THE British national junior max karting championship for 11 to 16-year-olds came to a close at PF international kart circuit in Lincolnshire with Max Bird narrowly missing a top-ten place after a technical issue with his tyres in the final race affected his points total.
The 14-year-old Slindon College pupil, who lives in Chidham, has had a tough year in this very competitive class of racing with a number of mechanical issues affecting key races.
But he has remained committed and focused and turned in excellent performances in qualifying and racing.
Highlights have included a second place and fastest lap at Larkhall in Scotland, fastest lap in the British Kart Grand Prix, and, in the final round of the national championship, a second in qualifying and a drive from 29th on the grid to finish sixth and a fastest lap in the process.
After achieving the fastest lap in the Grand Prix, Bird has been selected for a test drive in a Formula 4 single-seater racing car.
Formula 4 is a starting point for drivers starting out in motorsport and for Bird it will be his first opportunity to drive a racing car on a track.
He has been to Silverstone to take his ARDS (Association of Racing Driver Schools) test, which enables him to obtain the national B racing licence he needs to drive a racing car competitively in the UK.
At 14 he is one of the youngest drivers to have passed their ARDS test at the first time of trying. He said: “The transition from karts to cars was a little harder than I expected.”
Bird will continue in 2015 with the RL Racing Department team, where he has been promoted to No1 driver, and over the winter months he will be preparing for next year when he will again race in the British National Kart Championship in the Junior Rotax class, with the aim of achieving a top-six finish.
Alongside this Bird hopes to be able to start testing in a single-seater racing car with a view to racing cars in 2016.
Bird is one of 12 young drivers from across the UK who are members of the Young Racing Driver Academy (YRDA), which is run by Arden International Motorsport and has connections with the Red Bull F1 team.
YRDA provide fitness training, dietary guidance, marketing and PR support and most importantly regular driver training on their single seater racing simulator at the Arden factory in Banbury. This is the same simulator used by the Arden team drivers who race in GP2 and GP3 and Max regularly drives the F1 circuits such as Silverstone, Monaco and Hockenheim in his simulator sessions.
Bird hopes to attract support from individuals or organisations interested in nurturing young talent on the journey from karting to racing in single-seater cars with the potential for achieving the ultimate goal of a drive in F1.
Anyone interested can contact his father Tim Bird on 07850 218010 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the opportunity.
You can follow Max’s progress at www.maxbird.co.uk, on Twitter @maxbird35 or at www.facebook.com/pages/Max-Bird-Racing/500982656662751