Stox Personality of the Year 2017: Nominee #3

Four personalities have been shortlisted for the 2017 Stox Personality of the Year award. This time, the nominees were chosen by last year’s winner, Mick Sworder.

One nominee will be announced each day for the next 4 days – so make sure you keep checking the site! The first two nominations were Stuart Smith Junior and Harry Steward.

Once all nominations have been announced, you will be able to vote for your favourite via the website.

Voting will open on Saturday 9 December and will close at midnight on Saturday 16 December. The winner will be announced on Sunday 17 December.

Nominee #3: Frankie Wainman Jnr Jnr

It’s been a progression season for the youngest Wainman. He may have picked up just one race win (in the UK at least), but more important were the 42 meetings attended. He qualified for the British Championship grid, the European Championship grid, the World Cup and his first World Final. Car 555 is already such a familiar sight on the racetrack that it’s easy to forget that young Frankie only celebrated his 18th birthday this year.

What was your highlight of the year?

It’s a close call between the World Cup meeting at Venray, where I got a heat win, ended up with fourth in the World Cup, and the second-fastest lap of the whole weekend. That was a good thing to do in a 12-year-old car! And then I enjoyed the end of the season, when I got two third places in two finals in the last shale meetings of the year. I feel like I’m getting better on shale and that was an achievement I was proud of.

Do you have any extra pressure on your shoulders being a Wainman?

I don’t really feel any pressure, to be honest. I’m my own racer. Things are a bit different from when my dad started 30 years ago. I think some people might have picked on him a little bit, but that’s not happened to me. I’ve had a chance to learn on the job.

You get people my age – me, Bradley Harrison, people like that. Even though we are red tops, we’re still learning every single meeting. It’s nice to get a bit more experience. I know that I’m now better on shale than I was at the start of the season. I’m a lot more confident with it and have got better results and better lap times.

What’s your day job?

I’m building and repairing stock cars with my dad, basically helping out with his business. I go to college one day a week and I’m working towards an apprenticeship, but my hope is to join the family business and follow in my dad’s footsteps.

Any plans for next year?

I should have a new tarmac car out for next season, although it might not be at the start of the year. Hopefully that will help things a little bit. It’s always nice to have your own car – I borrowed one for 2017.

As a young driver, how would you like to see the sport develop over the next few years?

There was a lot of controversy at the BSCDA AGM this year and some of the new rulings that were voted in, but I think that the sport is moving in the right direction and the right decisions are being made. We need to try to bring costs down and make it more of a level playing field, so people with big wallets don’t dominate over people with little wallets. In a couple of years, I’ll think about putting my name forward to get more involved in the committee and the running of the sport. I’m too young yet, but I take an interest in how the sport is run and I’d like to get involved.

Two years ago, your dad was on the Stox Personality of the Year shortlist. We asked him what he would do if he was second on the last lap of the World Final and you were first. He refused to answer… So the same question to you – what would you do if you are second on the last lap of the World Final and your dad was in first?

I’d destroy him!

Words: Scott Reeves
Photos: Colin Casserley

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