Karting ace celebrates title win

PUBLISHED: 11:48 12 October 2007 | UPDATED: 20:10 01 June 2010

In action on the track

In action on the track

A KARTING dynamo from Tydd St Giles clinched the British Karting Championship at the weekend. Benjy Russell, 21, held off the challenge of rival and defending champion Michael Simpson going into the last race of the six-round Championship at the weekend.

A KARTING dynamo from Tydd St Giles clinched the British Karting Championship at the weekend.

Benjy Russell, 21, held off the challenge of rival and defending champion Michael Simpson going into the last race of the six-round Championship at the weekend.

Russell said: "I am delighted. I won the championship as a junior in 2001 when I was 15 but was unable to display my number one plate the following season as my weight meant I was too heavy to compete.

"I decided to move up to senior level and I have won the British Open twice and this title once before - I was beginning to think I would never win it a second time having finished fourth for the last four years."

Russell raced across Britain in his quest for the title, at circuits as far afield as Dorset, Scotland, Sunderland, Cumbria, Wigan and Kent.

He went into the final round at Buckmore Park, near Maidstone, needing to outperform Simpson on the track to clinch the crown.

Simpson looked to be favourite after claiming pole position in qualifying for the first heat but crashed out on the first corner allowing Russell his chance.

Simpson managed to restart his kart to finish in 18th but Russell gained 20 points on his rival in the first heat.

The title was clinched in the second heat when Russell recorded a solid sixth-placed finish and Simpson collided with another kart, crowning the Fenland man champion.

The event finished on a sour note when Simpson appealed the result of the first heat, blaming Russell for his crash but the new champion was exonerated of any blame by the course marshals.

Russell ends the championship 37 points clear of his nearest rival at the top of the standings.

* Benjy Russell will represent Great Britain in the Rotax World Championships at the end of November in the United Arab Emirates.


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