Alfie Garford secures a third place in the second round of the British Kart Championship at Fulbeck
Maxey’s Alfie Garford produced a rousing recovery to claim a podium position in the second round of the British Kart Championship at Fulbeck.
Garford had been placed in the 20th and final position on the grid for the main final after a disastrous heat in his previous outing where he was forced to retire with a badly damaged kart after being hit from behind in a four-kart pile-up.
But the 11-year-old bounced back in style by storming through the field to secure third place in only his second-ever rookie race to record his best result to date.
Garford said: “I knew my pace was good, so I just had to stay out of trouble and get through the field without being held up any longer than I needed too.
“The racing is so close in this class that it’s rare for a leader to pull away from the pack, so they always need to defend on the final few laps which also slows them down.
“I never gave up chasing them down as I knew I could snatch some places towards the end.”
Garford had previously impressed at the first round of the championship with a third place grid slot for the finals and a couple of eighth place finishes which had earned him the top rookie accolade.
After competing in some club races at the Fulbeck venue in the weeks leading up to the race, it saw Garford in good shape to mount an attack for some good results.
Saturday’s qualifying could have gone better, had it not been for another competitor blocking the racing line leading on to Garford’s flying lap.
But he managed to salvage a 10th place finish which at least gave him a chance to improve in Sunday mornings heats.
And that’s exactly what happened as he finished with a fifth and an eighth place in the heats to line up on grid seven for the pre-final.
Garford was now showing great pace and felt confident he could stay with the front pack after the opening laps instead of needing to pace karts further down the order.
But what happened going into the first corner destroyed all hopes of a battle at the front as Garford was hit from behind and could not take any further part in the race.
What had looked like another good showing from the youngster for two-and-a-half days running had now been dashed.
But, if anything, it gave him more grit and determination to go out and prove his worth in the main final.
Atfer the lights, Garford had picked off a few drivers by the time they had completed the first lap.
He slowly continued to do this over the next eight or nine laps until he found himself in seventh position.
It had been a remarkable recovery which would have given him some good championship points and, with a big gap to the sixth spot, it looked like this would be the best he could hope for.
However, with only a few laps remaining, he knew if he put in some blistering, qualifying-style laps, then he could catch them as the lead pack begin to scrap and slow each other down.
And that’s exactly what happened as Garford was soon on the back bumper of sixth place going into the last lap
He was up to fifth two corners after that and then later in the lap, with some overtaking and contact from drivers just in front, Garford was able to come home in an outstanding third place.
The fantastic finish has now put him as one of the favourites to take another podium or even win at the final round at the PF International race track in just two weeks time.