Exhaust trouble robs Fenland karting star of record-breaking fourth title

TEENAGE karting champion George Russell was denied an historic fourth Kartmasters crown after the silencer fell off his exhaust in an agonising final.

The 13-year-old, from Tydd St Giles, performed strongly in the heats and produced a fantastic drive to win the pre-final at the Lincolnshire kart circuit.

But triumph quickly turned to despair when the mechanical fault left Russell unable to finish in the grand final and robbed him of the chance of securing a record-breaking fourth Kartmasters title.

The Wisbech Grammar School student, who races for Italian team Intrepid Kart International, said: “Throughout the heats and the pre-final, it had taken a few laps for the kart to properly come on.

“I got overtaken on lap three but I wasn’t worried. I just planned to stay in the leader’s slipstream until my kart came to me and then get him back again and push as hard as I could to build up a gap.

“That’s exactly what I did but then the silencer on my exhaust fell off - the result of earlier contact into the first hairpin when someone had driven into the back of me.

“I could hear it getting louder and louder by the lap, and suddenly it went. That was really disappointing, as I received a mechanical flag which meant I had to come into the pits and was unable to finish the race.”

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Russell, who stormed to his first European Championship victory in Spain last month, had already achieved tremendous success in the Kartmasters series.

The teenage sensation won the WTP class in 2008, the Comer Cadet in 2009 and the Mini Max in 2010 - the first ever driver to triumph at three different levels.

For updates on Russell’s latest career news and results visit: www.georgerussellracing.com