Two young racers from Kent are celebrating title glory in the Total Karting Zero Southern Championship.
William Sparrow, from Marden, and Thomas Merritt, of Kings Hill, won their respective classes on the final round of the season at Ellough Park in Suffolk.
Sparrow’s success could hardly have been more dramatic.
He needed to finish ahead of title rival Joao Gabriel Castro and set the fastest lap, for which bonus points are awarded, to be assured of retaining the junior championship.
The Maidstone Grammar School pupil did the first part by winning the race from Castro but, amazingly, they set identical fastest lap times of 50.517sec.
That left the destination of the title up in the air before Sparrow was declared champion several days later.
He said: “I want to especially thank my sponsors Scarab Sweepers for supporting my season for 2023 with Total Karting Zero.
“Their support has enabled me to defend the southern champion title and, going forward, the national championship.”
Merritt won the junior light class at the first attempt after his success at Ellough Park.
He finished on the podium in every round he raced in and secured three victories.
The final round saw close and competitive racing, with changing and challenging weather conditions.
Championship leader Merritt stayed focused and calm under pressure, taking the win on the last lap.
“I almost can’t put into words what this means to me,” said Merritt, a pupil at Mascalls Academy in Paddock Wood.
“I moved up into the junior light class just five days before the championship started, back in April, and to finish as the champion is an absolute dream come true.
“It was a tough end to the season, with some challenging conditions and very competitive racing, which makes this win even more special.
“I’d like to thank my fellow competitors - it’s been incredible racing against them.
“I’d also like to thank my amazing family who have been rooting for me and cheering me on all season - their support means so much.”
Merritt is aiming to make the transition into cars next year and hopes to compete in the BRSCC Fiesta Junior Championship.