WHEN PASSION BECOMES A PROFESSION
It all started in 1993. My son was racing in cadet karts (an 8 to 12 year olds class) at Rye House. Lewis was a novice racer, having just turned 8. He was driving rather enthusiastically and ended up crashing into my son Jonathon, his kart ending up on top of Jonathon’s. I untangled them (no one hurt) and set them off round the track again. After the race I had a conversation with Tony (Lewis’ father) suggesting he might calm Lewis down a bit!
In these early days I was preparing Jonathon’s motors as a hobby.
Lewis was a quick learner and showed talent after only a very few races. In those early days John Button (Jenson’s dad) prepared Lewis’ motors. John’s motors were very good and frequently won karting British championships.
The following year, Martin Hines was looking for the best engine builder to build cadet motors for his son Luke.
Martin sent out one new cadet motor to each of the country’s top engine builders with the message that whoever produced the fastest motor would get the contract to prepare Luke's. It turned out that Martin had heard of me and sent me a motor as well.
The motor I prepared for Luke turned out to be the best one. This was a big turning point for my engine building career. Up until now I had been a senior manager in the construction industry, preparing the motors as a hobby. All of a sudden I had people asking me to prepare their motors on the basis that, if they were good enough for Martin Hines, they must be good.
This was a life changing moment: I left the construction industry to turn my hobby into a job.
Two years had now gone past since first meeting Lewis. By now he was winning races and championships. I thought it would be good for business if I could tempt Lewis to race on our motors. I had a word with Tony about this, but he was very committed to John Button. I asked if he would try some of our motors, and, after a lot of persuasion he took up the offer. Fortunately for me Tony and Lewis liked the motors and Lewis switched over to Force Motorsport engines. This was the start of a wonderful working relationship of 4 ½ years where we supplied Lewis with his power.
John of Force Motorsport with Andrew Delahunty (Yamaha Champion), Lewis (Cadet Champion), and Chris Rogers (previous cadet champion) at a kart champions’ dinner in 1995.
A young Lewis Hamilton -
Britsh Cadet Kart Champion on Force Motorsport engines
He was, by now, an amazing driver. A completely natural talent. Always a very clean driver and captivating to watch. He won several more championships, including British championships with us.
At the age of 14 Lewis moved onto European karting. The tracks abroad are much grippier than the UK. This placed different demands on the motors which European engine tuners were already on top of. It was at this point that Tony and I amicably agreed that it would be sensible to move Lewis onto European tuned motors. The rest is history!
John Davies (Managing Director of Force Motorsport Ltd)
IF IT'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR A YOUNG LEWIS HAMILTON
Daytona has been working with Force Motorsport for over twenty years. John's competence at building and re-building engines is second to none and it's why we trust him every time we overhaul and service our DMAX engines.
The Rotax Evo motor on the Dmax Kart that you race at Daytona is a precision instrument developing 25 horsepower fom 125cc. If you extrapolate that number (power output per cc) to a 2 litre car engine the 2 litre engine would be producing 400 Bhp which gives an indication as to why the Dmax kart is so quick.
All of that performance comes at a price. As a consequence the Dmax engines have to be rebuilt frequently and when that happens the engines are sent to John. We're committed to working with the best professionals in the business because it translates to the most authentic racing experiences for our customers.
So, each time you are here with us squeezing your right foot down and feeling the power and speed, spare a thought for John and Lewis and know that you are always in the best hands possible with Daytona Motorsport.