Top 24 Under 24: Need for speed fuels teen racer

Published in 24 Hours Vancouver | October 31, 2013 | Circulation: 280,000+

Since graduating from high school earlier this year, Scott Hargrove’s life has been consumed by car racing.

Reached by phone in the U.K., where he represented Canada at last weekend’s Formula Ford Festival, the 18-year-old admitted his education is “on hold” as he pursues his dream of winning the Indianapolis 500.

Having won the 2013 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship title at the Houston Grand Prix a month ago – with championship wins over $400,000 so far this year – he revealed his passion comes from watching the sport as a child. His father claims his son first saw Formula One in his arms in hospital as a newborn.

“My dad was driving sports cars growing up, just as a local amateur,” he told 24 hours. “I said, ‘Man, I want to do that one day!’ I begged him to get me a go-kart. It snowballed from there.”

Today, the teen is the youngest B.C. participant in Mazda’s Road to Indy driver training program and is set to move to the Pro Mazda Championships.

“Any sport I take part in, I’m always wanting to be the best,” he revealed. “The competition was part of it, but when you’re actually racing it’s almost like everything else doesn’t matter any more.

“You’re just focused on the track. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in your life at the time. That’s complete freedom.”

Hargrove said his secret to success – whether on the track or otherwise – is a “positive attitude.”

“Making sure you’re putting your best foot forward all the time, and learning to deal with things that happen off the track that are out of your control,” he said of his advice for other youth. “If you’re not happy with what you’re doing, try to find a way to do whatever it is that makes you happy.”

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