CONNOLLY resident Jake Burton is chasing his motor racing dream right around the country.
As the winner of the Aussie Driver Search in 2017, he secured a drive in this year’s Toyota 86 Series – a national competition run as a support category beneath V8 Supercars.
Burton (19) is the only WA driver among a field of 39 and he said this year’s opportunities would never have been realistic without winning the Aussie Driver Search competition.
“I’ve always aspired to move into cars,” he said.
“I raced in Go Karts for 13 years and then last year I entered Aussie Driver Search, we won a couple of WA state titles but we never previously had the opportunity to race over east.”
The Toyota series has taken him to Phillip Island, Townsville, The Bend in South Australia and most recently Sandown, where he narrowly avoided being caught up in a huge multi-car crash during the third and final race to finish 12th, his highest placed finish to date.
Next stop is Bathurst’s Mt Panorama for Australia’s most celebrated weekend of motor racing.
“Dad and I watched the Bathurst 1000 in 2016 and after watching that I said to myself any opportunity I get to race here I’m going to have to take it,” he said.
Burton started his career at Tiger Kart Club in Cockburn; the very same club that launched Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo’s racing dream.
“Knowing someone who was me when they were younger has gone on to be a Formula 1 race winner is a huge deal, especially from Perth as well,” he said.
Burton is also a Type 1 diabetic, which stopped him from pursuing other careers but opened doors to other passions including philanthropy.
At the age of nine, Burton became the youngest person to address the WA parliament. He also made a visit to Federal parliament in Canberra that helped secure a $35 million grant for diabetes research.
“It all started with the diabetes,” he said.
“When I was really young I became a youth ambassador for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
“But in later years I almost felt guilty that I was only doing juvenile diabetes, so I became a part of Young Impact WA where we could involve the youth in raising money for a variety of charities.”