Benjamin Fortt, who took the honours as Thailand’s top rookie superbike racer in 2012, is joining SBK City Racing to contest the UK’s Hottrax and Pirelli National Superstock 1000 championships making him the first time Thai motorcycle racer to compete in a British series.
Fortt, who will be 19 in February, will race in the Hottrax Powercup 1000 series on a BMW S1000RR and has secured some wildcard entries to run alongside Brazilian, Rhalf Lo Turco, in the ultra-competitive BSB support series. Lo Turco is the 2012 Powercup 1000 champion and will be a regular on the Superstock 1000 grid this year.
Speaking shortly after he arrived in London with his English father, Keith, the Thai teenager explained, “I have raced Superbikes in Thailand for two seasons and achieved my goals in the novice and rookie classes.
"We have a lot of friends in the British paddock who encouraged us to make this move and we know it will be very different and a tough challenge. Our plan is to do as much testing as possible to learn the tracks, then run in Hottrax to get more familiarity and ultimately enter some British Superstock 1000 rounds.
“It is really exciting to be teaming up with Rhalf and SBK City Racing. I will benefit from their experience and I hope in turn to produce strong results for the team. I am also very grateful to CEA Projects for their sponsorship support. They have backed me for the last three seasons in Thailand, so it is fantastic that they are taking this step with us. Shark Helmets are backing me for a third year and I want to say a big thank you to them too.”
Before turning to Superbikes, Fortt, like many young Thai racers, began in motocross, then raced for two seasons in supermoto, winning races in the 250 and 400 classes and, in 2010, finishing third in Thailand’s national supermoto championship.
He displayed such a cool head in his early Superbike races that he earned the nickname ‘Iceman’ and quickly gathered an enthusiastic following. In view of the English winter he has just flown into, Fortt should have no problem keeping his cool at least until the start of the season.