|RFM’s Mackenzie Taylor rebounded from his disappointment at finishing 2nd in last week’s British Open Championship, with a superb victory at the second round of the Winning Series Karting Championship.|
The win will taste all the sweeter for the KF3 star – who celebrates his 15th birthday today - after last month’s opening round of the WSK saw him finish down in 19th place, after a start-line accident took him out of the points.
Arriving at Angerville, Mackenzie knew that he needed a good result if he was going to stand a chance of fighting for overall honours in the title chase.
Things started well when he recorded the 5th fastest time in Qualifying – putting him on the front row of the grid for the heats in his group. Mackenzie duly took a 4th, 2nd, 3rd and another 2nd to put himself on P3 for the pre-Final.
After catching initial leader Nicolai Moller Madsen, Mackenzie passed him for the lead and reeled out a string of fast laps to take an untroubled win.
As the field rolled onto the track for the Final, it started to drizzle, but this did little to affect the teenager’s confidence. “I was on slicks but knew that my set-up was perfect” he said.
At the lights Mackenzie got a good start, although Moller Madsen momentarily headed him towards the first bend. Using the inside line to his advantage, Mackenzie prevented the Danish driver from taking the racing line and preserved his lead.
Mackenzie explains: “I’d got my tyres nicely warmed up during the rolling-up laps and this gave me the advantage. I just managed to get my head down and pull away”. With the field fighting each other for position behind him, Taylor was able to open up a gap. However, once the race had settled into a rhythm, he found himself being tracked down by Frenchman Brandon Maisano and Dutch driver Jorrit Pex. He said afterwards: “Every lap I looked for Neil (Doran, his mechanic) who waved a finger in the air to say ‘keep pushing.’ Seeing the chequered flag came as a massive relief, after all those laps at the front.”
Winning the race by nearly 5 seconds sealed his dominance of the two Finals – and puts him right back in the hunt - after first round winner Nyck De Vries and 3rd-placed driver, Michelle Gatting, both failed to score points.
Mackenzie was keen to acknowledge the people behind his success, saying: “It was Rick’s (Flynn, boss of Ricky Flynn Motorsport) ability to set the kart up perfectly for the changing conditions that made all the difference. In the wet and the dry, it was as if it was on rails. His organisation and preparation is second-to-none. Neil also worked really hard all weekend and I hope I’ve repaid him for his efforts (with this win). My thanks also to Gordy (Gordon Finlayson) and Dougie (Meek) (of Gordon Finlayson Racing Engines) and Martin (Poole) and Dan (Williams) at Pro Performance – they’ve made a massive difference.”
With the British season starting next weekend, Sunday’s victory must surely mark him as one of the favourites for overall honours in the British Super 1 Championship, which kicks off at the fast Three Sisters circuit, near Wigan next weekend (12/13 April 2008).
“The WSK is the toughest the competition is going to get. It’s effectively the World Championship for Juniors and to win at this level in such a short time (this is Mackenzie’s first full season of European racing) bodes well for the rest of the year. I wouldn’t say I’m over confident but yesterday was a big boost, so we’ll see.”
Keep visiting www.mackenzietaylor.co.uk to follow his fortunes throughout the rest of the 2008 season.