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Go Karting teens compete with champions

An amateur team of teenage motor karting enthusiasts from Sunderland have competed at the British Schools Karting Championship (BSKC) UK final in Milton Keynes on Sunday (April 1).

The trio of vehicle painting and repair students from Sunderland College finished sixth out of 34 teams despite stiff competition from teams that included world and UK champion drivers.

Jay Taylor, Connor Rowntree and Kieran Wilkinson, all 18, had previously competed in the North East regional finals on March 12 at Teesside Autodrome to qualify for a coveted place in the national final.

Competing in the race is another remarkable achievement for Connor Rowntree, who in 2009 suffered 90% burns after playing with an aerosol but has since fronted a fire safety campaign and been honoured with a bravery award.

Paul Fawcett, Sunderland College lecturer in Motor Vehicle Technology, said: “I’m very proud of the lads to have made it so far. Their conduct was exemplary both on and off the track, and they did incredibly well.”

Team captain Jay Taylor said: “It was an amazing experience to race against national and international champions, and we did great to make it to the top six teams when we faced that kind of competition.”

Paul Fawcett added: “At Sunderland College extra-curricular activities are just as important as studying – and we want to give our students every opportunity to excel, both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Mark Turner, Championship Manager at the BSKC said: “We would like to thank all the young drivers who competed in this year’s championship and extend our congratulations to the Sunderland College team on their success.

“The BSKC has grown in popularity since its launch in 2006 and enabled thousands of talented young people to take part in the exciting world of motorsports. Karting is a great way for young people to gain confidence and learn many of the skills that will help them both in school and in other areas of their life.”

Photo caption: Number 28;  Kieran Wilkinson racing in finals.

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