Youngster, 12, makes bold move in bid for go-karting glory

Benwick go-kart driver switches teams

Vinnie Phillips has moved from Fusion Motorsport to Strawberry Racing, as he continues to pursue success in the UK and abroad. - Credit: Facebook/Vinnie Phillips

He has already made his mark on the national and international circuit, but now, a 12-year-old go-kart driver hopes his latest move will lead to more success.

Vinnie Phillips ended a six-and-a-half-year spell with Fusion Motorsport following the first round of the IAME Euro Series in Mariembourg, Belgium, where he finished ninth overall. 

“His pace against any other is there or thereabouts, he’s just got to understand where to position himself on the track in his qualifying lap,” Chris Phillips, Vinnie’s uncle, said.  

“There was only one tenth of a second that separated the top 20 drivers. 

“If Vinnie can manage to find the right track position in qualifying, it will give him a chance to compete at the front.” 

During his time at Fusion, the Benwick lad landed a host of honours, including the Mini X30 category at the British Karting Championships as well as victory in the US. 

Vinnie announced this week that he would be driving for Strawberry Racing for the rest of the 2021 season, a move Chris thinks will benefit the youngster. 

“It’s a move we’ve always considered but decided to stay with Fusion because at that moment in time, giving Vinnie the stability of the same team was right for him,” Chris said. 

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“I’ve got great respect for Fusion; they’ve become more like a family to us.  

“It was a case of ‘we’re here to develop Vinnie as a driver’ and as he progresses in his racing career, he will have to learn to work with new coaches and teammates in a new environment.” 

Benwick racer tests new go-kart for Strawberry Racing

Vinnie Phillips testing his new go-kart after joining Strawberry Racing. - Credit: Kartpix

Vinnie will make his debut for Strawberry at the Hunts Kart Racing Club Championships in Kimbolton this weekend ahead of this year’s national tournament, which starts next month. 

His first outing will perhaps give Vinnie a chance to adapt to the junior class, and a platform to progress on the European stage, too. 

“We felt this moment, Vinnie was ready to move and experience a new team,” Chris added. 

“Strawberry have got a few drivers in the senior category that I think Vinnie can look up to and learn from. 

“Strawberry are a very successful racing team in their own right. They’re as big and successful as Fusion, so everything is there to help Vinnie to succeed.”