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Chris has Formula for success

PUBLISHED: 18:29 02 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:40 24 August 2010

By Ian Cooper EXCELLING in one sport may be enough for most teenagers, but rising go-karting star Chris McCarthy has battled Britain s best in two as he bids to become the next Lewis Hamilton. The 15-year-old from Cricklewood has enjoyed a brilliant debut

By Ian Cooper

EXCELLING in one sport may be enough for most teenagers, but rising go-karting star Chris McCarthy has battled Britain's best in two as he bids to become the next Lewis Hamilton.

The 15-year-old from Cricklewood has enjoyed a brilliant debut season in the Formula Kart Stars UK Championship, a tournament launched by Hamilton at the start of the year, which sees the best young drivers in the country competing against each other.

Having risen to 18th from 48 competitors this season, Chris, who was also the 2008 Taekwondo London Open champion, knows that a good performance in the final round will hand him the chance to take on the cream of Europe.

That opportunity comes in the shape of the Rotax Max Euro Challenge, which would allow Chris and the other Formula Kart drivers to tour with F1 stars including Hamilton, racing midweek in the build-up to each Grand Prix.

The competition has the backing of Hamilton and Bernie Ecclestone, and would be the next step in Chris' budding career.

"My long-term aim is to break into the single-seater category and keep progressing through the ranks, eventually to F1," said Chris.

"But it's getting tough now. I said at the start of this season that this year would just be about the experience, but it's gone so well and now I need to keep pushing.

"I'd like to get to the Euro Challenge, hopefully either next year or the year after, but first I need to try and get the money together."

With five finals from seven races this year, Chris continues to make meteoric progress since he first stepped into a kart in 2006, and he took part in his first race in January 2008.

He puts much of his success down to the guidance of his manager at LT Motor Sport, Lee Torrie, who has put his wealth of F1, rally and kart knowledge to good use in guiding Chris through his first season.

The last Formula Kart Stars round saw Chris travel to Genk in Belgium, ahead of his final round at Wilton Mill early next month.

"You have to be aggressive with your driving in a series like this because you're up against the best drivers in the country," added Chris.

"One mistake and the whole field can overtake you - they don't make mistakes so you have to force your way through.

"It takes a lot of stamina and concentration. You have to adjust your driving from track to track.

"Most races are 20 minutes plus a lap so that can be 25 to 30 laps in a race. You need good reactions all the time.


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