HANDSOME racing driver turned reality TV star Seb Melrose is ready to return to motorsport.
The 25-year-old, who last appeared at the Ginetta GT4 Supercup in 2021, found a new audience when he starred on Netflix hit Too Hot To Handle.
Seb Melrose is keen to return to motor racing after his stint on reality TV
Handsome Melrose came runner-up with stunning LA girl Kayla Richart
He came runner-up with now ‘longterm’ love Kayla Richart – scoring plenty of fans and admirers, as well as earning a huge social media following.
That makes Melrose a more attractive proposition for manufacturers now, as they look to bring sponsors in and he looks for a drive this season.
While, with his fame affording him a subsidised seat, it’s realistic for the Scottish star to become a gentleman driver who pays for his seat.
Melrose told : “I am trying to sort out a few deals – I really want to get back into racing cars.
“I’ve had a few chats with touring car, so we will see where that takes us.
“But, for the first time ever, money is no longer the issue. It’s about finding the drive.
“I’ve found different opportunities with it now.
“Since the age of 16, I always wanted to become a racing driver and work my way up to becoming a works driver for a big manufacturer.
“That’s kind of changed now. I feel there’s more of an opportunity to earn and to keep your life fairly free. So you could be almost like a gentleman driver – without sounding like an old guy!
“I’ve got the opportunity now to not race as a full-on professional, but be a professional driver while keeping my contracts wide open.
“I’ve no longer got that pressure that I need to find a manufacturer and get paid.
“Because of my social media numbers now, the growth and engagement I can provide to manufacturers, they have subsidised a lot of the seats for me.
“Racing is cheaper than it has ever been. I don’t mind paying, and now I can pay for a seat that is subsidised.”
Thanks to his popularity on Too Hot To Handle, Melrose has over 500,000 followers on Instagram.
The godson of three-time Indy 500 champion Dario Franchitti also receives plenty of paid partnerships on social media. It makes him a far more attractive prospect to hire.
He revealed: “I’m not going to talk for anyone, everyone is on their own journey. For me, specifically, for what I can now provide to sponsors and teams is something that other drivers can’t.
Now with a strong Instagram following, Melrose is a huge catch for manufacturers
Thanks to his new found fame, Melrose enjoys a glam life
“I am still a quick driver. I can still peddle a car. So not only will they get someone who has the ability to get on the podium, they also get someone who can market their sponsors.
“When it came to the crunch of chasing my dream in racing or going on a reality TV show, I thought I could actually combine the two.
“Thankfully, it paid off. I’ve got the numbers now and I came across well, but it could easily have gone south.
“I could have been hated, and the sponsors might not have wanted to associate with me.”
Despite flirting with celebrity, Melrose admitted he missed motor racing.
He eloquently explained what it means to him: “It’s an escape for reality.
“You get the helmet on and the belt and strapped in, you’re not thinking about anything else, but what you’ve got to do on that race track at any given time.
“It’s almost like a form of meditation for me now.
Melrose appeared on Too Hot To Handle’s recent fourth season
Kayla Richart stole the heart of Melrose on the show
“You are still faced with other types of stress, performing and timings, but you kind of go into another world and all you care about is your car and what is going on around you.”
Melrose won the charms of stunning LA beauty Kayla, 22, despite plenty of competition on Too Hot To Handle.
In a way, he joked, it was almost like the sport he competes in.
“It was competitive, just like racing,” he said.
“Everyone was competing for the same girl, Kayla. She was the girl I fancied and I felt there was a connection there, just like the other guys.
“But I wasn’t biggest guy there, I didn’t have the biggest muscles, and wasn’t the tallest. I probably had the worst engine out of the lot, but I still managed to leave everyone else behind.
Kayla is looking forward to seeing Melrose race again
Melrose is ready for a sport in touring car
“I couldn’t have had a better experience. I came out with Kayla, who is someone I view as longterm.”
And in Kayla, Melrose will have his No1 supporter cheering him on from the stands when he returns to the track.
“She’s looking forward to me racing just as much as I am,” Melrose added.
“Kayla’s nervous about it, and she would like me to race in the States. I’ve got a couple of options this season, so we will see.
“But this year I am ready for it, I want to get out there and show people what I can do and have fun doing it.”