Toy brand Scalextric has signed a deal to sponsor a young racing driver dubbed the “next Lewis Hamilton”. The Hornby-owned racing game is backing Henry Surtees, the 16-year-old son of former F1 and motorcycle Grand Prix world champion John Surtees, as he competes in the Formula Renault UK (FRUK) championships.
Surtees, who was sponsored by Scalextric in Formula BMW category last year, has now progressed to FRUK and will race for the Manor Competition team. The team was once home to the 2007 F1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton.
Henry’s new car will carry the Scalextric livery throughout the 20-race season.
Hornby chief executive Frank Martin says that it makes sense for the toy brand to be involved with motor sport. “Henry’s debut season turned a lot of heads and there are big things expected of this young star’s future,” he adds.
Hornby reported “significant growth” in the run-up to Christmas, reversing a slowdown in sales during the autumn. However, supply problems in Europe will hit expected profits for the year.