He might not know all the local lingo, but Zak O’Sullivan gives us the lowdown on growing up near Cheltenham. The Carlin racer lets us know what it was like to live in the peace and quiet of the Cotswolds, where to visit and how close his home race actually was.
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
“I’d say just outside Cheltenham in the UK. Not really living in a town at the moment, more in a field but nice to get some kind of open space, especially after a busy weekend. It's nice to be home and look out at some fields and be with the nature of it. The fields behind have got sheep in for about 50% of the year. My dog likes trying to scare them around so it’s always pretty entertaining when they come in.
“It’s very green. Being in the UK - probably raining a lot of the time. Also quite relaxing, no real road noise or streetlights around so you can always get quite a good night's sleep after a race weekend.
“Cheltenham’s like a mini-London. It’s a nice little town, not too big, which is something quite refreshing and everyone is pretty welcoming.”
WHAT LANGUAGES ARE SPOKEN?
“English. There’s also farming slang, but I don’t really know about it!”
WHERE SHOULD TOURISTS VISIT?
“There’s a racecourse not too far away so that always flogs a pretty good number of people. Twice a year they have a racing festival, so everyone comes to watch the horse racing at Cheltenham.
“I’ve been before, usually we go on the Boxing Day one. We haven’t been for two years, now I think I’d enjoy it a bit more. When I was younger, I wasn’t really too sure what was going on to be honest!”
WHERE SHOULD PEOPLE EAT AND DRINK?
“In Cheltenham itself, there’s a really good place called 131. It’s kind of a hotel/bar/restaurant that’s always rather busy and they do pretty good food as well. I don’t really have a must-have order - it’s going to sound boring, but I'm up for whatever.”
MOST IMPORTANTLY, WHERE CAN WE GO KARTING?
“The track at Rissington is about half an hour away. Some of the British Championships race there, so it’s always kind of been my local track.
“In terms of car racing tracks, I’d actually say probably Silverstone is the closest, about an hour and 10 minutes away. Not great for racetrack locations, but Silverstone is obviously my home race because of the country but is also probably the closest within the UK as well."