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Philip Hanson: "I failed my driving test first time"

British racing driver Philip Hanson is aiming to win the World Endurance Championship and Le Mans – not bad for a lad who can't yet drink in America...  

Philip Hanson: "I failed my driving test first time"

Philip Hanson is only 20 years old but he's on track to join racing's immortals. 

The young driver's achievements in his short career make an impressive list that will only keep growing. 

Asian Le Mans Series champion; youngest top 10 finisher in the history of Le Mans 24 Hours (2019); youngest European Le Mans Series outright race winner (2018); youngest outright championship winner of the Asian Le Mans Series (2018-19); and youngest ever overall top-10 sports-prototype finisher in the Le Mans 24 Hours (2019). 

He's in pole position to claim a maiden World Endurance Championship, leading the pack when the season resumes in August. 

Add in a Le Mans and he might finally get over the most devastating loss of his career – that of his favourite necklace.  

Find out more below... 

Life

What upcoming project(s) are you most excited about?

My next race in four weeks in the south of France at Paul Ricard, the first of the European championship.

Also resuming the World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Spa in late August as we are leading the championship with only three races left.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

My first WEC race win in Bahrain, last December.

If you could change one thing about your career, what would it be?

Start earlier! I only started racing karts at a high level at 14 years old, where most start anywhere between 8-10.

What do you hope to achieve that you haven’t yet?

Win WEC, and Le Mans. It’s a lifelong dream for most drivers and I’m in a position now this season where I could do both.

It would be amazing if I do manage to do so as only a handful of successful drivers manage to, let alone so early on in their careers.

Outside of your family, who is / was your biggest inspiration?

I have never idolised a driver. I’m not sure why that is, probably because I have always focussed on myself and achieving the most of my own potential.

That said I do respect all the drivers in history that have set a benchmark for the sport and up and coming drivers to beat. Michael Schumacher winning seven F1 World Championships, or Tom Kristensen with nine Le Mans.

Tell us something nobody knows about you…

I failed my driving test first time.

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Style

What’s your favourite item of clothing – and what does it mean to you?

Most days I’m in gym kit because I’m in the gym training or doing some sort of active recovery. But my favourite would be oversized T shirts for when I’m chilling.

Favourite accessory – watch / jewellery / etc – and why is it special to you?

I used to have a necklace that was a burned slightly bent arrow which I lost during the drivers parade at Le Mans last year.

I was walking through a crowd of people when I felt the chain snap and could feel the pendent drop down the front of my top.

I literally watched it fall out the bottom of my top in front of me whilst I was walking and I accidentally kicked it into a crowd of people.

Since then I have been trying to find another necklace that I have liked as much but haven’t come close yet.

What items do you take on holiday and why?

Sunglasses, but I’m guaranteed to break them one way or another. I go through pairs of sunglasses more often than I do toothpaste.

Is there an item you threw away – or lost – that you really miss?

Both my necklace and one of the many pairs of sunglasses.

What’s next on your shopping list?

Another pair of sunglasses.

What would you buy if money was no object?

A house on the beach, with an outdoor gym.

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