GALLERY: Fenland karting star Russell, 13, races to Las Vegas glory
TEENAGE karting champion George Russell defied an “impossible” grid position to pull off the most dramatic victory of his career in Las Vegas.
The 13-year-old star, from Tydd St Giles, looked to be out of the running when an engine failure in qualifying left him 63rd in the standings.
But the reigning CIK-FIA European Champion produced four incredible drives to claim top prize in the SuperNationals TaG Junior class and continue his triumphant debut year with Italian racing team Intrepid Kart International.
Russell said: “It felt amazing when the chequered flag came down, especially given where we had been after qualifying.
“At that point, some people had been saying it would be impossible to win and that the weekend was as good as over for us, but we managed to come all the way back through, which proves that you should never give up.
“The whole meeting was massively high-profile, with more than 500 drivers in total across the different classes.
“I’m told it was the biggest karting event that’s ever taken place the world over, so to win it has to rank as one of the very best achievements of my career so far.”
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The Wisbech Grammar School student started his magnificent comeback with three brilliant drives in the heats, avoiding crashes and dealing with the challenging Rio Hotel & Casino street circuit.
“I liked the track a lot,” he said. “You couldn’t afford to make any mistakes, because if you ran wide, you would hit the barriers – it was extremely unforgiving.
“That made it a real challenge to drive but I got used to it pretty quickly and after that, it was all about extracting those last couple of tenths.”
For more information on Russell’s rapid rise to karting stardom visit: www.georgerussellracing.com