A HORSELL boy has recently competed in the finals of the British Indoor Karting Championships (BIKC) despite only starting racing competitively this year.

McLaren fan Bertie Hodgson, 11, a pupil at Woking High School, began driving at Teamsport Farnborough in April and has regularly broken lap records.

He entered the BIKC and won the local championship in September, advancing to the regional championship the following month when a podium position meant a place in the last 30. 

Bertie raises his trophy after a highly successful season
Bertie raises his trophy after a highly successful season (Photo supplied)

Bertie then competed in the national final, making it to the A Final at the end of the day, racing against the best, and more experienced, young kart drivers in the country.

Inspired by his favourite F1 team McLaren and driver Lando Norris, Bertie also competes outdoors in the NatSKA series (National Schools Karting Association) in his own Honda Cadet 160, regularly winning in his category.

He has raced outdoors at Shenington, Whilton Mill, Thruxton and Claypigeon – where the former world drivers’ champion Jenson Button started. 

Next year he will be moving up to juniors and is looking to compete in the outdoor club championships. 

“After watching the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2021 I became interested in F1, read about the drivers and saw they start off in karting so wanted to give it a go,” Bertie said.

“I went for a trial session at Camberley Kart Club and that’s where it all started.

“Speed and overtaking is what I like best.

“I’m also really interested in the mechanics and engineering, how little tweaks can make a difference to the balance of the kart.”

And Bertie has no doubts about his amibtion.

“To race for McLaren!” he said.

“And to go to a F1 Grand Prix with my parents.

“But in the short term to enter the British Wera Tools Championship in 2024 or 2025.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring Bertie in his racing career should contact Instagram @bertiehodgsonracing (which is run by his mother) or via the email joannakmhodg [email protected]