- Speed demon Jesse Chamberlain is at his happiest when his Ginetta GT5 is gliding on the track and whizzing by his competitors. His journey into motorsport and professional racing, however, hasn’t been without its ups and down, or abrupt pit-stops. But after years of fighting against a financially unlevel playing field, he is now starting to turn his focus to helping the next generation - 

RAISED in a working-class family, operating on a shoestring budget, and occasionally debilitated by a complicated nerve condition, professional racing car driver Jesse Chamberlain could be forgiven for not displaying an eagerness to give back.

After all, why should he? Since his competitive debut in motorsport, at the age of eight - having discovered his natural potential while go-karting in Spain - the Clacton-based speed demon has experienced both the highs and lows of the “cut-throat” industry.

His first foray into world of racing, behind the wheel of a go-kart, saw him take home every accolade on offer.

But since then, although successful, his journey hasn’t been without its occasional pit-stops.


For every winner’s trophy on his mantlepiece, there has been a less talented driver sitting in pole position thanks to their bankrolling parents.

And for every spirit-lifting podium finish, there has been a company bigwig interested more in profit than raw ability.

But, as 26-year-old Jesse points out, be it on the circuit or otherwise, that’s just life and by no means an excuse to have a chip on your shoulder.

“Over the years, our low budget has made things harder and harder, and my family and I have had to pay for a lot ourselves,” he says.

“It is gutting to see other people that I know I am better than get further than me because of it.

"But we have worked hard, and I always know that if something doesn’t work out, there will be another opportunity.

“I am nowhere near where I want to be, and there are a few regrets, but I am proud of what I have done and achieved.

“As long as my family and I know I am good enough, that is all that matters because you never know how close you actually are to something happening.”

Currently part of the Xentek Motorsport team, this season Jesse is racing in a Ginetta GT5, and will compete in the televised British GT Championship and British Touring Car Championship.


Sponsored by bosses at Dalau, in Clacton, who the rapid racer says helped make his dreams a reality, this year will mark the first in his competitive tenure his dad, Jay Chamberlain, will be no more than a spectator.

“My dad raced go-karts when he was younger, and my grandad was a banger racer, so racing is kind of in the family,” says Jesse.

“My dad has been with me from the beginning and there has been some really good times along the way.

"My mum has really helped me loads as well. 

“I am a massive family person, but my dad will not be managing me anymore.

“My management team, Source One Associates, and Xentek, saw something in me and they have been unreal and lovely and I have found a real family with them.

"And wirth Dalau, they’ve helped me make my dreams a reality, without them on board I wouldn’t be able to go racing and do what I love most.

"I can’t thank them enough."


Although Jesse, who attended Clacton County High School, shows no signs of slowing down on the track, he is now looking to mentor budding young racers from the area.

Jesse wants to instil aspiration in the youth regardless of their backgrounds or abilities.

“I am not Lewis Hamilton but when a kid sits in my car, he thinks that I am,” says Jesse.

“So, I am looking at starting up a scholarship for children to help them get into the industry.

“When I started out, we didn’t know what we had to do because we didn’t have the knowledge and experience we do now.


“I am not doing this just for me, I am doing this for us all because if I can do it, then anyone can.

“If there is one kid I can help stay off the streets, who shows determination, I will help them 24 hours a day.

“I want kids to know that, even if they feel something is getting in their way, they can still achieve if they put their mind to it.

“It isn’t about what is wrong, it’s about the fight you have in you.”

Regardless of how this season pans out for Jesse, whose dream is to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the question of where the next pay cheque is going to come from constantly looms.


But as much as a flow of funding remains essential in order to compete on the track, you cannot put a price on happiness - which, for Jesse, depends on his ability to race.

“There aren’t many paid drivers in the world, so you really have to do it because you are passionate and love it,” he says.

“It is a cut-throat industry but I am not happy unless I am racing.”

Jesse Chamberlain is also sponsored by Action Coaching Business Coaching and Instant Image Signs & Graphics, and network sponsors CX Auto Group and Air Shroud.

Follow Jesse Chamberlain’s journey at Facebook.com/ chamberlainracing.

You can also find Jesse on Instagram at: @jesse_chamberlain69

All photos: Jakob Ebrey Photography