Jack Meakin: The journey to Champion
Since his first steps into racing, Jack Meakin has always expressed a desire to become the best he can be both on and off the track. From his humble personality to his dedication to learning his craft behind the wheel, Jack’s career path has seen him enjoy great success in junior karting, the Junior Saloon Car Championship and Class Champion status in the Britcar Endurance Championship! Unlike many budding young racers, Jack decided to take the step towards endurance racing and this is a decision he has welcomed with open arms ever since. We caught up with Jack at the very end of last year to chat about all things racing and what the future holds for this ambitious, young racer.
2023 had seen Jack rise to the challenge in the Britcar Trophy Championship. His performances on track in 2022 would see him win the coveted Dragon Sport scholarship for 2023, which would see him return to Britcar action behind the wheel of the Renault Clio Cup once more, meaning he would be competing in familiar machinery for the year ahead.
In his second season of full-time competition, Jack would waste no time in getting to the front of the grid, putting in some mighty performances with 6 Race Wins, 8 Podiums, 4 Pole Positions and 6 Fastest Laps to finish the year as Champions, a fantastic achievement!
“2023 was a superb year and it just kept getting better and better as the season went on, I felt comfortable in the car, it was a case of simply putting every single bit of experience I had from the previous year into practice, I had the understanding of the setup nailed and I had so much fun giving it everything out on track race after race!”
“This year has also showed me just how magical endurance racing really is from a driving perspective, it teaches you how to learn when to push or be conservative in your lap times, how to save tires for the later stages of a race, the demands of managing traffic to prevent loss of lap time and most of all promotes teamwork, which is key.”
Jack’s career journey to becoming Britcar Trophy champion began like most of those around him, in the world of karting, where everyone aspires to reach the heights of Formula One as excited budding racers with their dreams firmly in their sights. From the very start it was clear that Jack possessed a natural talent and ability behind the wheel and it was certainly evident to even himself when the journey began.
“My family had always been keen watchers of racing, in particular the format with two wheels,” he recalled. “I had always been the odd one out in the grand scheme of things, and I just loved seeing cars go round a track when I was a little boy, there was just something about it to me.”
“I first got going in karting when I was 12, but I was excited to give it a go and see where it would take me, I very much enjoyed the idea of competing and I found early on that I did have a knack for it, which was all the more reason to persevere with it when it seemed tough.”
Jack would enter the Autumn Castle Combe Junior Karting Championship. He very quickly began to win races and finished 2nd place in the Spring 2017 Championship, before winning the Autumn Championship later that year. This would quickly snowball after winning the Castle Combe Junior Championship and Jack started to look for new challenges and began competing in other rental kart events, racing with and regularly beating experienced adult drivers.
Jack would steadily make his way up through the karting ladder, impressing at every step of the way before he entered several British Championship events, where he would score some impressive results amongst some of the brightest karting talents in the country. This would result in Jack being chosen for the Motorsport UK Academy programme at Loughborough College where he has remained ever since. Alongside this, as he looked to take an even bigger step forward, Jack would finish runner-up in the JSCC Scholarship and would be approached by Westbourne Motorsport race for them in 2021, marking his transition from karts to cars!
“In 2020 I had reached the point where I was happy with my ability and consistency behind the wheel of a kart, but budget was becoming a bigger hurdle for myself and my family to overcome. In 2021, I was overjoyed to take part in the JSCC Scholarship programme, to finish runner-up was great and it was just a fantastic experience from the start.”
Jack would compete for just over half a season in the JSCC, learning the ropes and the ins and outs of car control which would prove key in his later racing experiences. After gathering in his words ‘a bucket full’ of car racing experience in the highly competitive JSCC, it was time for Jack to look for the next step in his career.
“The JSCC was plenty of fun and thoroughly enjoyable for me, the racing was close and intense which gave me lots to think about behind the wheel, but it really did help to provide a platform for me to kick on and look for something along a route that not many others at the time were taking and that was endurance racing.”
“I had always loved the idea of endurance racing, I had competed in plenty of short format races from my first time in karts till the end of the JSCC championship and whilst I enjoyed the intense and fast-paced nature of the competition, the idea of more seat time and an experience where strategy and teamwork come into play sounded like the better route to take.”
2022 would see Jack enter the Britcar Trophy championship with the Westbourne Motorsport stable behind him. Competing alongside fellow Walero wearer, James Black, the pair would form a mighty partnership behind the wheel, and the duo would end the season as vice-champions of the tightly-knit Clio Cup class of the Britcar Endurance series, with Jack taking home ‘Rookie of the Year” as a result of his stellar season.
“2022 was a great year for myself and to share the car with James was a fun experience, we really understood each others driving styles and helped one another to find the valuable tenths in our preparation both on and off the track and of course it helped that we both loved the Walero base layers giving us that extra bit of help in the cockpit!”
When asked the all important question of plans for the future and his main ambitions for his prospering career, Jack’s response certainly left nothing to be desired.
“The future for me definitely lies in endurance racing and the main goal for me will one day be competing at the very top of the ladder in the likes of British GT or GT World Challenge Europe and I’ll give it all I’ve got to get there!”