Tison is a spin as title slides away
PUBLISHED: 11:10 06 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:45 05 October 2010
By JONATHAN CLEGG KARTING star Kieran Tison saw his hopes of winning the Buckmore Junior Club summer championship washed away in driving rain last week as the teenager spun out in the final race and lost his grip on the title. Tison, who was bidding to w
By JONATHAN CLEGG
KARTING star Kieran Tison saw his hopes of winning the Buckmore Junior Club summer championship washed away in driving rain last week as the teenager spun out in the final race and lost his grip on the title.
Tison, who was bidding to win his fifth major title in little more than a year, entered the final round at the prestigious Maidstone circuit on Thursday with a two-point lead over long-time rival Jesse Chamberlain.
But the Wapping-based teenager struggled in the heats as a steady downpour made for precarious driving conditions and he was forced to start the final race from the back of the grid as Chamberlain clinched pole position.
Still there was a chance for the 16-year-old, when Chamberlain slid off the track at the first corner, but despite slicing through the field into third position, Tison also fell victim to the elements as he lost control on the wet circuit and came skidding to a halt.
The mistake proved costly as Chamberlain, who had re-started from the back of the field, went on to take the title by just six points.
But Tison, who watched his hero Lewis Hamilton survive a similarly rain-soaked season finale to seal the Formula One world championship last weekend, remained philosophical about the setback.
He said: "I feel a bit gutted that I lost because I know I was good enough to win the title, but I spun out. These things happen in racing.
"I've had plenty of experience driving in wet conditions but it was really raining hard all day and I lost control when I went onto the curb and went through a puddle. It's just one of those things."
Unlike Chamberlain, who was able to re-join the race after his early error, Tison was forced to endure an agonising wait before he was finally helped back on to the track by a race steward following an engine failure in his kart.
He eventually finished 10th in the 13-man field - just five places behind rival Chamberlain - and revealed that his determination to push for outright victory from the back of the grid could have contributed to his mistake.
Tison has won from the back of the field before, most memorably in the opening round of the championship when he outclassed his rivals to take a stunning chequered flag.
But after twice overtaking eventual race winner Jamie Cummings, Tison was forced to push his kart to the limit in a bid to maintain his position, eventually running wide on a corner and spinning out.
"I was really going for it and fighting to keep him behind me," Tison said. "But the racing line was really wet and I couldn't stop myself slipping off the track."
While Hamilton's rivalry with his Formula One competitors has often boiled over into unseemly squabbling, Tison remained gracious in defeat and offered congratulations to new champion Chamberlain, who lost out to the East London star in last year's title race.
"I told him he had done well and we both congratulated each other," he said. "We've been racing together for a long time now and usually I've won the titles, so maybe it was his turn to win this time."
Tison now hopes to turn his back on four-stroke racing in hired karts and is bidding to raise money for his
own two-stroke kart after catching the eye of racing guru Martin Hines, who owns the Zip Kart Young Guns team that sponsored Hamilton as an eight-year-old.
l If you would like to help sponsor Kieran, please call Joe Tison on 07933 222232.
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