Exclusively to ‘leadlap.net’, Alex Sedgwick opens up about his struggles during 2019 and how a virus complicated his comeback drive in Zolder
The 20-year-old Briton from Brighton had high hopes going into 2019. He came off a strong NASCAR Whelen Euro Series (NWES) rookie season in 2018, in which he was constantly fighting among the front pack.
Midway through the 2019 season however adversity struck and he was suddenly forced out of action. Sedgwick took on the battle to come back for the final races at Circuit Zolder and conquered a stunning Junior Trophy race win on his return.
‘Leadlap.net’ spoke to the Braxx Racing driver about his 2019 heartbreak, his exceptional NWES comeback in Zolder and his goals for the 2020 season.
Chris Liemann (CL): “It was great to see you return in Zolder. What did it mean to you to make it back into EuroNASCAR in 2019?”
Alex Sedgwick (AS): “It was great to be back in the car at Zolder. It’s no secret that this year has been really tough for me. To come off a strong rookie season in 2018, thinking we’re in for a good year fighting at the front, only to be held back by factors outside of my control was heartbreaking.”
“Especially, when you think about all the work that had gone into getting to that point in the first place. Mid way through this year I was very unmotivated and unsure of what was the best course of action.”
“So to jump back in and stand on top of the podium, especially after such a big break was fantastic for me. It’s really revived me and brought back my motivation ready for 2020!”
Junior Trophy victory despite a viral infection
CL: “During the Zolder weekend you were suffering from a virus. Take us through how wrecking it must have been to race in such dreadful weather, particularly during Sunday’s Zolder race in which you eventually took the Junior Trophy win?”
AS: “As great as it was to be back in the car and up the front, I’d much rather have done it without a virus! I was suffering for sure. I couldn’t eat, could barely drink, even hardly being able to speak on the radio in the car!”
“As a result, I was really low on energy over the weekend. With my body trying to fight off the virus as well as driving the car on next to no food or water, it’s not something I want to repeat in a hurry! Fortunately, it didn’t seem to affect me on track too much and we got some good results, which makes the weekend all the better for me.”
Stepping back leads to stepping forward
CL: “As difficult as it was in the summer for you to take a break from the NWES, was it the right decision with hindsight?”
AS: “I think for sure to take a break after Brands Hatch was the right decision. As mentioned above, after the first few races in the season I was left very unmotivated and burnt out, so I think should we have carried on we would have just been stuck in a rut.”
“By taking the break, it meant that the underlying issues were able to be worked on. Also, for me to have a bit of a break, work on other things and then come back, made me realise just how much I wanted to continue in the NWES for the future.”
CL: “What projects have you been working on in your free time?”
AS: “I kept busy coaching here in the UK on events with private clients as well as Ferrari, Alpine and Peugeot. I also launched my new business, Vertex Sports Management. It specialises in management, marketing, career guidance, coaching and ‘motorsport concierge’ services for aspiring professional and gentlemen drivers.”
Next up: snatching maiden NWES victory
CL: “With your spirits revived for 2020 as you mentioned earlier, will we see Alex Sedgwick return to the EuroNASCAR grid in 2020?”
AS: “That’s the plan! There is no doubt in my mind that I want to be racing in NASCAR for the long term and the next box to tick is to win in the Euro Series. I’m working on some exciting plans for next year which should hopefully put me in a position to do just that. Keep an eye out for more news!”