Essex racer Lochlan Bearman leads the Stars at Whilton Mill Championship in his first season of Mini Max after a second-place finish on Sunday.
A podium finish at Whilton Mill means the 12-year-old leads the standings by 53 points over second-placed Jordan Musk.
The Theydon Bois racer started in 14th place in heat one and after three laps, had risen to seventh.
He came off the track soon after though, when a kart in front of him drove back on from the grass and into his path. However, having dropped down the field, the youngster climbed well to finish in fifth.
The second heat saw Bearman deliver an outstanding drive, shooting through the field to climb from 22nd place to first. Championship rival Kieran Wragg had already won the first heat, meaning Bearman had to keep pace in heat two.
Starting on pole in heat three, Bearman was part of an engaging three-way tussle from the outset, with all three racers swapping places throughout.
Heading into the final lap, Bearman was second to Wragg but a good run out of Christmas Corner afforded Bearman the opportunity to re-take the lead, closing out the heat with a second win.
On pole once more for the final, with Wragg in second, Bearman was beaten into the first corner by the competition’s defending champion.
From there, a three-way fight for the lead ensued, with Bearman snatching first place on the third lap and holding it for a further three, only for Wragg to regain the lead with a dart into Christmas Corner.
Content to sit behind Wragg, Bearman then began to fight for the lead with a lap-and-a-half remaining.
Despite the third and fourth-placed drivers joining the fight for first place and forcing Wragg to drive in a defensive manner, Bearman could not overhaul his championship rival and finished second.
Speaking after the race, Bearman said: “Although I’m disappointed not to have won I’ve still finished on the podium, we scored a lot of points and the driving was clean today.
“It’s nice to get through a weekend without being knocked off. The final was hard but very clean and without risking my own race there was not an opportunity to make a move.”
Bearman’s next race will be the London Cup held at the Rye House Circuit on September 7 – a one-off televised event.
For sponsorship enquiries, contact John Bearman at firstname.lastname@example.org.