PaddlUp unveils multifaceted motorsport academy programme
Supercar auctioneers reveal racing project spanning multiple disciplines
PaddlUp has today (Tuesday, 3 May) announced a roster of auspicious racing drivers for its unprecedented academy programme. The PaddlUp Academy promises to utilise the organisation’s standing and connections within the automotive and motorsport spheres to provide aspiring racing drivers with a platform to do what they do best.
As an automotive auction house specialising in unique supercars worth in excess of £100,000, PaddlUp is no stranger to speed and adrenaline. With many of the necessary resources already at its disposal, the decision was made for a motorsport programme to be formed.
At launch, the academy itself comprises four unique talents. Between them, the versatile quartet covers a vast range of categories from across the world of motorsport. From cadet karting to Caterham racing and esports in the virtual world, this project encompasses a broad spectrum of driving expertise.
Ethan Griffiths is the youngest member of the squad and races in Honda Cadets. Hailing from Wales, Griffiths began riding motocross bikes at six years old and swiftly transitioned to go-karts. Most recently, he finished an admirable eighth in the Super One Series’ 2021 Honda Cadet class and, this year he has his sights firmly set on the prestigious Ultimate Karting Championship and British Kart Championship.
Flying the PaddlUp flag in the virtual world, meanwhile, is Riley Phillips. Currently studying at university and competing in the Fun Cup Endurance Championship, Phillips walks the line between real-world motorsport and virtual racing. As the company’s resident simulator expert, he was perfectly placed to lead PaddlUp’s Esports division in two highly competitive Assetto Corsa series.
The final pieces of the PaddlUp Academy puzzle are Joe Priday – one of PaddlUp’s Co-Founders as well as an avid supercar collector – and Caterham technician Marc Jones. Both of whom compete under the PaddlUp banner in the Caterham Roadsport Championship, having graduated from the academy category in 2021, a season in which Jones finished third in the overall standings only failing to reach the podium on one occasion.
Ethan Griffiths, Honda Cadet Driver, PaddlUp said: "I'm really excited to be part of the PaddlUp Academy, there are a lot of really fast and talented drivers in this team. We're aiming high in the Ultimate Karting Championship and British Kart Championship this season and it's great to have PaddlUp along for the journey."
Riley Phillips, Esports Driver, PaddlUp added: "It's amazing to be representing PaddlUp in the virtual world. Esports was already a fast-growing space but then the lockdowns during the pandemic took it to another level of popularity. I think we can achieve some great results this year together with the team we have put together for endurance events."
Joe Priday, Co-Founder & Caterham Roadsport Driver, PaddlUp commented: "This is another incredible step forward in PaddlUp's progression as a business. The auction house side is going from strength to strength so this is a great way of adding another component under the PaddlUp umbrella. I'm really proud of what this company is achieving both on and off the track."
Marc Jones, Caterham Roadsport Driver, PaddlUp said: "We had a great season in Caterham Academy last year so it seems natural for us to move into the Roadsport category. It's great to be part of a wider team as well, we have a lot of knowledge and experience to draw upon from across this ecosystem of drivers."
Tim Mayneord, Co-Founder & CEO, PaddlUp added: “We’re very happy to have Ethan, Riley, Joe and Marc racing under the PaddlUp banner in 2022. It seemed like a perfect fit to get involved as the industry we occupy is so closely linked to motorsport. We have a great mix of talent in this line-up, with drivers from the youngest generation, new-age virtual motorsport and more traditional car racing all represented within our academy.”
Plans for additional driver announcements are already in the pipeline for the coming months, as the PaddlUp Academy embarks on its first-ever season in competitive motorsport.