Not every racing car driver learns how to drive on the family sit on mower; but for International Championship Rallycross driver Dan Rooke that's how it all began.
With a father who finished 3rd in the 1997 National Tarmac Rally Championship, the year Dan was born, it's little wonder that from a young age Dan was enthralled with racing cars. Starting on the family mower at age 4, Dan quickly progressed to competing on go-carts and began to learn race-craft. It was in 2010 that Dan upgraded to cars, competing against adults in off-road racing, and began to win a slew of accolades. Aged 15, he became the youngest ever person to win the Motor Sports Association (MSA) National British Autocross Championship and retains the title to this day.
Dan's meteoric success up to this point motivated him to see how far he could go. At age 17 while balancing his studies with a move into Rally Cross, he won the Supernational British Rallycross Championship and in 2016 became the youngest ever British Supercar Rallycross Champion at age 19 beating a record that had stood since 1989. It was a defining moment for Dan - racing is what he wanted for his life.
On track to become an International Champion
When the International RX2 Championships were announced Dan initially thought it would be fun to take part just to see what it's like and what's involved. The RX2 series runs alongside the World Championships and it is a platform for young talent to show off their driving to the World teams. A big step up from the Nationals, this Championship require competitors to travel round the globe for the race series. Dan had to adapt to the travel, a new left-hand drive car and a new support crew. Up till now Dan's father had been his trusty crew, a friendly and comforting presence, now he had to rely on a sleek, high-performance, professional crew totally focused on ensuring that Dan and the car could perform at peak performance.
Dan finished second place in round one and was joint Championship leader going in to round two, Dan was in second place and joint leader going into round two. Suddenly he was one of the pace-setters and it all got serious. As the series progressed Dan has been one of the front runners, and recently won the fourth round in Sweden. He is the only driver to have been on the podium in all four races. He is the only British driver to win in this series and has a chance to be the first Brit to win this International Championship.
"It’s just sunk in that I have won a round of an international championship and it really keeps my confidence sky high. I feel like the championship could go down to the wire now, I've had my taste of victory and I'm hungry for more. I really want to close the gap to the lead as much as possible in the next race in Canada.”
How FOLK2FOLK has helped
In May this year, Dan's parents took out a loan of £25,000 from FOLK2FOLK, secured against their successful garage business in Devon, to support their son's racing career. Though Dan has sponsorship from four local businesses, the sponsorship funds tend to come through in installments throughout the year and Dan requires money upfront to cover the cost of entry to all seven races in the 2017 International Rallycross Championship race series. The FOLK2FOLK loan bridged this gap by providing immediate funds.
How you can help
Dan has enough sponsorship for 5 out of the 7 races in the 2017 series but still faces a shortfall in budget if he is to complete the season and fight for the International Champion title. If you would like to know more or help Dan along in his promising career by sponsoring him, you can contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org