AN aspiring racer has taken a huge step towards competing in a global event.

Lewis Kent, 22, from Braintree, is a fourth generation racer, after his great grandfather, grandfather and father were all devoted karters.

Beginning his journey aged just seven, Lewis now races in the TCR UK Championship. He is a driver for Essex and Kent Motorsport, and a double TCR UK champion.

He said: “Me and my brother Bradley both race in the UK championship, where last season we finished first and fifth respectively.

“The next step up is the TCR European competition, but we want to race in the world series.”

Lewis’s aspirations have taken a big step forward now that he has been selected for Hyundai’s 2022 Customer Racing Junior Driver Program.

It is aimed at maturing and nurturing young and talented drivers to build their professional careers in motorsport, both on and off the circuit.

Lewis, who is one of only two TCR championship drivers selected world-wide, said: “We are getting full support from Hyundai Motorsport. “We can ring up whenever we want, use their data and have tests with their factory team.

“Bradley and I have been trying to get into the program for a couple of years, and now I have, we will keep trying for him. I would like to get to a level where I am a factory driver for world touring cars.”

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With the help and support of the Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing department, the drivers can progress to compete at the highest levels, running in the WTCR-FIA World Touring Car Cup or the premier class of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Hyundai Motorsport deputy team principal Julien Moncet said: “Supporting young drivers coming up through the ranks is a crucial part of the Customer Racing department.

“The Rally2 and TCR categories present the perfect opportunity for this, with drivers able to remain with the same Hyundai cars as they progress from national to international competition.

“All of the individuals we have selected for this year’s program have already shown they are very capable behind the wheel, with strings of successes already behind them.

“With the support we can offer them as drivers, I am certain they will be able to continue to progress towards their ultimate goal and forge a career in professional motorsport.”