|Russell Danzey was spot-on when he apologised to his dad for leaving his Father’s Day card back home in Sheffield, and vowed to win the third round of the British Super 1 Championship at Rowrah in Cumbria yesterday (15 June) to make amends.|
“He was focused and single-minded from the outset” said his father, Robert. “He said on Thursday, ‘I’m going to win this’ and he absolutely meant it”.
In Timed Qualifying, Russell posted the 6th fastest time overall and in his first heat he kept a cool head to finish 3rd - surviving a somewhat chaotic race.
In the following heat, the 13-year old was pipped into second place - but it was good enough to secure 3rd on the grid for the first of the two points-scoring finals.
As the pack barrelled into the first corner, Russ muscled his way into the lead. A three-way dice instantly developed as pole-sitter Mackenzie Taylor and reigning British Open Champion, Carl Stirling attacked. Stirling was able to slip past and set about opening a gap over his pursuers.
Having despatched Taylor, Russ charged after the young Ulsterman - but despite a superb effort, simply ran out of laps and took the chequered flag just two tenths of a second behind Stirling.
In the second final, Russ again got an electric start to head a pack of six karts. As the race settled, Danzey and Stirling had pulled away from the rest and with 8 laps to go, Russell went for the lead - “The plan had been to take the lead with three laps to go but I decided to go for it early and see if I could pull away from Carl”, he said afterwards.
It worked - but he hadn’t reckoned on the astonishing pace of Jake Dennis who had come through to second place, and was now rapidly closing Russ down. The teenager looked over his shoulder to see Dennis sitting right on his bumper. Such was Jake’s speed that Russell’s father later confessed that they were expecting to take their second runner-up spot of the day.
Russ however, had other ideas. “At first, I wasn’t thinking about the win – I was just concentrating on what the kart was doing and making sure that I hit all the right apexes. On the last lap though, I did get a little nervous. Jake put me under a lot of pressure but I held on.”
Many of Russell’s fellow competitors sportingly went to congratulate him for his first Super 1 win - “It was an amazing feeling. I can’t really describe it. Everybody was saying ‘well done’ and that I’d deserved it. It’s a weight off my shoulders and I feel really confident now. I know I can do it again.”
His dad was also ecstatic, “That was the best Father’s day present I have ever had!”