Sussex Downs College student Lawrence Harrison, from Hellingly, had the experience of a lifetime after being named Motor Vehicle Student of the Year.
He spent a day working with the Honda team at Brands Hatch during the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) season finale.
Lawrence, 22, enjoyed an access-all-areas pass with Honda at the iconic UK racing circuit.
He was given a VIP tour of the Honda garage and watched the team working in the pits - areas usually strictly off limits to the public. He then watched the qualifier for the last race with a personal commentary via the Honda team’s radio.
No VIP day would be complete without a photo with Honda team drivers Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal, and the duo were happy to oblige. Lawrence also had the chance to quiz Honda’s Head Mechanic on working in the industry.
“It was quite overwhelming,” Lawrence said of the experience.
“Working in motorsport in the future would be incredible. I love the aspect of getting to travel the world and working in a busy and exciting team. Ideally, I aspire to work on Formula 1; you’ve got to aim for the top of the game!”
The Brands Hatch day with Honda was organised by Snap On Tools in partnership with Sussex Downs College. Paul Kay, Curriculum Leader at SDC, said, “The Motor Vehicle department is working closely with employers and suppliers to promote the motor industry as a great career path. Initiatives like the day at Brands Hatch really proves the sky’s the limit.”
The second place prize for Motor Vehicle students was a Snap On Tools tool-kit and third place was a week’s work experience with a prestigious dealership.
With a similar scheme already being devised to award SDC Motor Vehicle students this academic year, it’s time to swot up, work hard and aim high.
Elsewhere, Sussex Downs College Science teacher Keith Leech, 60, was made an MBE last week for his services to heritage in East Sussex.
He received his medal from Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace and found himself having a conversation with actor John Barrowman, too.
“I told him I’m a huge Doctor Who fan,” Keith said of his experience of rubbing shoulders with the Torchwood star. He said it had been “incredible” to meet royalty in its true and sci-fi form.