From The Winners: Nelson King

May 2, 2024

With the launch of our 2024 Be The Next Walero Athlete competition, we felt it would be fitting to sit down with the three previous winners of the competition to find out what it really means to become a Walero athlete. Alex Walker, Nick Roots and Nelson King all represent three very different areas of UK motorsport, but as the winners of our prestigious BTNWA competition, they are all united by the fact that they stood out from the crowd.

In the final edition of our ‘From The Winners’ series we sat down with Nelson King, the most recent winner of our Be The Next Walero Athlete competition! Nelson is widely regarded as one of the most talented youngsters in British Motorsport and has certainly wasted no time in making a name for himself in the highly competitive, Mini Challenge JCW Championship which is a mainstay on the coveted TOCA calendar.

Nelson King joined the Walero ranks in February 2023, as we looked to find the third winner for our annual Be The Next Walero Athlete competition. Against stiff competition from a wealth of talented entrants, Nelson would prevail to become our champion and since then has continued on his rise up through the junior categories in British Motorsport, stopping at nothing to pursue his ultimate goal of racing in the legendary British Touring Car Championship.

Nelson had enjoyed a spectacular 2022 season in the MIni Challenge Trophy, where he stormed to championship victory in scintillating fashion, notching up 11 wins, 16 podiums, 3 pole positions and 7 fastest laps in the process. It was this domination and prowess behind the wheel of a race car that impressed us here at Walero, but for Nelson, entering the competition was the main goal, winning it on the other hand, seemed like it was out of reach.

“For me, entering the competition was a chance to just put myself out there. I had come off a brilliant 2022 season where we secured the championship, but I still thought to myself that I didn’t really have any chance of winning. It definitely was a shot in the dark, but looking back on the decision, it is one I will never regret.”

“Being told by the Walero team that I had won the competition was an ecstatic feeling for myself, I simply could not believe it. To be associated with a brand like Walero, who take great pride in what they do on and off the track to provide the most advanced motorsport products, was a fantastic feeling as I had a massive sense of pride that I had been selected.”

Nelson also entered the competition due to his previous experiences with the Walero base layers which he had purchased as he took his steps into the world of car racing for the first time.

“I had always worn the Walero base layers since I had first tried them back in 2021, so for me, getting the chance to become the next Walero athlete was an opportunity I could not pass up. The base layers for me are the best out there and I had been mightily impressed with how much they helped me behind the wheel of a race car, which at the best of times is still a harsh and demanding environment.”

“For me, comfort is a top priority whilst racing. In an environment where you have to make high pressure decisions in an instant, there really is no room for error and in my opinion the quality of the Walero products does make a real difference for me in the cockpit. In the height of summer, battling the temperatures in the cockpit can be a challenge, but with the Walero products I know I've got that extra edge over my competitors out on track.”

“Going into the opening round of my rookie campaign in the JCW’s was always going to be a massive task, my main thought was to just get through the weekend in one piece and create a stable platform for the rest of the season. However, coming off the back of winning the 2023 Be The Next Walero Athlete competition, I suddenly felt a lot more confident in myself and had the belief that I had been backed by the team at Walero for a reason, so I had to repay their faith. From that moment on, I haven’t looked back and we’ve gone from strength to strength as a partnership.”

With the Walero base layers a valued part of Nelson’s armoury coming into his debut season in the intensely competitive, Mini Challenge JCW series, 2023 would see him embark on an impressive campaign, as Nelson took the fight to the championships most experienced racers and firmly cemented himself as one of the standout drivers in the series from the first moment the green flag fell.

“2023 was my biggest and best year of my career so far and it was fantastic timing to be heading into it with the full support of the Walero team. The Mini Challenge is a brilliant championship, but it is filled with talented drivers all looking to make it into the BTCC, therefore it was always going to be a big test of my driving ability. From the first race we looked strong, but we were always battling some nagging power issues which continued throughout the season, which definitely prevented us from mounting a full title challenge.”

“Grabbing our maiden win at a scorching Snetterton will always be the highlight of the season. We battled so hard throughout the weekend to get in a great position for the reverse grid pole and I held off some big names to take the chequered flag. The Walero base layers really came into their own that weekend and without them, I don’t think I would have had the full focus to defend as hard as I did from the pressure behind!”

“Another moment to remember for me was half way through the season, when we partnered up with the brilliant team at Laser Tools Racing and became part of their motorsport umbrella alongside MB Motorsport. To have such iconic brands wanting to be partnered with myself gave me a massive confidence boost for the rest of the season and to have them onboard for a second year in 2024 puts us in good stead for the season ahead.”

As always, we rounded out the interview by asking Nelson for any advice he would give to those looking to enter this year’s competition…

“This is not something you need to overthink! I definitely did, but it’s pushing past that mental barrier of entering and putting your name out there that is the biggest reward. You need to be proud of yourself as a driver and not afraid to shout about yourself and what you can do behind the wheel. The Walero team will always accept you with open arms and even if you don’t manage to win, you have put yourself out there and shown that you have the confidence to step outside of your comfort zone.”

“To be the best you can out on track, you have to surround yourself with the very best and for me, the Walero base layers are the best out there in motorsport. The difference they make out on track is second to none and I am forever grateful that I was chosen to represent the brand in 2023. Don’t be afraid to get involved with this year's competition, it will be a decision you will not regret and you’ll have the chance to become part of a brilliant community with a very supportive team leading it!”

If you want to get involved and join Nelson, Alex, Nick and the rest of the #Walero athlete roster, be sure to enter this year's competition by emailing your pitches to marketing@walero.uk or sending a DM to our official Instagram account.

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