to miss Fridays.

“The school are very supportive,” he said.

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Ysgol-Gyfun Gwynllyw pupil Jez Williams (Number 68) is set to take place in this year's British Championships. Picture: Chris Williams.

“They give him all the work that he is missing when we are testing, and he does it in the van on the way to the track. You often see him in between races doing his work in the pits.”

Last year, out of 21 race weekends, Jez had 33 race wins, five second places and two thirds.

“Realistically, we think top three is achievable this year,” said Mr Williams.

"He wants to be a professional racing driver. We are realistic - there is pretty much zero chance of becoming a Formula One driver, but there are so many other forms of racing."