Stamford teenager Ed shows he can mix it with old heads in retro karts

Ed Thurston, 13, from Stamford, takes part in the RetroRacer Historic Kart Championship at Tattershall
Ed Thurston, 13, from Stamford, takes part in the RetroRacer Historic Kart Championship at Tattershall
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A 13-year-old kart racer beat competition from experienced senior drivers to secure third place in a national championship event.

Ed Thurston, from Stamford, was given special dispensation to compete in this year’s RetroRacer Historic Kart Championship.

The series, in which racers drive karts built before 1978, is usually open to ages 16 or above. But organisers decided to allow an underage driver to compete for the first time in the event’s history.

Ed competed in the final race in the series at Tattershall on Sunday. And he justified the decision to let him race by finishing third overall in the championship.

Ed said: “I am very proud of myself, although the significance of what I have managed to do hasn’t really sunk in yet.

“Eventually I want to drive historic cars professionally. This is another step on the ladder towards achieving this.”

The historic karts have 100cc motors and can reach more than 70mph. They have relatively narrow tyres which do not offer much grip so are far more difficult to drive than the current machines.

The most significant difference between historic and modern karts is that new vehicles have impact-absorbing plastic noses and are fitted with side pods designed to keep wheels from tangling during close overtaking manoeuvres.

A historic driver needs to develop a clean overtaking style as any contact can lead to tyres riding over each other, which can easily flick one kart into the air.