GREAT Eccleston karting star William Taylforth raced to his maiden victory in the Formula Kart Stars Championship at the Ellough Park circuit in Suffolk, a result that lifted him into the top ten in this year’s British Cadet rankings.
William waited until the last corner of the final lap of the last race of the Bernie Ecclestone supported series – the same one that launched the careers of current Formula 1 stars Lewis Hamilton and Paul Di Resta – before making his winning move to take victory.
It was the culmination of a six month campaign that has seen the 13-year old Hodgson Academy pupil travel all over the UK and even to Belgium in his quest for a national ranking in the fiercely competitive MSA British Cadet Championship, and saw William finally realise his goal of standing on the top step of the podium.
“I was quite confident ahead of the final,” recalled William, who started the 12th and final round of the championship from third on the grid after a day in which he was never out of the top three in qualifying and the two heat races.
“But I was quite worried about the first turn, as I knew there was going to be a lot of contact.”
After safely negotiating Ellough’s notoriously tricky first corner Taylforth emerged in second place behind polesitter Dean Macdonald.
“I looked back at the end of lap one and we had a two second lead, so we worked together to pull clear of everyone else,” he said.
Using the leader’s slipstream to his advantage and while travelling at more than 50mph just inches off the ground, William began analysing the behaviour of Macdonald’s kart as the 19-lap race progressed.
“I was thinking about where he was slower than me,” said William, who was never more than a few feet away from Macdonald’s rear bumper.
“Luckily, he was slower into the last corner, so on the final lap I let him lead and gain confidence but then into the final corner I put it straight over the kerb and got ahead.”
After a pre-race conversation with his dad, Mark, who also served as his mechanic for the weekend, William knew that this was his last shot at a British Championship win in the cadet class as he will be too old to contest it in 2012.
With spectators and team members spurring him on, he cleanly completed his daring move and sped across the line to beat Macdonald by just six hundredths of a second.
“It didn’t really sink in until I came into turn one on the slowing down lap, but it feels really good to get a national win under my belt.”
William’s last gasp efforts also helped him secure seventh place in the 2011 Formula Kart Stars Championship, achieving another goal he set for himself at the start of the year, a national top ten ranking in what is regarded as the most competitive cadet karting championship in the world.
“I finished seventh, which I’m definitely pleased with as at the start of the year I was only 20th,” concluded William.
He will bring the curtain down on his cadet career later this month in the final round of the Super One Championship at Whilton Mill in Daventry.