|Millennium Motorsport’s Carl Stirling clinched the British Super 1 KF3 title with a double podium in the season finale, last weekend (4/5 October). The 15-year old had gone into the final round leading the points table, but expected to be hard-pressed by his season-long rival Mackenzie Taylor.|
Carl got things underway with a solid 3rd fastest lap in timed qualifying, whilst Taylor found himself down in 28th place after rain fell during his session. “This relaxed me more, knowing that he would not be breathing down my neck in the heats,” Carl explained.
Starting from pole position in his first race, Carl opted for ‘safety-first’ and took 3rd place. However, a post-race penalty saw initial winner, Ashley Sutton demoted to 4th - moving Carl into 2nd place.
In the following heat, Carl brought his Tonykart home in 3rd place, knowing that it would secure him a good position on the grid for the first of the day’s two points scoring finals.
“I started from 3rd on the grid and in the first corner, moved into 2nd place. I sat behind (the leader) Patryk Szczerbinski for another lap, and then passed him on the start/finish line. From there, I drove as hard as I could, but with five laps to go had to defend from Patryk and Ashley (Sutton). I held them to the flag and was delighted to win. It was a major confidence booster and actually secured the Championship for me – although I wasn’t sure that I’d done it at this point.”
With Taylor in 5th, Carl had indeed put the Championship beyond his rival’s reach - but was keen to end his final race of the 2008 season on a high.
“I was leading the 2nd final, but made a mistake on the 4th lap, allowing Sutton and Szczerbinski through. On the same lap, at the hairpin at the top of the circuit I was hit from behind and my engine cut out. This caused a pile-up behind me, but I was able to re-start my engine and continue in 4th place. I re-took 3rd and I was able to hold off Sam Snell to the flag”.
With Taylor watching from the sidelines after being caught up in the earlier collision, Carl now knew he’d wrapped up the Championship and was obviously delighted. “I went into the last corner smiling so hard it hurt my face! All the hard work every single person in the team has put into me this year, paid off. I’m over the moon. I want to thank my mechanic, Spike who gave 110% commitment all year, (Millennium Motorsport owner) Dean Panrucker who has improved my racecraft and racing brain, Gordy (Gordon Finlayson) at GFR Engines who’s given me fast engines all season, Lee Johnston who helped me in the early days, and last - but definitely not least - Shane McFadden who’s always been there and wanted the best for me.”
He added, “I’d also like to thank my mum and dad - who have supported me all year and deserve this as much as me – and my two brothers, Adam and Craig.”
Carl - who adds the Super 1 to the British Open title he won earlier in the year - says “I think this (victory) lays down a marker that I didn’t have at the beginning of the year. When I won the Open title, people were asking ‘Who’s Carl Stirling?’ – now they know.”