King’s Lynn racer James Walpole seals Peter Best Insurance MG Championship

James Walpole in action at Oulton. James Walpole in action at Oulton.

Thursday, January 2, 2014
6:30 AM

With one hand on the Peter Best Insurance MG Championship title James Walpole very nearly let it slip with “a schoolboy error” in the final round, before he recovered in time to secure the crown.

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“It was only at the end of the race I realised I had left the handbrake on,” admitted a sheepish but a highly relieved newly-crowned champion.

The King’s Lynn racer’s title rival James Darby had broken his axle’s final drive moments before qualifying, which relegated him to the back of the grid, and allowed the local driver to secure the extra points for claiming pole position for both events.

“In the first race I won my class, leading from start to finish, with a fast charging Darby finishing in second,” recalled Walpole.

“Going into the last race I needed to finish at least fourth to win the championship.

“I started on pole and made a good start initially, but everybody seem to be going by me, with me going back to fifth and seeing James Darby passing me, and the other drivers in our class, to lead.”

Watching from the sidelines it look lost for Walpole, but with his title at stake he threw his MGB Hive-supported race car through the corners with abandon “I thought the engine had gone off the pace, so I was pushing even harder through the corners to try and catch the other cars,” he said.

His perfect passing manoeuvre secured him second place behind Darby to take the championship by five points.

“After pulling out half way through the 2012 season, with a back problem and sciatica, it was really nice to get back into racing in 2013,” he said.

“I ended up winning Class A for the eighth time and winning the overall championship for the third time and I would also like to say a big thank you to the MGB Hive for all their help and support.”

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