GALLERY: Glorious George makes history by retaining European Championship
HISTORY-MAKER George Russell said he was proud and delighted to become the first junior karting star to retain the European Championship.
The 14-year-old from Tydd St Giles conquered Europe for a second time on Sunday by holding on to his KF3 European Championship crown.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” he said. “I’m the first driver to win it twice and the first driver to win it back-to-back.
“I’m proud to be able to call myself a two-time Euro champ.”
Russell won the 2011 title in Spain, but he retained it on his home turf at the PF International circuit in Lincolnshire.
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It was the first European Championship round to be held in England in more than 40 years - but Russell got off to a poor start.
The teenager suffered tyre problems in the rain-hit qualifying sessions, leaving him in 10th place on the grid for all five of his heats.
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But, as the weather conditions changed, Russell began to show his class. He battled to a top-five finish in every heat before winning both the point-scoring finals.
The incredible performance left him with a maximum 75 points - 27 clear of his nearest rivals.
Russell said: “After winning the first final I was leading in the championship and I knew that all I had to do was finish in the top three. There was a bit of pressure as all my main rivals were just behind me.
“I’d say it was even better than last year’s win. We were strong contenders this year and we had more pace, whereas before it was a bit of a shock.”
Russell will bid for more glory in the CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy and the KF3 World Cup later in the season. He will compete in the senior KF2 class next year.