Horsham resident, and promising young motor-racing driver, Declan Lee, has agreed a sponsorship deal with local business Covers Timber and Builders Merchants.

The company, which has 14 branches across the south of England, started supporting the 18-year old last year, when he graduated to car racing after spending several years in race karts. Lee now competes in one of the most competitive race series in the UK, the BRSCC Mazda SuperCup, driving converted Mazda MX-5 road cars.

Unfortunately, like so many other events, the pandemic scuppered this year’s plans with all track activities being suspended by the governing body, Motor Sports UK, just five days before the first event was due to start. 

However, in late May, special test days recommenced for professional drivers, elite driver athletes and their teams giving Lee the chance to practice and develop with his new Worthing-based team, Hills Motorsport. This paid off in August, when racing resumed, with a series of top 10 finishes for Lee in the first two rounds.

Lee, who started racing karts in 2014 aged 12, has recently successfully completed a two-year scholarship course sponsored by Motor Sports UK. The Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) at Loughborough College is an academy for elite drivers to help them with broad-base academic studying in the sport they participate in. This was challenging for Lee because, like many famous racing drivers, including F1 champions Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell and Johnny Herbert, he has dyslexia.

Lee said: “I love the discipline and demands of motor racing and working with my team towards success. I am so grateful to Covers for their support which has helped me to continue in the sport I love. 

“This year has had new challenges, of course, but in some ways I think it has helped me develop as a driver without the pressures of competition. When the racing started again I was clearly a quicker driver than late last year against the same drivers.”

Rupert Green, Chairman of Covers, said: “It’s always great to see young people aiming to achieve at the very highest level. We are delighted to be supporting Declan in his quest to develop as a young man and find his place in a very competitive and challenging sport. We are looking forward supporting him with his future career.”