The need for speed

Darrell Cole
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Kelly makes jump from carts to Formula racing

Amherst’s Nathan Kelly will test a Formula BMW racecar at Atlantic Motorsport Park this weekend. Formula BMW is considered a stepping stone to Formula 1 racing. He is hoping to take part in several Formula BMW races this summer.

AMHERST – From the first he got behind the wheel, Nathan Kelly has dreamed of racing an F-1 racecar.

The Amherst native will take a huge step in that direction this weekend when he will climb into the cockpit of an Formula BMW Series car at the Atlantic Motorsport Park.

“It’s a stepping stone car into Formula racing. A lot of guys, like Sebastien Vettel, got their start in Formula BWM. It’s a great progression,” Kelly said. “I’ll be racing Friday, Saturday and Sunday in it. I’m quite excited.”

Kelly, who has come up through the kart-racing ranks to race in events in both Canada and the United States, said getting into the cockpit of a Formula racer will be the ultimate adrenaline rush.

The cars have a lot more horsepower than the karts he’s been racing for years and they handle much differently. To prepare himself he has been doing a lot of racing in the simulator, but nothing will equal driving the real thing.

“It’s a lot different machine than a go-kart,” he said. “The speed, handling and overall feel of the car will be totally different. I’ll probably be smiling the whole time I’m out there for sure.”

If all goes well, Kelly is hoping to race in several Formula BMW events this summer, while continuing to race in the kart circuit.

“That’s the goal I have set for myself. Open-wheel racing is definitely the way I want to go,” he said. “The long-term goal is to move up to Formula 1 racing. I’ll race across Canada and the United States, but if I want to get serious about I’ll have to go to Europe.”

Kelly said he got the opportunity to test the Formula BMW from the owner of KartBahn and said none of what he has accomplished so far would be possible without the support of sponsors such as Carter’s Sports Cresting, Dobbelstyn Signs and Maintenance, K1 Race Gear, Bell Helmets and Holeshot Chains.

Twitter: @ADNdarrell


Organizations: Formula BMW Series

Geographic location: AMHERST, Canada, United States Atlantic Motorsport Park Formula BWM Europe

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