A RACING fanatic from Salisbury has used the past four years to raise £30,000 needed to secure a place in the admired MINI Challenge Championship.

Novice driver Matt Hammond, pictured with his MINI, has been saving hard since 2009 to pursue his racing dream, taking up a second job at Thruxton race circuit as well as his engineering career in the week.

The 35-year-old will be revving up his engine on Saturday's Donnington start line, which is the first of 20 races held over seven rounds at the UK's most prominent racing circuits.

“Racing is the only thing I love doing and gets my adrenalin going.”

“I want to give my all in the MINI Challenge and do well so I can hopefully make racing my career. That's why I've spent the past four years working all hours and saving every penny I have to enter the tournament. I've put my life on hold for this opportunity, now I just need to race well and hope it pays off.”

Hammond will be racing with the Excelr8 team for the weekend's race and at Brands Hatch, Snetterton, Oulton Park, Castle Combe and Silverstone.

“I've got a great car, now my main aim is to stay on the track and do the best I can for my team,” he added.

Find out about Matt at www.matthammondmotorspot.co.uk