Awesome Alfie (12) is a British karting champion after a thrilling final race of the season

Alfie Garford on his way to the British Junior Karting title in Grantham.Alfie Garford on his way to the British Junior Karting title in Grantham.
Alfie Garford on his way to the British Junior Karting title in Grantham.
Maxey karting maestro Alfie Garford has followed in the footsteps of Formula One star Jenson Button by winning the British Junior Karting title.

The Arthur Mellows Village College student drove like a champion to seal the title in the final round of races at the PF International track in Grantham.

It’s a stunning achievement by a 12 year-old who was competing against 15 and 16 year-olds. He’s thought to be the youngest champion in the event’s history.

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After several setbacks in this year’s event, including being taken out in the previous round, Garford entered the final round with a mountain to climb, and a 16-point deficit to the leader, Alistair Cresswell.

Garford had scored consistently all season with three wins, five second place finished and a third to create a two-kart race with Cresswell for the title.

Sadly Cresswell suffered the misfortune of an engine failure which kept him out of the decisive race leaving Garford requiring third place or better to be crowned champion.

He’d qualified on pole anyway and slotted into first position for the majority of the race. But there was a tense finale as with half a lap to go, Garford lost the lead and slipped into third place with four corners left.

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The pack was now close behind, but Garford stayed cool and displayed great maturity to fend them all off and claim the coveted title.

Garford said: “It was a very intense final race. I feel sorry for Alistair Cresswell not being able to get going in the final.

“But I’m just amazed. After the whole year fighting and it came down to this. I’m speechless really.”

Garford will defend his title next season when he will race with the ‘number one’ emblazoned on his kart.

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Garford joined the powerful Tal-Ko team for this season, which was just his second year competing at British Junior Championship level.

British F1 stars Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and George Russell all started their careers in karting events.

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