Born into a family who had a passion for anything with wheels and a motor, Marques Riddell was a race fan from the get-go but it wasn't until he attended a race for himself that he realized that he was destined to race cars.
In a story that starts back in1993, Riddell had the opportunity to attend a Formula One European GP at Donnington Park thanks to hospitality tickets from Hitachi power-tools and the Lotus F1 team. It was at this race that his destiny started to take hold and at just 3 years old, Riddell knew he had to experience racing for himself.
Unfortunately, Riddell's family, like many up-coming drivers, didn't have the money to feed his need for speed but whenever he got the chance to drive, he did his absolute best. At 5 years old, Riddell would spend hours logging laps at a 100m oval track in a town where his family would spend their vacations. It was there that he would continue to improve his skill until the opportunity to compete in a real race would turn from a dream to a reality.
In 2002, Riddell entered into a competition to represent his school in a six race tournament and all of his time at the 100m oval seemed to pay off when he came home with a victory in all six races. Unfortunately, it would be two whole years before Riddell would get to race competitively again but he kept practicing and improving each chance he could get.
In 2005, at the Daytona Motorsport UK Sandown Park Kart Circuit, Riddell found himself behind the wheel again. In an eleven race series, Riddell could only afford to enter six of them but still came home with a respectable third place finish and earned his first end of season trophy.
There was always one person in his life who supported his dream and could see that his hobby as a young boy was turning into a passionate obsession as a teenager; his mother. For his 16th birthday, his mother entered him into the North Devon Junior Kart Summer Championship. a six race series in which he won every race.
In 2007, his racing career was put off to the side as he focused on getting his drivers license but in 2008, he once again returned to North Devon and entered into the Senior Championship. In the 16 race event, Riddell found himself in Victory Lane 11 times, earning himself his first Senior Championship.
After returning home to London, Riddell knew he needed to feed his need for racing and began working in order to enter himself in any race possible. From 2008 to 2010, at the Daytona Sandown Park Circuit, Riddell raced often, achieving much success at the familiar track and all across the country. Riddell finished in the runner-up position in both 2009 and 2010 Daytona d60 Championship.
In a time when things looked to be moving in the right direction, everything suddenly started going downhill. In his 300th race, he qualified on the pole and was on his way to another victory when, after leading 42 of the 50 laps, he crashed into the tires. With conditions hovering around -6 degrees Celcius (21 degrees Fahrenheit), Riddell finished the race in 3rd but found himself waking up in the back of an ambulance an hour later.
Because of the accident and freezing temperatures, Riddell was placed on a three month medical ban and ended up missing the 2011 season. After a six month hiatus from racing, Riddell stepped back into a kart and returned to the place where he was most comfortable, victory lane.
Riddell knew there was one person who would enjoy his victory as much as he did, his mother.
"When I got (to her home) she sat me down and said how proud she was of me. She told me to stop holding back and chase after my dreams," he said, "because I was often too lazy and complacent, sticking around dead end series year after year, never progressing my career any further. She said if you fail at least you won't live your life wondering what would have and could have happened if I didn't go after it."
These words turned out to be the most influential words that his mother ever bestowed upon him and also her last. The next morning, she passed away after loosing her ongoing battle with cancer.
After his mother's passing, Riddell returned to a familiar place, North Devon, the home of many happy memories he had shared with his mother. After returning to the Kart Centre, he noticed that that afternoon was the start of the tournament that he had won back in 2008, the last tournament his mother had paid for him to enter. With his mother's spirit by his side, he went on to win his third Karting Championship.
After winning the Championship, Riddell took the rest of the year off to plan his future. During his time off, his dream started to shift towards the media side of the motorsports business. After studying media and advertising in college, Riddell focused on social media and promotion. He started his own YouTube Page, RgRacingTV, and has a network of followers on Twitter thanks to a campaign called #NASCARFollowBack (follow him here).
"I had been a huge fan of both NASCAR and F1 for my entire life but after meeting my new followers I realized how great the oval racing community was and discovered that we too have our own late model and baby grand series that feed the European NASCAR series," he said.
In 2012, Riddell returned to racing and once more finished as the runner-up in the Daytona InKart Championship. He also defended his North Devon Karting title on the anniversary of his mothers passing, the most important race of the reason.
In 2013, Riddell has stepped away from racing to focus on his book which depicts the struggle's that he has had to face while trying to make a living as a professional racecar driver. He hopes to help others in reaching their goals by learning from the mistakes and wrong turns he made throughout his career.
Riddell is currently testing for a full time late model ride in the UK for 2014. In the future, he hopes to move from the United Kingdom to America and continue to follow his dreams. He hopes to one day drive in a Sprint Cup Race, even if it only happens once.
Current Record (As of June 17th, 2013):
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