THE late Cliff Allison is the only Cumbrian to compete in an F1 Grand Prix but after a successful karting season, Windermere’s Sam White could be a rising star to amend this statistic.
Supported by the E.S. Hartley Group in Ings, the 12-year-old edged out rivals Ben Cotterill and Harry Riches in a year-long battle to clinch the 2013 Cumbrian Cadet Championship.
Contested over 11 rounds at Rowrah – one of Britain’s most highly-rated circuits – White stormed to victory in the last race of the season to surge ahead of Cotterill in the final standings.
With this success, he follows in the tracks of notable stars David Coulthard, Paul Di Resta, Allan McNish and Dario Franchitti – all recipients of the same award years earlier.
And with major national championships in his sights for 2014, including the annual TV Kartmasters Grand Prix, White fully appreciates the need to hit top gear during the next 12 months.
“Ben didn’t have a very good day which was quite fortunate for me,” he said. “I was able to win two of my heats and finished second behind Harry Riches in the other one.
“Harry beat me by a couple of yards in the final but by that stage I knew I’d done enough to win the title.
“I’m definitely taking part in the Little Green Man Championships in 2014 which already has more than 90 entrants in my class, so it’s going to be very tough.
“If finances allow, I’d also like to compete in the British Championships held over seven rounds. I’ll be racing on circuits I’ve never been to before, so it should be quite interesting.”
White’s involvement in the sport began two years ago when his grandfather bought him some track time at Cumbria Karting in Barrow.
Four months after gaining his licence there he broke the track record which he still holds, subsequently setting his sights on serious racing and acquiring a second-hand vehicle to pass his AKS test.
With a collection of 30 scaled down F1 models, White is a huge motor racing fan with Ayrton Senna his all-time favourite driver.
But with plenty to do in order to scale similar heights as his hero, White is hoping to gain an insight into the Brazilian’s magic from someone who knew him well.
“The Little Green Man Championships is organised by JM Racing and they had close connections with Ayrton during his karting days,” he added.
“I’m hoping to talk with John Mills who worked on Senna’s kart in the 1979 world championships.”