In part three of my top five career highlights I will be looking back at a huge moment in my career which saw me win the biggest race in British Karting, the MSA Kartmasters British Kart Grand Prix. It helped form a memorable season for me, eventually leading to me being signed by the CRG Factory Team for 2017 where I would go on to race at the highest level of Karting.
British Grand Prix Winner
The Kartmasters event is a stand out weekend for any driver in British Karting. It is the one weekend where the winner takes all, with the race victory earning you the right to run the coveted GP plate for the next year. With that in mind the racing is fierce and mistakes very costly. To win you must keep a calm head throughout the entire weekend, before fighting for victory all the way to the flag in the grand prix race on Sunday.
Given the size of the event there are three days of racing with two qualifying sessions and four heats throughout Friday and Saturday to decide the grid for the Pre-Final. It could be said Callum got off to an average start with 14th in the first qualifying sessions, but he would fight back to take 5th in heat one before winning heat two.
A 10th in qualifying on day two once again gave Callum work to do, but he was up to the challenge finishing 1st and 2nd to help put himself on the front row for the Pre-Final where he would start alongside BKC Racing teammate, Jac Maybin.
The Pre-Final is a race that can often make or break your weekend with the result determining where you start for the Final. Keeping out of trouble is key and although he lost time to Maybin in doing so, Callum crossed the line at the end of lap one in 2nd place with Oliver York for company.
Five minutes later and the chase to Maybin was complete with both Callum and York going by albeit with York now the driver ahead. Staying patient Callum would wait until lap eleven before an impressive move around the Mike Wilson complex saw him take the lead and the victory with hit putting him on pole position for the Grand Prix race.
The final itself would be another Kartmasters classic with Callum truly tested to the limit! Holding on to pole position he would quickly be put under pressure with teammate Sam McDonnel leading the attack on lap two dropping Callum to 3rd. That would soon turn to 5th on lap three with more queuing up behind with Callum now in danger of dropping down the lower order of the top ten.
Quickly fighting back Callum would move up to 3rd on lap six, but had his teammates over a second up the road and a growing queue behind. Staying calm, Callum soon began to close the gap with the assistance of York before the afore passed him on lap twelve. Working with York, Callum soon rounded out the lead quartet with three laps to go.
Now in the business end of the race he knew he had to make his moves and in the space of a lap and a few corners he hit the front on the penultimate lap of the race! Heading on to the final lap Callum was forced to go defensive under the bridge and York would go around the outside in an impressive move to take the lead.
Unable to find a way back past there was brief heartbreak for Cal, but he would soon find out that York was carrying a front fairing quickly turning his emotions into elation. He was crowned the British Kart Grand Prix champion with his two teammates either side of him on the podium to top it off!
Callum would join the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Alex Albon and George Russell as holders of the GP plate and was able to wear it on his kart with pride for the next year. It is labelled the biggest title in British Karting and was part of what would be a memorable year for him.