Bowyer stuns with victory near-miss on new class debut Exciting young Peterborough karting star Callum

Bowyer headed to Shenington in Oxfordshire for the first round of the 2009/10 Winter Series hoping to be ‘there or thereabouts’, but hardly anticipating setting the world alight on his competitive debut in the KF2 class. He left again with an engine problem having arguably deprived him of a stunning debut victory. After brilliantly finishing second and fourth this year in the two leading national series in his maiden season of KF3 competition – in the Lewis Hamilton and Bernie Ecclestone-backed Formula Kart Stars (FKS) Championship and Super 1 respectively – Callum has taken the decision to graduate to the more powerful KF2 class in 2010. Having only been able to test his new Chris Rogers-run mount twice prior to Shenington, however, expectations were firmly in-check – and swiftly exceeded. After leading his opening heat early on, a slight lack of bottom-end power off the corners caused the 15-year-old to ultimately have to cede the top spot to experienced KF2 campaigner Jake Lloyd, but still a close second place constituted an excellent result for an admirable effort. Heat two then went even better, as Callum fought his way assertively through the field from towards the back of the grid to superbly triumph, inexorably chasing down Lloyd and successfully overhauling his quarry with two laps remaining to earn himself an outside front row starting slot for the all-important final later in the day. Unfortunately, that also meant the Gunthorpe teenager would be beginning from the unenviable ‘dirtier’ line – and that cost him when the lights went out. “After that I gradually worked my way back through again,” he recounted. “I had a bit of a tussle with Sam Blake before getting past him for second, but unfortunately Jake had managed to pull out a bit of a lead whilst we had been squabbling behind. I was catching him, but then with just two laps to go the ignition exploded... “I was a bit disappointed not to finish the race, but we improved so much over the weekend. We were really quick throughout and every time I went out I was getting better and better, and increasingly confident with the engine and front brakes. “I’m much better on the brakes than I was before the weekend. Shenington is fast and flowing, but still with some hard-braking needed for the two hairpins at either end; to be able to overtake there you need to be good on the front brakes, so that was good practice for me. It was a really good weekend overall – it was a bit of a rubbish way to finish unfortunately, but we’ve got to look on the bright side.” Indeed, there was a great deal of encouragement to be garnered from the outing, as Callum not only beat all of the other class ‘rookies’ and proved to be faster than all-bar one of the second-year KF2 drivers – all of whom are infinitely more experienced at that level than he is, and one of whom has raced extensively in Europe to-boot – but he also lapped quicker than two drivers in the more powerful KF1 class...on paper, a feat that simply shouldn’t be possible, especially around such a flat-out circuit as Shenington. All those watching were evidently impressed by the Ken Stimpson School pupil’s performance, and as he prepares now for seconds out, round two at PF International in early December, his tail is clearly up. “Shenington is all about power really,” concluded the reigning Peterborough Evening Telegraph Junior Sportsman of the Year. “It does show the difference between engines. KF1 engines rev to 1,000rpm higher than KF2, so they should be between half a second and a second faster around there. “Hopefully there will be an even bigger field at PF, which will make it a bit more of a challenge and should provide better racing as well – and that will in-turn help me to learn more. I think we’ve earned some respect in the class now – everyone can see that we belong there – and I still think there’s quite a bit more to come too, so I can’t wait to get out on-track again!”