Mark Kimber crowned world champion after Le Mans glory
Mark Kimber has capped his season by winning his maiden X30 Senior World Championship after a breath-taking final at Le Mans last weekend (19&20 October). The entire race week for the Solihull racer underlined his karting talent as the Strawberry Racing driver powered through the heats consistently in the top ten - including two second-place finishes - despite the weather throwing a range of conditions at the 17-year-old as he qualified 10th out of 140 entrants. While an early rain shower caused a dilemma amongst the 34-strong field in the final as to the best set-up for the drying track, Mark went into the 21-lap final in a positive frame of mind and with the sole objective of pushing up from his sixth-place start. That he did. Despite an ever so slight lack of speed coming out of the corners compared to his fellow front-runners - having thought the track conditions were better than they were after the early shower - he fought his way up to the lead by making inch-perfect passes on his rivals. Despite briefly being briefly demoted to second, he regained the place on the final lap and kept his elbows out to ensure he took the chequered flag first - 0.287sec ahead of McLaren factory driver Ben Barnicoat to take his second world title in karting after winning the Junior Rotax title in 2016. “It still hasn’t sunk to be honest!” Mark said. “This is easily the biggest win of my career so far and it is going to open a lot of doors for me in the future, I still can’t believe it! “It was a really tough final, we tried some adjustments to the sprocket before we went out, which meant we didn’t quite have the gearing coming out of the corners. That meant I had to work hard to keep them behind, which took a lot of concentration and a lot of effort - the whole grid was really strong. “I just want to thank the whole Strawberry Racing team, without them none of this would be possible - they were all absolutely on it all week.” His world title has capped a remarkable run of form for Mark, who has won his last four karting races which has encapsulated two rounds of the British Kart Championships at Three Sisters in Wigan, as well as the European Karting title after a dominant display at Salbris in late August.