Life in the fast lane as Harrison wins kart grand prix

A TEENAGER is following in the footsteps of motor racing star Lewis Hamilton by winning the karting British Grand Prix.

Harrison Collings, 16, is now hoping to emulate his hero further by winning the British karting championship.

Harrison in action, with the number 5 on his kart showing that he finished fifth in the British karting championship last year. Picture by Chris Walker of Kartpix

Like Hamilton, Harrison was given his first kart when he was six and began racing at the qualifying age of eight.

Last year, the St John the Baptist School pupil finished fifth in his first competitive championship season and is hoping for greater things in the next series.

Harrison, who lives in Westfield, won the Junior Rotax Kartmasters GP at the PFI International circuit in Grantham, Lincolnshire, after the driver who crossed the line first was given a five-second penalty.

He said he didn’t know he had won until one of the mechanics from another team told him. “I just rushed over to my dad and celebrated,” Harrison said.

Harrison Collings with dad Tony

The win means he can carry a plate with the words “GP” on his kart for the new season.

 “I was over the moon; it was such a big race for us,” he said. “Preparations are going well and the race win has helped. Hopefully, we can carry the momentum forward.”

His season then got off to an eventful start when, leading the final in Lydd, Kent, with six minutes remaining, two of the chasing karts collided and swerved into him, knocking him off the track. He recovered to finish 11th but overall is still third in the British Championship.

Harrison is in the Dan Holland Racing team and is strongly supported by his dad, Tony, who describes himself as his son’s “financier, mechanic and psychologist”.

Tony said he is a motorsport fan but had no experience as a mechanic and said: “The past few years have been a steep learning curve.”

He bought Harrison his first kart after the youngster was bitten by the racing bug after driving a kart at a birthday party when he was five.

“I just really enjoyed it and carried on from there,” Harrison said.

He begins studying for his A levels this month and has chosen psychology, business and geography.

He then hopes to go to university but also to keep up with his racing. “If the opportunity came up to go into racing full time, then I would take it – but it’s not easy to get into.”

Over the past eight years, Harrison has won around 70 trophies, so his parents might need to get a bigger cabinet if his racing career continues.

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