Congratulations to Lower Sixth student Ben Richardson who recently qualified for and competed in the national finals of the British Indoor Karting Championships in Manchester, finishing 11th overall. 

Ben started go-karting two years ago at a local track in Mitcham, he says, “The competitive nature and high speeds intrigued me, leading me to make frequent visits to explore and develop my skills in the sport.  

“In go karting there is very a high stakes competition, where racing wheel to wheel means a single mistake can be the difference between finishing on the podium or leaving the track last and covered in mud. And it is these stakes which make it so exciting when racing beside other competitors all trying to achieve the same goal, knowing many of them will risk everything to get ahead of you on the track.  

“Since starting out, I have progressed to faster outdoor karting series nationwide, including competing in the Club 100 series which tours tracks around the UK. However, the British Indoor Karting Championships at the TeamSport tracks drew me back to do some more indoor driving. 

“Due to my weight and age, I qualified for the lightweight over 16s local final after setting a fast enough lap. Winning the local finals out of 24 people in my category, I secured a spot in the regional finals among the top six. 

“The regional finals included top six finishers from four nearby tracks. In the group stages I qualified first in my heat of 12. And after winning both my heats I qualified for second in the grand final. This then earned me a place in the national finals in Manchester, a thrilling achievement as it was my first time after falling short last year in the local finals. 

“Arriving in Manchester a day early for practice, as it was my first time at the track and in an electric kart. On the day me and 31 other drivers from all over the country were extremely nervous, competing in a highly attended event with hundreds of people watching the live stream and from the trackside. Qualifying dead last I was initially disappointed with my performance, and I started 16th in my group. However, keeping my head down and avoiding incidents I managed to climb to 7th in the semi-final, earning a spot in the grand final! 

“Starting 14th out of the top 16 drivers in the grand final, the intense 15-minute race led me to finish 11th after keeping myself calm but composed and avoiding some major incidents ahead of me, I ended up falling short of the podium. Nonetheless, I was immensely satisfied with my performance and the overall experience. 

“Looking ahead, I aim to return next year even more competitive, continuing rigorous training to hopefully secure a podium finish.” 

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