In one of the world’s most dangerous sports, it takes a lot of guts, courage, and hard work to attain such discipline in the world of Formula 4 racing. Fear and quitting are not in the vocabulary of siblings F4 racing riders Benjamin Thomas and Sam Edward Grimes. They make sure that in every competition, they always give their best and always remember to thank God for all of their accomplishments.
Born Benjamin Thomas Grimes on July 16, 1998 and Samuel Edward Grimes on February 16, 2000 to Mr. Peter Grimes and Ms. Marissa Grimes, Ben graduated Business Management Studies from Brent International School Manila and soon to attend University of Leicester while Sam is studying as a high school student at Brent International School Manila.
Ben had won a few karting championships and went to the World Championship in 2013. He also had a few podiums in Formula Masters this year, being the first Filipino in Formula Masters to get a podium in the overall championship, and have also won a few F4 races and gotten multiple F4 podiums.
Sam is highly competitive in the Asian karting scene for the four years where he was karting in Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia in the Asian Karting championship against other promising upcoming Asian talents.
Paolo: How do you balance your sports and your studies?
Ben: It’s hard, it takes a lot of sacrifice and for a while I really had to minimize my social life in order to be able to successfully balance my racing and my schoolwork. Now I am out of school, I can focus on the racing, and have a good social life so it’s much better than it was two years ago in that area.
Sam: Actually, this is one of the things I have questioned about myself quite a lot in the past year. It's definitely not easy, and being in my final year of high school and being in the IB diploma program (which is widely considered to be one of the toughest high school diploma curriculums worldwide), pursuing racing has definitely taken a toll on my grades, despite this I wouldn't stop racing for the world. The experiences and life lessons that I have learned over the past 6 years racing are as valuable to me as academic knowledge. That being said, there's a lot of work being brought to my race weekends to ensure that I don't fall behind too far, but that's part of the deal. To continue racing, I have a deal where I must continue to perform academically, which acts as a motivator to try and perform on both sides.
Paolo: Why did you choose racing/F4?
Ben: I started racing 6 years ago. I watched a go-kart race at the Carmona kart circuit in 2010 and fell in love with the sport. I started competitively racing the following year in the Thai karting championship, as I was based in Thailand at the time.
Sam: It's always been my dream, ever since I went to my first karting race as a spectator when I was 10. It was an Asian Karting Open Championship race being held here in Carmona, Cavite, and my best friend was racing. I saw kids my age racing and doing amazing things and it inspired me to grasp my dream and pursue it. 7 years later, making a step up from karting to Formula 4 which has also been a dream also feels great. It feels like a step in the right direction towards where I want to end up in the future.
Paolo: What is your advice to youngsters who are into motor sports?
Ben: It’s never too late to start! Follow your dream, and work hard. I hope that I can inspire more Filipinos to start racing and to make the Philippines one of Asia’s top racing destinations, and I hope I can become a good ambassador for the sport in the country”.
Sam: Don't give up on your dreams, in racing, the sport has a funny way of showing it with the ups and downs on the journey, but if you set your mind to something, and apply yourself outside you can make anything happen. If I were to go back in time and tell my 10 year old self that in a few years he would be racing in Formula 4 South East Asia, I would have laughed. I believe the Philippines has a raw talent for the sport but not enough people pursue it.
Paolo: What is your ambition in life?
Ben: My dream is the F1 racing. However, I would settle for a drive in any top category of world racing, such as WEC, or DTM, or being a paid driver in GT racing. Outside of the sport, in case things don’t work out my way, I would like to run my own company on the business side of Motorsports, or run my own fitness, nutrition and lifestyle company.
Sam: The obvious and cliché goal is to make F1, but realistically I want to try a mold a successful racing career, and whether that be in a form of single seater somewhere, or GT cars, or even being in a team, just involved in the development of the sport and/or a driver would be a lot of fun too.