Confident Harry Crawley ‘chuffed’ with breakthrough year ...

Confident Harry Crawley ‘chuffed’ with breakthrough year ...

02.01.2010: – and up for title challenge in 2010 If anybody had told Harry Crawley that he would win more races than any other driver and challenge for the same karting title as once won by Lewis Hamilton in only his second full

– and up for title challenge in 2010


If anybody had told Harry Crawley that he would win more races than any other driver and challenge for the same karting title as once won by Lewis Hamilton in only his second full season of national competition, he would probably have laughed at such a notion – but having succeeded in doing just that, he is now aiming even bigger and better again in 2010.

In his first year of British racing in 2008, the Dartford-based star had finished 18th in the Mini Max class of Formula Kart Stars (FKS), the same series that first set Hamilton on the fast track to superstardom, and one that now boasts the prestigious official backing of both the youngest-ever F1 World Champion and the sport’s highly-influential ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone.



Along the way there had been a solitary top ten finish at Shenington, but nothing to write home about as such – meaning when Harry came out of the starting blocks with his maiden national victory in the 2009 FKS curtain-raiser at Kimbolton, it was not only the opposition that was taken by surprise.

“That was probably the result that meant the most to me all year,” he revealed. “In previous club meetings there we had been fast in both the wet and the dry, so I knew we had a fairly good chance of doing well – but it was still quite a shock to actually win! When I crossed the line in first place, I thought to myself ‘if I can do this now, I’m only going to learn and improve as a driver as the year progresses, so I should be able to get more wins too’.”

That much was no idle boast, as Harry went on to dominate in the rain at Glan Y Gors and PF International – and would likely have done so in similar conditions from pole position at Rowrah too, but for a clutch failure on the rolling-up lap – and in the dry in the Whilton Mill finale, to bookend the campaign with impressive triumphs.

Having considered that to win even once would be an achievement prior to the start of the year, to do so on no fewer than four occasions from nine starts – three times more than the eventual class champion – was a superb feat, and one equalled by only two other drivers out of almost 200 in the entire championship.

The runner-up spot in the final title standings was a fine accomplishment – indeed, but for his Rowrah misfortune, the laurels would almost certainly have been his for the taking – and the Hawley-based speed demon added to that with a strong fourth place in fellow national series Super 1, despite suffering from more than his fair share of bad luck and over-exuberance at the hands of some of his adversaries. If it was a step-up in terms of competition from 2008 to 2009, it was a challenge to which Harry rose magnificently.

“Back at the beginning of the year, I would never have believed that I could finish second in FKS and fourth in Super 1,” he confessed. “I thought I would do well, but not that well – that’s just insane for only my second year in karting! There were inevitably highs and lows along the way, but I enjoyed it a lot and overall I felt it went really well.

“In the final FKS meeting at Whilton I knew I had to just go for it, and I really wanted to go out on a high. Everything was at stake and I was under a lot of pressure all the way through. It was probably the best race I drove all year. I was really chuffed to be one of only three drivers to get four wins in the whole championship – once that sunk in, I realised how well I had done.

“I’ve got used to much stiffer competition over the year, and my team Evolution Racing has helped me a lot in terms of set-up, getting on the power and the brakes at exactly the right time and what lines I should be taking – and in encouraging me to just get stuck in when it comes to overtaking!

“There’s the fitness aspect too, and I’ve been doing a lot of weights to help build up my strength to cope with the aggressive nature of the racing. There’s a lot more to karting than I think people on the outside sometimes suspect, and because the pace at that level is so frenetic it’s hard to keep at the top, which makes consistency even more important. I feel I’ve improved in every area as a driver, to be honest.”

Very much the complete package now, the 13-year-old is confident of keeping that momentum going as he enters 2010, when he will bid to lift the laurels in the more powerful Junior Max category, both on home turf and abroad – given that he will be competing for the first time in the Euro Max Challenge on foreign shores, something that will do his experience, skills and CV no harm whatsoever. Aiming to give a good account of himself once again, he has already triumphed in his new class – and this time around, his rivals will be under no illusions at all as to just how much of a threat Harry Crawley will be.

“I certainly wasn’t expecting to get my first win in only my third meeting in Junior Max,” reflected the Wilmington Grammar School for Boys pupil of his near-immediate success at PF International. “I was chuffed to bits with that! I’d hoped I would be quick straightaway, but I also knew I’d have to adapt to a different way of racing.

“Junior Max is so much more aggressive than Mini Max it’s ridiculous, but you just have to get used to that if you want to race at the front. I’m much more confident already in fighting my way through the pack, and I feel I’ve improved quite a lot really in a short space of time.

“Euro Max is going to be great fun! The only racing abroad I’ve done so far has been at Genk in Belgium in FKS. It sounds really exciting, so I’m looking forward to that. I’ll be competing against people from all over the continent, and it’s going to be interesting to see how they drive. I’m up for it, definitely!”

To keep up-to-date with Harry’s latest career news and results, please visit: www.harrycrawley.co.uk


- RA -  photo Chris Walker kartpix.net

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/karting-harry-crawley-2010-formula-kart-stars-fks-shenington---74301.html

02.01.2010 / MaP

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