Gorleston kart ace Ronan, 12, in fast lane

Gorleston schoolboy Ronan Graves is gearing up for life in the fast lane, competing against some of the country's best young kart aces.

Twelve-year-old Ronan has made rapid progress since starting karting at Ellough, Beccles, two years ago.

He is preparing to take a major step up by entering the British Championship Super 1 series which starts in April and the Formula One backed Formula Kart Stars that starts the following month.

Ronan, who attends Lynn Grove High School, said: 'I am looking forward to the year ahead. Taking part in both the Super 1 and FKS series is a real opportunity for me to show my potential and I feel that I can challenge the top drivers.

'The last few months that I have been working with Forza Racing team have really helped prepare me for that challenge.'

Paul Munn, Forza's cadet team manager, said: 'Ronan has made big steps forward in the short time we have had him on board.

'If Ronan continues to improve at the rate of progress that he is currently showing then by the end of the season we should be knocking on the door of some fabulous results.'

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Ronan started karting in 2010 at his local circuit at Ellough Park, Beccles, within the Honda Cadet class, just having fun spending time with his father Daniel at weekends.

His passion for the sport grew quickly and he completed his MSA Kart racing licence within the year. Last year he achieved success at numerous UK venues against seasoned competitors and current Super 1 drivers.

He underlined his potential at the recent PF international Lincolnshire, by claiming pole position against 22 of the UK's top drivers.

Fears over the meeting taking place due to heavy overnight snow were allayed by the team at PF international / Trent Valley Kart Club who mobilised a small army to clear the track.

After securing pole position for the pre-final Ronan led the field by a healthy margin until a small mistake under braking dropped him to fourth.

He fought back to second and was chasing down the leader when the chequered flag halted his pursuit. Ronan started the final in P2 and was leading the field again by the end of the first lap. He was hotly pursued by three other drivers who had broken away from the main pack.

The leading four exchanged positions lap by lap, corner by corner, until the final lap where again Ronan occupied fourth place.

Drawing on all his racecraft, he smoothly moved into second place.

He attempted to pass the leading kart but a strong piece of defensive driving saw him forced out on to the snow-covered run-off within sight of the flag. Ronan recovered and brought his kart back with a very strong finish to clinch fourth.

n Ronan is appealing for sponsors to help with the cost of keeping his dreams on track. Anyone able to hep can contact email daniel48@ntlworld.com Phone 07981888631 / 01493656173