Teenage karter Taylor Barnard may have mega ambitions for his career in motorsport years down the line, but for now, he is more than happy to focus on the immediate future after enjoying a superb season to remember in 2017.
The 13-year-old from Horsford has been karting since the age of seven and has accomplished a lot since his debut. But this year he put his name firmly into the record books by winning every national competition that he entered. After a monumentally successful 2017 season, he is now looking forward to an even sweeter 2018.
Taylor started his history-making year by winning the ABkC O Plate Festival at Buckmore Park, taking the chequered flag more than four seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
He later went on to challenge for the MSA Kartmasters British Kart Grand Prix crown in August. This event is the annual blue ribbon event on the UK karting calendar and is the largest one-off kart meeting of the season, with 200 drivers from all around the world challenging for the coveted GP plate.
Taylor dominated the weekend, taking the final with ease and making Kartmasters history as the only driver to ever win the title on two occasions, again following in the footsteps of Lewis Hamilton who won the Cadet championship in 1996.
Throughout the year, he always had his sights set on the prestigious Super One racing series, one of the most competitive karting championships in the world, with previous Cadet champions including British F1 heroes Lewis Hamilton (1995) and Jenson Button (1991). Not surprisingly, Taylor bossed the series, winning the final in six of the seven race weekends to become the 2017 MSA British Champion.
These wins by themselves would have been impressive, but Taylor did not stop there – he also raced in the National Little Green Man series. As expected, he continued in sublime form throughout the season, winning seven of the eight race weekends to take the championship title, making series history with the most final victories by any driver.
Of course, behind any sports star, there is a massive support system. His proud mum Amy said, “We are all so very proud of Taylor’s achievements this year, winning both National Championships and also both Karting festivals in such dominant fashion has been amazing. We have to say thank you to Hellesdon High School as they have been brilliant and very supportive of his karting commitments.”
After such a rewarding season, any other teenage boy would be revelling in their karting stardom. But Taylor is keeping his feet firmly on the ground, preparing to attack 2018 with the same winning passion of 2017. “I would love to follow in Lewis Hamilton’s footsteps and go all the way to Formula One but I’m now focused on next year and continuing to work hard and do the best I can.”
If you want to support Taylor and his race to become the next star of British motorsport, you can follow his Facebook page Taylor Barnard Racing (@taylorbarnardracing) or visit his team’s website, fusioncompetition.co.uk.