This weekend saw the final round of the British kart championship taking place at the picturesque Rowrah circuit in the Lake District. Rain was order of the day for the practice sessions on Friday and Saturday morning, but with the sun pushing through it seemed like the slicks could be bolted on for qualifying.
Alfie had entered the final round with a 3 point deficit to the championship leader, and with points given out after qualifying heats, pre-final & Final the fight was certainly on to see who would lift the crown!
Qualy and the proceeding 2 heats could not have gone better with a 2nd and a 1st giving him a maximum points for the first 1/3rd of the weekend. On top of this Alfie’s pace was impressive and claimed fastest laps in both races, stamping down a marker in the sand for his rival to try and match.
Sunday’s pre-final saw last minute changes to all karts on the grid, switching to slicks after the early morning rain had finally dried on track. Alfie settled in to a 2nd position at the start pulling away from the field until a mid-race crash that happened further back brought out the virtual safety car for a lap, bunching the field back up. On the re-start Alfie made his move for 1st and extended the gap with ease just needing to bring it home, but unfortunately a timely error a lap later put his kart off line and on to the wet, losing grip and falling off in to the gravel. He clambered back on but down in 6th. A head reset from himself saw him put in fastest lap after fastest lap to regain back up to 2nd position as he crossed the line.
So on to the main final, and with the sums done, Alfie was ahead on points with his championship rival needing to win the race and Alfie to be outside the top 3 to win it. A calm cool and collected Alfie strolled on to the grid knowing what he had to do.
BUT…. The start, P3 man mounted a big kerb and sailed into Alfie’s kart and landed sideways in front, blocking his path. Split second moves and a dart out the way, Alfie managed to get clear and without too much of a position drop.
Lap 2 and he was back into 2nd with championship rival (King) on his back bumper. However 1st place was up the road 2 seconds clear.
Lap 6. Alfie had dropped King who was still in a steady 3rd, and he had caught up to the leader with some amazing pace. He remained on the leader’s bumper sitting there with ease waiting for the closing stages.
As the closing stages arrived and King still in 3rd, Alfie decided to back off from the leader knowing that if something was to go wrong between them, he would gift King the championship and so rolled in in 2nd place with his fist in the air and to the jubilant cheers from the crowds to become ….. 2023 British Senior Karting Champion!!!
He also becomes the youngest ever Senior British Karting champion at only 14 years old!!!
Alfie Garford: ‘Wow, what an amazing feeling! What a weekend! I’ve felt the most confident I have all year, come rain or shine I was going to get the job done. The pace has been amazing and so I was able to just sit comfortably in 2nd staying off all the kerbs in the final laps to bring the kart home. It means a massive amount to me to be able to add the senior championship to my Junior one, and it wouldn’t be possible without all the help and work from others back at home and around the country. You know who you are but thank you Pete, Ian, Oly and Lewis. Bryn, Ethan, Elliot and Joanne. Alan, Michelle, Mark and Joe. Rob and Jody’
TKM’s Alan Turney: ‘Alfie’s been a superstar! The pressure is always on in the later stages of a championship and he looked to thrive on it, and the results showed. It’s great to see one of our Junior TKM champions step up in to the senior class and do so well especially in his first year, it’s quite impressive!’