Bacon's City Technology College sweep to victory in the inaugural British Schools Karting Championship
A team of young school students from Bacon's City Technology College raced their way to victory in the final of the first ever British Schools Karting Championship held in Streatham, South London on Monday evening.
The championship has captured the imagination of hundreds of school children across the capital as well as influential figures in the motorsport industry. Vauxhall's British Touring Car squad, the Williams F1 team and the BRDC Stars of Tomorrow karting championship, where British F1 driver Lewis Hamilton was found, have all donated prizes to the winning teams. The initiative has also received support from Jenson Button:
"The British Schools Karting Championship is a fantastic way for more young British kids to get into motorsport," the Honda Formula 1 ace commented. "Some of the best memories in my career come from the time I spent racing in karts. It is so much fun and definitely the best way to get in to motorsport and enjoy yourself at the same time."
Gareth Lewis, a PE teacher at Bacon's City Technology College in Rotherhithe, South East London, says that the championship has been a fantastic opportunity for the young students.
"The championship has been a lot of fun. The kids have had an opportunity that they'd never have in a normal school environment. It opens door ways, it really does. They're not massive on the sports scene at school, they're not footballers, they're not rugby, not hockey, there's nothing else for them to do, but here in karting they've suddenly shone. Their names have been mentioned in assemblies, their trophies are up in the cabinets with their names on so it's been really great for them and the interest at school is huge."
The team from Bacons CTC, consisting of Oliver Clarke (14), Aaron Adams (16), and Serkan Erdem (15), dominated the final winning half of the 6 races and finishing second in the rest.
Championship director Will Tew said that his aim is to make motorsport as accessible to young people as possible.
"I've loved motorsport ever since I was a kid. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to go racing when I was at school, but there was nothing in place to allow that to happen without spending thousands of pounds."
"The British Schools Karting Championship changes all that. It's just fantastic. The kids have had a great time and all the teachers are very happy. Congratulation to Bacons City Technology College, they drove brilliantly throughout the championship and are deserving champions."
Although motorsport is often regarded as a sport for the rich and fortunate, the British Schools Karting Championship has taken an ambitious step to change that. With all karts and equipment provided, costs are kept to an absolute minimum, eliminating one of the main barriers for young people wanting to participate in competitive motor racing. The entry fee of £42.50 per driver for the whole championship - practise, semi final and final - is low enough to allow most youngsters to take part, and many schools have helped out financially by subsidising the entry fees to make it even more affordable.
"That's one of the nicest things for me. To see some kids race who might never have had the chance to try out a sport so exciting and exhilarating. I'm really happy," said Tew.
Teams from Bushey Meads School in Hertfordshire secured second and third places in the championship. The top three teams had their prizes and trophies presented to them by Vauxhall's 21 year old British Touring Car driver Tom Chilton.
These teams will now be invited to a day at Brands Hatch courtesy of Vauxhall and a special test in a high performance outdoor kart kindly donated by the BRDC Stars of Tomorrow series. Thirty lucky students from Bacons City Technology College will also be treated to an exclusive tour around the Williams F1 museum in Grove, Oxfordshire later in the year.
1st - Bacon's City Technology College (57pts)
2nd - Bushey Meads School A (48pts)
3rd - Bushey Meads School C (45pts)
4th - Campion School (37pts)
5th - Latymer Upper School (37pts)
6th - Heathland School B (31pts)
7th - St George's School (29pts)
8th - Heathland School D (20pts)
9th - Bushey Meads School B (15pts)
10th - St Joseph's Academy (11pts)
High res photos can found at www.bskc.co.uk/press
All photos courtesy of Enver Meyer: www.envermeyer.com
28th February 2007