Real Racers: Introducing Alfie Glenie

Walero’s ‘Real Racers campaign intends to shine a light on the personalities, stories and characters across all levels of motorsport. All members of the campaign compete globally and have chosen Walero to keep them cool under pressure and help them fight it out when the pressure is on.

In our latest edition, we speak to Alfie Glenie – a humble and hard working figure from the Quaife Mini Challenge Trophy Championship who tells us his stories from a challenging 2022 season and his dedicated approach to achieving his goals.

If hard work and determination could be summarised in any eighteen year old, you wouldn’t have to look any further than Alfie Glenie. Humble, dedicated and always smiling, Alfie’s journey through the motorsport ranks has been testament to his passion to turn a hobby into a career and he hasn’t had the time to stop and look back since.

“My motorsport journey began when I got behind the wheel of hire Go Kart at Buckmore Park and Brands Hatch. It was nothing serious and something to do on the weekend but I soon quickly found myself wanting to do more and more!”

“On the eve of my eighth birthday my parents took me down to Lydd Kart Circuit and it gave me my first real taste of karting and what to expect as I looked to make that next step. I soon found myself involved in the Cadet Championship and it rapidly snowballed from there, and as I’m sure many are aware with motorsport in general – once you get hooked, the determination and drive to accomplish more quickly takes hold.”

With Alfie’s first steps into the world of karting and motorsport, it was clear that he had been bitten by the motorsport bug, however his journey onto four wheels may have been a little different to a certain two wheeled variety of motosport that his family had always been keenly involved with!

“Motorsport in general has always been a big thing for my family and motorbike racing in particular has been an ever constant part of family life. My dad used to race 1000cc grass track bikes and everything in between! However, when he was 24 he had an unfortunate accident and has been in a wheelchair ever since. Looking back I think taking the leap into karting and four wheels was safer and certainly put my family at ease, but my dad was certainly keen for me to take that next step!”

“After doing well in karting, gaining much needed experience and winning the Junior Championship, I came to a crossroads as to what I wanted to do next. Luckily, I had a good friend who was racing in Fiestas and that seemed like a good way to bridge the gap between karting and cars.”

“It was a case of, let’s give it a go and see what happens,” he recalls. “It felt right from the first moment I got out on track and from that moment on, I knew that motorsport was for me and achieving my goals would be the next tick on the ever growing list.”

For the majority of the younger generation looking to get involved with motorsport, the main aim is Formula One or a high-level form of single seater competition. On the contrary, if you asked Alfie what his ultimate goal is, he would only give you one answer.

“Touring Cars. That is the ultimate goal and the dream. So many people come up to me and ask why not Formula One? For me, it’s a realistic goal and I’m taking the right steps to get there. Funding is also a deciding factor in my decisions to aim for the BTCC and the single-seater path is simply too expensive and competition for seats and sponsors is intense to say the least.”

After achieving third in the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship in 2019, Alfie took the step up to the Quaife Mini Challenge Trophy Championship for 2020 with Graves Motorsport, a memory which he looks back on fondly.

“The step into Mini’s was the result of being selected to join the Motorsport UK Academy and this put me in touch with another driver, Alex Nevill, who in turn introduced me to the team at Graves Motorsport. I jumped at the chance to get in the car at Snetterton for a test and loved it. It was my first step up into a senior Championship and a steep learning curve for sure, but since then I’ve loved every moment of it.”

The 2022 season has been a challenging one for Alfie, but all the way throughout his desire to continue pushing for results no matter the situation has proven to be key in ensuring the time on track was maximised over the year. 

“It has been a challenging year for sure, as any driver will know – a season is full of those incredible highs and lows and this season has been a good example of that. I look back to my crash at Croft back in June and I can vividly remember wanting to jump back behind the wheel straight away. I had that desire and determination to make up for my mistake, not only on a personal level but also for the team.”

“I wanted to get back in the car so badly, the week after I had already replaced my damaged chassis with a replacement, stripped out this new car and prepared it to race! However, the team and I worked together to get my original car back into fighting shape and that spare chassis still sits in my workshop today, patiently waiting for it’s time to shine!”

“I never take the time to ponder on what could have been or what I could have done better, my mind is always looking ahead to how to approach the next race differently or what I bring to my next race weekend. It’s a constant process of adapting and learning to ensure I can improve.”

This grit and can-do attitude defines Alfie not only as a driver but as a person, his ability to ‘crack on’ with the tasks at hand shines through in his off-track experiences and alongside a jam-packed season in the cockpit, he has recently completed his A-Levels and with that, his final year of education!

“With this year being the final year of my A-Levels, I really had to strike the right balance between study and putting the time in to ensure I was getting the best results on and off the track. There were points, especially towards the end of the school year with my final exams and practicals, I had to travel up and down the country to ensure I could not only sit behind the wheel, but at an exam desk as well!”

With Alfie’s studies this year, he has undertaken the task of balancing his racing career and higher education, a combination that would certainly prove difficult for many. However, Alfie has managed to combine his efforts both on and off the track to create some very unique final projects!

“For my Graphic Design A-level this year, I wanted to explore how I can apply my creativity and design knowledge to my racing and the perfect way to do that was through creation of my own sponsor decks and proposals!”

“It gave me the chance to not only work on bettering my education and grades, but also gain an understanding for the correct way to approach and design these various elements that are so crucial in ensuring you have the funding and opportunities around you to race.”

“I was very lucky that my school and peers were very lenient and supportive of my racing journey not only this season, but throughout my time at school. I would have to give them a very long list at the start of the year which detailed all my race dates, testing times and extra hours trackside! There was never a moment where I felt I was being held back from achieving my goals and the fact that I could put the hours in on the track and in the classroom was perfect.”

With the Quaife Mini Challenge Trophy being part of the ever growing and popular TOCA package, this year has seen Alfie become quite the local hero as his classmates would often tune in to watch his races on ITV!

“With the MIni Challenge Trophy joining the BTCC package for the rounds at Croft and Thruxton this year, there was always that added bonus of being involved with the broadcasting and the multitude of benefits that came with it!”

“I vividly remember walking back into school on the Monday morning after a race weekend and having fellow classmates come up to me saying that they watched me on the TV or caught an interview I was involved with. To have that happen on a regular basis as the season went on was just surreal.”

“Even my teachers would come up to me wishing me well or congratulating myself on pursuing a hobby whilst balancing my school life, it meant alot!”

Alongside cult status in the school ranks, Alfie has also made a name for himself amongst the junior categories this season and with the Mini Challenge being firmly involved with the TOCA paddock, it has provided a multitude of opportunities for Alfie to not only showcase his racing prowess but also his awareness in collating sponsorships and funding. With the BTCC and the television coverage continuing to gain momentum year on year, Aflie reflects back on his first taste of the TOCA paddock and how it changed his perspective on racing as a whole.

“Oulton Park in 2020 was my first experience of the TOCA paddock and even though it was behind closed doors, with limited access and no fans to be seen, it still had that presence and authority that I even feel now racing in 2022.”

“Fast forward to Thruxton this season and the difference with the fans back trackside has been incredible to witness first hand! I was swamped with autographs, photos and signing sessions and I’m sat there thinking to myself – I only drive a little Mini, imagine what being behind the wheel of a BTCC car must be like!”

“Moments like that really do put everything into perspective and make everything I’ve strived to achieve seem worth it. I now feel that pushing myself to turn a hobby into a career has been the right decision all along, I just need to keep believing in myself to get there.”

With the 2022 season under his belt and another year of racing completed, Alfie looks ahead to 2023 with confidence and belief that it will be his strongest to date. The future looks extremely promising and here at Walero we look forward to seeing what’s in store for Alfie and his racing journey.

You can follow Alfie’s journey across his Instagram and Facebook. You can also check out his website to catch all the latest news from his on track efforts.

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