We Are Walero: Josh Malin

Community sits at the very heart of Walero. We love hearing the many stories of success from those who wear and champion Walero across the globe. In this series, we check in with our athletes in all corners of the world to find out what drives them to Get The Edge.

This month’s edition sees us sit down with another new addition to our athlete ranks, Josh Malin, fresh from another podium success in Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Oulton Park! We discuss all things racing, the journey from sim racing to real life competition and his incredible achievements he has accumulated whilst racing with Type One Diabetes.

The definition of hard work, dedication and perseverance, Josh Malin summarises all three with his performances seen on the race track week in, week out. A young racer with an infectious smile and humble personality, Josh has never been one to take his journey in motorsport for granted, with his latest triumphs the result of years of effort that have culminated in his consistent rise up the UK motorsport ladder.

However, Josh’s first steps into the world of racing were very different to those around him and this is a memory that he looks back on fondly as we delved deeper into the origins of his fledgling racing career.

“I had been sim racing as a kid and have been pretty much all my life, it was actually my neighbour, Jon Halliwell who ran the Mazda MaX5 championship, that first got me thinking about taking the step from sim racing to the real world. I vividly remember in 2015 when he came over for dinner and saw the sim rig that I had jammed into a room downstairs, he asked if he could have a go and it just spiralled from there!’

“I actually beat him by 4 or 5 seconds and he was just in awe of what I was doing and the fact it was all self taught! We struck up a deal to see what I could do behind the wheel of an actual Mazda MX5 and a few months later he had built a car, gutted it all out and it was ready to go racing.”

From this moment, it was clear to Josh that the real passion he had for racing was ignited and with the creation of this new racing machinery, the pathway to the heights of racing professionally became much clearer to see. Josh’s racing journey would begin two days after he completed his final GCSE exam, where he secured a second place in class on his debut appearance behind the wheel of a racing car and this achievement provided all the encouragement Josh needed to take on this new and exciting challenge.

“I was only 16 at the time and it felt surreal to cross the finish line and score a podium on debut. I was thinking to myself – Josh you’ve done this on the simulator and now you are doing it for real, it was the definition of a ‘pinch me’ moment!”

In 2017, Josh would take the step up to compete full time in the MaX5 championship after his GCSEs had come to a close and he would go on to secure the championship win in the MK1 class competition, a memory which still lives vividly in Josh’s mind.

“It was fantastic to win the championship in our second year of competition. I remember feeling like Lewis Hamilton when I came round that final corner on the last lap. It meant so much to me that I could come into this as a rookie and be up to speed immediately and challenging for wins was unforgettable to me.”

2018 would see Josh enter the next level of MaX5 racing, where he would once again prove his worth by collecting multiple wins and podium finishes on the way to yet another championship victory and with the season coming to a close, it was time for Josh and his family to think about what the next challenge was and how they could get there.

“After the successes we encountered competing in the MaX5 championship across the UK, we were all sitting there thinking what that logical next step would be in taking it to the next level. Eventually after looking at Caterhams and Radicals we settled on the Ginetta GT5 championship with Richardson Racing.”

“The team at Richardson Racing was just fantastic, I can’t thank them all enough for the support and backing they gave me when I took my first steps into the daunting world of the Ginetta and purpose built race cars. We had a nice link with the team due to Andy Richardson, the Team Owner, being a Type One Diabetic like myself and it only helped to strengthen the relationship we had with the team as the year progressed.”

In Josh’s first season in the coveted Ginetta GT5 championship, he would secure multiple podium finishes and collect his first win at Donington Park on the 23rd of June 2019! Josh would later finish 5th in the standings come the end of the season, a fantastic achievement for a rookie fresh from racing with no prior experience and testament to his natural ability to coax performance out of a race car, no matter the conditions.

“It was a great achievement as a rookie to finish 5th in the championship in my debut season, it was a steep learning curve due it being a ‘proper’ race car and I vividly remember jumping in the car on media day, having never driven it before, and stuck it second quickest in the times! I think I took to it rather well,” he joked!

“Of course there were trying weekends and times where it didn’t really go our way, but at the end of the day that is racing and you have to take the rough with the smooth.”

After making a name for himself in the championship in 2019, the 2020 season would provide a whole new set of challenges for Josh and the Richardson Racing team, as the season would kickstart in the midst of the global pandemic towards the closing months of the year.

“2020 was a year of ups and downs, as ever in racing, it was fast paced and crammed into a very short period of time and having no crowds present felt like the atmosphere and life had been sucked out of the circuits. In the first race weekend of the season at an empty Oulton Park, I secured a win in the opening race of the season before making a mistake in race two which really took the wind out of my sails and I just lost my head.”

“I came out of that weekend 8th in the standings and from that moment on it was a case of playing catch up and my determination to get back to front was all I could think about. I went on to win 7 of the 14 races that season and collected podiums along the way, meaning it was incredibly tight in the championship coming into that final round of the season at Silverstone with just seven points between me and my rival, James Taylor.”

“It all came down to the last lap of the last race to decide it all. I managed to clinch the championship in the Pro class and the overwhelming feeling of achievement was simply incredible, I had never dreamt of accomplishing anything in sim racing, let alone real life, so to get a championship win in a world renowned racing series like the Ginetta GT5s was unforgettable to me!”

After tasting success in Ginetta’s, Josh would set his sights on a daunting new challenge, and with the help of the team at Richardson Racing, he would take the step into the iconic Porsche Carrera Cup GB.

“The team had told me that they had a spare 911 chassis sitting around, collecting some dust and they offered us a brilliant deal to get onto the grid for the 2021 season, and I owe them a lot of gratitude for their help with ensuring we could actually be competitive from the get go.”

“However, it was a true baptism of fire! The step up was massive, going from a car with 160 horsepower to one with just over 500 was terrifying in one way or another, but my god was it exciting,” he recalls. 

When asked with the question of comparisons between sim racing and real life behind the wheel of a Porsche Carrera Cup car, Josh’s insightful answer provided an insight into not only the comparison between the virtual and real life worlds, but how simulator’s don’t always give that final level of detail that you can experience when driving for real!

“You have to drive a Porsche in a very particular way and the simulator is great for teaching you the foundations of this technique, but there are very fine techniques that you use in real life that don’t work on the simulator! You have to hit the brakes really hard, almost instantaneously in real life, compared to the more sustained approach for braking in the sim. Sometimes a Porsche can feel very skittish and out of control in the simulator, which in part is true, but as a matter of fact the car is just on rails when it is performing in the window, it’s an incredible feeling!”

“I also think that the simulator doesn’t portray just how loud the car actually is when you’re in the cockpit, the whine of the differential and how raw and visceral it is makes everything feel alive, especially in the brand new 992 cup cars which I race now.”

From his point of view, the 2021 season was a positive one for Josh as he battled it out for top honours in the rookie category with fellow racer, Kiern Jewiss, whom he would tussle with valiantly over the course of the season where he would finish second in the standings.

“After the 2021 season came to a close, I was at a crossroads for what to do next, I didn’t quite have the funding to do another full season in Carrera Cup GB so we took the decision to step back and see where it would take us. However, with the news that my good friend and fellow racer at Richardson, Jack Bartholomew had suffered a nasty cycling accident, I was drafted in to fill his place for three rounds of the season.”

Josh would seize this opportunity with both hands, collecting a podium finish at both Knockhill and Snetterton as the newly named ‘Super Sub’ announced his return to the championship with aplomb!

“It felt great to get the opportunity to get behind the wheel again and secure two podium finishes in Jack’s absence, the faith from the team to give me a call and ask if I wanted to take the seat meant an awful lot and I’d like to say I repaid their faith with some good results that showcased what I can do behind the wheel of a Porsche, even after multiple months on the sidelines! I also think the performances helped to put my name on the lips of multiple teams in the paddock, which led to the opportunity I’ve found this season!”

Furthermore, Josh’s success behind the wheel would help to secure the Teams Championship for Comline Richardson Racing, a fantastic achievement for the team and a real sense of personal pride for Josh.

2023 see’s Josh returning the the Porsche Carrera Cup GB full time with Rosland Gold Racing by Century Motorsport, after replacing the departing Gus Burton for the remainder of the season and Josh certainly hasn’t wasted anytime in picking up where he left off at the end of 2022, with him securing three podium finishes already after joining the series at Thruxton for round three and beyond.

“I fondly remember getting the call from the team at Century Motorsport and just saying yes straight away, they didn’t even have to explain! To get the chance to race again and show my pace is an amazing opportunity and to be fighting hard in the Pro class with the likes of Adam Smalley and Robert De Haan has been a tough, but exciting challenge for me.”

“It feels like being home again and I’m really grateful to Stuart Kinner at Rosland Gold and Nathan Freke at Century Motorsport for giving me the opportunity to get behind the wheel again. I’m a big believer in seizing everything with both hands and I’m just glad to be back and surrounded by such wonderful people who support and believe in my talents, big or small!”

Alongside his racing career, Josh has battled hard to overcome the added obstacle of being a Type One Diabetic, a hurdle that he thought would be impossible to overcome when he was diagnosed aged 4. 

“I’ve never taken anything for granted, I’ve overcome big hurdles with Type One Diabetes to even be behind the wheel of a race car is a massive achievement for me, let alone a Porsche 992 Cup Car with 500 horsepower,” he jokes. “Being told by the doctors that I would never race when I first got diagnosed was heartbreaking as it was all I had dreamt about, but to persevere and continue on with my career in racing and to battle the challenges of being diabetic just shows that you should never give up!”

“I have always been a firm believer in never giving up on your dreams and the world of motorsport with the daunting sums of money needed and sponsorship backing you have to chase just to get the seat can be a step too far for some. But for me, I would like to use my platform and my story to show that you should never give up and anything is in fact possible when you try hard enough to achieve it!”

“We are still doing some searching to secure some more budget to help us get to the end of the season, but I’m sure that we can make something happen!”

With the next round at Knockhill on the horizon, the future continues to look very bright for Josh as he continues to chase down the championship leaders in Carrera Cup GB, which you can follow on his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! The team at Walero wishes him all the best and we are delighted to have him as the latest member of the Walero athlete family.