New sponsorship deal helps keep Gravesend racing talent on track for success.
Gravesend based STF Racing has announced a new sponsorship deal with leading local accountants, ATN Partnership, as part of their 2022 funding package.
With a minimum annual budget of well in excess of £30,000, sponsorship is as vital as raw talent when it comes to keeping young racers on the track, and competing.
STF Racing is the home of 11 year old local lad Kristian Stefanov, who is competing in this year's Ultimate Karting Championship. Kristian is a pupil at Gravesend Grammar School for Boys and is one of 300 drivers from across Europe taking part in the championship.
The competition is held over 6 rounds, the first of which was at Whilton Mill in Northamptonshire, where Kristian finished 6th in the Super Final.
Martin Stefanov, Team Owner, said:
“As a team we need £30,000 just to get a single kart to the various venues across Europe and the UK, and that pretty much covers us for travel and the bare minimum in terms of getting the kart up and running.
From there the bills keep coming and there is simply no way Kristian could compete if it wasn’t for the support of our sponsors. I can’t begin to explain how vital their support is, and how unbelievably grateful we are.”
Kristian has been racing since the age of 5, after receiving his first kart for his 5th birthday. When asked why he enjoys it so much, he answered ‘adrenaline and late moves on fast corners’ - sounds like a racing driver!
In his spare time he watches Netflix and plays the piano, and just for the record, his racing hero is Nico Rosberg.
When we asked Kristian what his favourite track was he said:
“I’ve raced loads of tracks across the UK but my favourite would be a track in Campillos, Spain. It’s the fastest and most fun, and it’s where the FIA held the world championships last year.”
This is the first time that Gravesend based ATN Partnership has become involved in sponsorship of any kind and they were keen to help someone in the local community.
Niyi Idowu, Director at ATN Partnership said:
“I always thought that kart racing was a bit, I don’t know, micky mouse, but when I went and watched Kristian on the track I found out how wrong I was.
“The whole set up is incredibly professional and fascinating technically with things like tyre pressures and grip balance being adjusted, ballast weights being added to certain parts of the kart for better handling, it’s great.
"And what amazed me was that these karts hit 70 miles per hour on some tracks. When I watched Kristian he was hitting 56 miles per hour down the straight. He’s 11!!”
Tahmina Ahmed, Senior Client Manager at ATN added:
“It really is impressive to watch, the speed is simply mad, but so is the disciple. I watched a young driver spin and simply wait for the track to clear before taking off again. We also had a yellow flag that was instantly observed and respected.
“These are children at the end of the day, young children, and I quite simply found a new level of respect for them and what they do.”
We asked Martin if he ever worries when he watches Kristian flying round the track and he replied:
“Yes, the parent part of me won’t allow me not to worry. I know he’s more than competent, I know he has the talent and the experience, and I know that he’s been doing this for more than six years now and is consistently competing with the very best.
“But the parent in me still surfaces when he’s out there.”
STF Racing is always looking for new sponsors - large or small - and if you want to get involved, contact them via their Facebook page - STF Racing.