Teen kart star on road to success

Susanne Gutzold with Rob Austin, British touring car driver and team owner

Susanne Gutzold with Rob Austin, British touring car driver and team owner

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A 14-year-old Douglas girl has been setting the world of karting alight.

Susanne Gutzold is a member of the British Women’s Racing Drivers Club and won their karting category last year.

Susanne Gutzold

Susanne Gutzold

She was presented with the trophy at a gala lunch at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, but found it was too big to transport back to the island on her flight home.

Susanne said: ‘I was really pleased to win, it was so unexpected, there were so many other good drivers in it.

‘We’ve had to leave the trophy with a friend in the UK, but we will be bringing it over in March.’

The trophy was presented by Rob Austin, who races in the British Touring Car Championship and has also raced in Formula 3 and the British GT Championship. In addition to this, Susanne also won the Barbara E F Bird Memorial Shield for the Junior Champion.

Ballakermeen student, Susanne, started her karting career racing in Jurby in 2009, aged just 10, and by the next year she had come second overall in the Isle of Man Kart Racing Association Kart Championship.

She began karting because her older brother was already racing and she became bored just watching.

She said: ‘I’ve grown up around the TT so that’s how I got into motor sports and watching my brother drive in the karts made me want to do it too.’

She passed her Association of Racing Kart Schools (ARKS) test and starting competing in the Isle of Man Club Championship, finishing second still on novice plates.

In 2010, despite not competing in all the rounds, she finished a close second in the Isle of Man Championship, picking up four wins and two runner-up places during the season.

She was awarded the Helen Adcock trophy for the 2010 best female driver of the year.

Local competition is somewhat limited, so the family decided it would be more fun and challenging for Susanne and her brother to race in the UK.

Susanne made her UK debut in 2010, finishing seventh in the Rowrah Lakeland Trophy.

For the last two years she has been competing in the British Kart Championship and has achieved some top 10 finishes at the end of last season.

Asked if she had any advice for other young people interested in taking up karting Susanne said: ‘It’s best to first find a local club, such as the Isle of Man Karting Club, then just go along, they can tell you how to work towards your ARKS test, once you’ve passed that you can start racing.

‘I usually practice once a month at the moment.

‘In the future I would love to have a go at car racing but we don’t really have the budget unfortunately.’

For anyone interested in karting visit www.iomkra.com

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