September 25, 2017
It was Keirle’s first event in the OK-Senior class, having already taking the British Karting Championship in the X30 Senior class earlier this year – before entering the biggest race in all of karting with the assistance of Zanardi Kart and Chiesa Corse.
Despite being his first event, Keirle was immediately on the pace and fighting at the front – setting the 7th fastest lap overall in Timed Qualifying out of the 87 competitors.
Keirle would then go on to take four qualifying heat victories and a second place, which gave him pole position for the World Final. Despite the enormous pressure competing in the biggest event of the year and of his life so far – Keirle put in a masterful performance! As he led from start to finish ahead of the chasing pack over the 21 lap race, taking the World Karting Championship title in dominant fashion.
Keirle was one of the original members of the Arden Young Racing Driver Academy. Academy Director Steve Hutchinson was quoted in 2011 tipping Keirle for big things and karting success upon first signing him to the programme, underlining his potential six years ago.
Steve Hutchinson YRDA Director “He’s just a bit special, I am no expert but have been involved in motor sport for many years and I have only seen one other driver with this kind of natural talent and he went on to win the F1 world championship,” said the Former Professional Golfer.
Six years later, Keirle now sits on the pinnacle of World Karting – demonstrating to the world that he was indeed ‘A bit special’.
Keirle was not the only success at the World Karting Championships for the Arden and YRDA Alumni. Chris Lulham in the OK-Junior Class was also a member of the Academy as he came through the ranks of Cadet and Junior Karting. Lulham was racing with the British Racing Team, Forza Racing – having earlier in the year finished 5th overall in the CIK-FIA European Junior Karting Championship, Lulham was determined to go better in the World Championship with home track advantage.
Lulham set the second fastest time in qualifying, just 0.003s off pole position! He went on to take two heat wins and three second places on his way to 2nd on the grid for the OK-Junior World Championship final.
The start saw him pushed back after starting on the unfavoured outside, but Lulham pounced on an incident at the second hairpin on the fifth lap to bring himself into 2nd position. He had a gap of almost 1.5s to make up and catch his teammate Dexter Patterson. Lulham began to eat away at the advantage lap after lap – as the fastest man on the circuit, to get on the back of Patterson’s rear bumper with just three laps to go. Lulham tried as hard as he could to get past his teammate and rival to take the title, as they duelled for victory on the final lap. Ultimately Lulham just missed out on the Junior World Karting Championship by 0.106s. Nevertheless, it was another incredible achievement by the YRDA Alumni driver.
Everyone at Arden International Motorsport and the YRDA would like to pass on our congratulations to both Keirle and Lulham after brilliant performances in their biggest race of the year – beating the World’s best!