Teenage Downham kart racer Oliver Clarke bagged a world third spot after finishing the IAME International Finals in Le Mans on the podium.
The week in France at the famous circuit was a great test of the 144 karters in his class and their talent, with timed qualifying, heats, and pre finals and only 34 places up for grabs in the final.
After wins and top results in the heats the 13 year-old started the pre-final in 11th position but raced his way up the field to finish in fifth place. Starting the final from there on the grid Oliver had a great start making his way to the front two within the first lap. After changes of the lead in the front three and an exciting 18 laps Clarke took the chequered flag for third. An amazing result for someone who only moved up to the Junior X30 class this year.
Clarke said: “A couple of weeks ago I managed to fit in a few hours testing at Le Mans before the Iame International Finals, it was my first time round it ever. The track was dry.
“Last Sunday I came back to Le Mans to race the track in the competition. To come through the heats this week and pre final, with some great results, and make it to the final was fantastic. The wet track tested me as I had no experience of it as it had been dry on my test visit. It’s been an incredible week. Being on the podium was wonderful.”
Oliver’s team boss Keiran Crawley at Msport Karting said: “Clarke didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend, and for a different last lap he could easily been on the top spot. He has learnt much from this experience.”
Clarke is supported by EHF Gym Downham Market and says all the local support he gets really gives him a boost. Clarke will be flying to Las Vegas in November to compete in the Supernationals, another first time experience for him. If you want to follow his progress you can go to Oliver Clarke Racing on Facebook or interested sponsors can call 01553 810851.