BECOMING A TEEN RACING DRIVER AGAINST ALL ODDS
“An inspiration to any kids told to lower their expectations in life” – Terence Dove
Rising motorsport star Damani Marcano, had one dream from the age of 14 – to be a professional racing driver. Many adults told him to “be realistic” as if he was just daydreaming. Within motorsport, normally a pursuit only for the wealthy, he was deterred further, being told “you’re not rich… you’ll never be a pro racing driver.” Damani is now well on his way to proving them all wrong having made his debut in a 150mph race car by the age of 16 in the 2015 Volkswagen Racing Cup. At 17, he is a £100,000 per year brand tipped to one-day race in the British Touring Car Championships and beyond.
Having caught the racing bug in the rental karts of a local kart track, a 14-year-old Damani went on to competitive racing in a Motor Sports Association regulated kart championship. He finished his debut season with a championship podium of 3rd overall. Despite his undeniable raw talent, he was still met with the warning – “you’re not rich, you need serious cash to get started as a pro in motorsport, you’ll never be a pro racing driver”.
To get started in motorsport costs can run as high as a hundred thousand pounds per year to be competitive just in a national go-karting championship, with the parents of young drivers putting up this money themselves. This can continue for years before any sponsorship becomes available.
“Racing has reached the point where it is pricing the young driver, no matter his talent, out of the game”
As your average teenager it was this financial hurdle that stood in Damani’s way. This is when he turned to social media, building his brand and audience on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. From this Damani built his profile acting as a pundit for live commentary of a sports and touring car series, a presenter for a track guide on Motors TV and was the subject of a feature on Sky Sports.
It wasn’t long before he was noticed by Tony Gilham, head of BTCC outfit Team-HARD. Damani was signed to Team-HARD. at the age of 15 with Gilham part funding Damani’s debut in the Volkswagen Racing Cup at 16 – making Damani the youngest driver in that series.
Team-HARD. racing driver Damani Marcano comments: “When people said that because I wasn’t rich I would never race professionally it just made me want to prove them wrong. I’ve had to show my potential on track and be a great ambassador for my brand so that other brands will see what a great ambassador I can be for them. Now I feel like I’m well on my way to being a pro which, these days for most drivers, is more about having enough in sponsorship to pay for your racing and make a living. I love every minute of what I do and I’m determined to show other young people that there are ways to achieve your dreams, even when older people tell you that it can’t be done.”
In the opening races of this year Damani has remained in the top-10 and improved on his best top-10 result from last year with 8th in a grid of nearly 30 cars. He is still the youngest driver on the grid and the only one who hasn’t even driven a car on the road. He hopes to take another step forward in his results on track through this season and close the final gap in his funding to make the next step in his already impressive racing career.
To interview Damani or for more information & photography please do get in touch.
Watch the 1 minute version of this story here: https://youtu.be/YeALkHdWEFE
Issued on behalf of Damani Marcano by In The Bag PR.
For further information, please contact Pippa Gibb on 07970 441 046 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Damani was spotted by Team-HARD. Racing in 2014 and despite being too young to hold a driving license and never having raced a car before he went on to set records in 2015. Aged 16, he became the youngest driver to finish in the points in the first round of a Milltek Sport Volkswagen Racing Cup season. He ended the year in the top-7 on pace, challenging experienced adult drivers who had spent the season leading the championship. As a guest driver in the VAG Trophy, Damani also became the youngest driver to qualify on the front row and obtain fastest lap in a race.
For more background on Damani, please see:damanimarcano.com/about