Postgraduate student Josh Rayman is set to return to national level kart racing later this year as he takes part in the MSA British Superkart Championship.
Photograph: TLP Photography
The karts Rayman races use motocross-derived 250cc engines and race on “long” car circuits like Silverstone, Donington Park and Brands Hatch with a top speed of 130mph and an average lap speed in the range of 90-110mph.
Rayman wants to take his 2013 as a learning season, due to the big step up from short-circuit karting to long-circuit – the average lap speed is roughly doubled between the two from 50 to 100mph. Although Rayman has some experience in long circuit racing, he is set to compete against other racers who have more experience, but he remains hopeful that his team can achieve their aim of being competitive by the end of the year.
He started karting in 2000 when he was 10 years old. After a flirtation with car racing in 2006, he returned to karts a season later, as the financial difficulties of racing began to take its toll. Despite limited results, Rayman is immensely proud of his team’s effort at the MSA British Junior Championships in the 2004/05 season. He finished in a seeded 13th position, which came with a small prize and the right to use that number the following season.
Rayman competed against drivers that are now racing all over the world – the most notable name has to be Max Chilton, a young British driver who has landed a seat at Marussia F1 for the 2013 season.
Rayman has been able to strike a perfect balance between his sporting passion and academic progress. His karting took a back seat for 2008 – 2011 as he studied for his undergraduate degree in music and at the end of 2011 he competed in a couple of races for Lincolnshire based outfit Ramotak Racing, which resulted in a full time return to racing in 2012.
With regard to balancing his work, Rayman focuses purely on work associated with each commitment at a given time before switching to focus on another project – which works well with his current research and its less formal structure.
Josh also spends a lot of time maintaining his fitness and is currently training for the Silverstone Half-Marathon, and sees training as “a good way to break up what would otherwise be a lot of reading, computer work and generally not seeing the sun very much.”