Just champion! Telford's Finn is lapping up global racing victory - with video and pictures
A budding Lewis Hamilton from Telford showed his rivals a clean pair of wheels to win an international racing championship.
Charlton School pupil Finn Robinson, 15, won the World Junior Stoxkart Championship recently at Stoke Speedway stadium.
The teenager has been chasing glory since he was 11 and now, with the help of father Steve, he has landed the world title.
Finn led for around three quarters of the 15-lap race but despite being in control, it was nail-biting for his support to see him have to keep his cool and safely navigate his way past back markers.
He is the first Shropshire Stoxkart champion since Bridgnorth’s Ron Higgins won in 1970, and his mother Ema puts his success down to years of accumulating race knowledge and the relationship between father and son.
Ema said: “He’s always just missed that step. He’s been second and third before so we’re all so happy he won. There were a few hairy moments when he had to get past the ones at the back. It was just about holding on and keeping his lead.”
“Finn and his dad fall out sometimes like any father and son but they wouldn’t be without each other.
“They have a good bond, and it’s good that Steve is able to pass his knowledge on to Finn.
“Steve has always been mad on anything with an engine and wheels and it’s just rubbed off.”
Stoxkarts are based around a 390cc Honda 4 stroke engine with a centrifugal clutch, and are raced around an oval track on either shale or tarmac.
They can reach speeds of up to 50mph and a lap of a track can be completed in just over 18 seconds.
They are similar to go-karts in that the driver is close to the ground, but racers are allowed to use their bumpers to barge past each other.
Drivers are protected by a roll cage and a distinctive outer shell which includes a metal mesh screen in front of the driver’s face and a winged roof.
Finn’s kart now has a gold roof to acknowledge his status as champion.
Stoxkart is one of the fastest growing oval racing forms, with more than 70 racers involved in total over the junior and senior classes.
There is also a thriving social side to the format. Ema said: “There’s really good camaraderie between the ones who race. They all get on well and help each other out.”
All karts have the same engine, so as well as the skill of the driver, preparation is key to success.
“It’s a lot about the set up of the kart,” said Ema. “It takes quite a long time to work out. Tyres pressures have to be right and you have to know what kind of track you’re racing on.”
Finn is now hoping that his victory will be the springboard to a career in racing.
He has applied for a Ginetta Junior Scholarship, which would mean he would get a place on the grid in the Ginetta Junior Championships, which is shown on ITV4.
Ema added: “He’s hoping to make a career out of it. He’s sent his CV off so now we’ve got to keep our fingers crossed.”
In the meantime, a trip to see the Nascar racing in Daytona, Florida, is on the cards for the motor-mad family.
“We’re going to Daytona to watch the Nascar racing in February and while we’re over there we will watch some of the smaller circuits as well,” said Ema.