Go-kart star Vinnie shines in Europe ahead of new campaign
- Credit: Facebook/Vinnie Phillips
The uncle of a young go-kart driver who competed in a higher class for the first time said his latest performance was “probably one of the best races I’ve ever seen him in”.
Vinnie Phillips of Benwick reached the final of the IAME Euro Series in Portugal, his first event racing in the Junior X30 category, where he impressed on debut.
“He did unbelievably well,” Chris Phillips, Vinnie’s uncle, said.
“It was his first ever race in that car on a European track he has never been to before, against drivers three or four years older that have been in the class for two or three years.”
Vinnie, 12, took part in six races before qualifying for the final in 16th place after he was penalised as his sensor was triggered for making contact with another driver.
But having reached the showpiece race, his hopes of landing a top-three finish were dashed after it was stopped due to poor weather conditions.
“The race was red flagged with three laps to go because they were out in slick tyres and it started pouring down with rain,” Chris said.
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“When they red-flagged, he was up to fourth and was coming for the lead group.
“Even though he didn’t win it, going up against the quality of opposition and the way he handled himself, we were over the moon.”
Vinnie, who won the British Karting Championships at Mini X30 level, will look to make an impact in his new class at the national and European championships this year.
Now driving a more powerful car and against tougher opposition, it may take more time to claim success, but Chris believes his nephew has a strong chance of competing for honours.
“He loved it and he was as quick as anyone out there, but they (other drivers) had more nous on how to handle themselves on the track, but that comes with experience,” he said.
“It’s more demanding on him as a person to hold the car stable and hit the racing lines. The other parts that are physically demanding is the ability to stop the car.
“He’s got to sharpen up his reflexes, and I’m not saying he’ll definitely win it because there are a number of good drivers, but he’s got the potential and the ability to win.”