Walker, who turned 20 last week, is emerging as the UK’s most promising and naturally talented young racing driver.
In only his second season of racing he has won more than half of the races in this year’s Scholarship class of the Formula Ford series.’Obviously its a really big step forward,’ said Walker.
‘It’s ideal at this stage to have a drive for next season and a team chasing you is great, especially ahead of the winter break when we have to work hard to find money.
I can concentrate on what I’m doing at the moment.’It’s a perfect stepping stone to Formula One.
Once you’ve secured a Formula 3 drive then F1 is not that far away.
For the moment the aim is F1 and this is the perfect way of getting that little bit closer.’Formula 3 is the traditional training ground for serious Grand Prix candidates, and drivers such as Britain’s Jenson Button have gone straight from there to Formula One.In 2003, its first F3 season, running two drivers for Renault F1’s driver development scheme, Hitech was victorious by its sixth race, and has also set pole positions and fastest laps to establish clear championship-winning potential.Walker has also shown the pace and maturity to race wheel-to-wheel with the senior class runners, and has finished in the overall top three on three occasions.
Only misfortune prevented him from becoming the first Scholarship runner to take an outright win earlier this year at Mondello Park – where he eventually finished second overall – and take the £10,000 prize on offer for beating the senior drivers.Unlike almost every other professional racing driver Walker did not serve a long apprenticeship in karting, signalling that he has rare innate ability.
Hitech boss David Hayle said: ‘James’s manager, Tim Sugden, said I should watch James because he’s a natural – and I think he’s right.
He’s had very little experience, yet he can race at the front in a year-old car against much more experienced drivers, and finish in the top three overall.
‘James also has his feet on the ground.
He’s intelligent, he’s calm, he listens and he does what he’s told.
With that attitude, as well as his speed, he’s got a very good chance of succeeding.
I’d love to have him in F3 with us next season.’Last year, in his debut season, Walker raced for Tim Sugden Motorsport in the Junior Formula Ford Championship, finishing fourth.
And up against the best Formula Ford drivers in the world, in the Formula Ford Festival and World Cup, he came home 11th in the final to underline his promise on an international stage.Walker drives in the penultimate round of the Forumla Fors series at Donington this weekend with the final round scheduled for Oulton Park in two weeks’ time.