Stefanos Charalambous. Remember the name. This young racing driver is beginning to forge a reputation for exhilarating kart racing that belies his 16 years, and last weekend he added to this with a series of fine performances to win British karting’s London Cup.

Stefanos races in karting’s Mini Max category, for 11-17 year olds. On Sunday, 1st September, at the Rye House Kart Raceway, the track where Formula 1 motor racing’s Lewis Hamilton began his career, Stefanos raced brilliantly throughout the day to set himself up for the final.

He won the first heat of the day, having started from 4th place on the grid. In his second heat, he started 20th and finished 2nd. He began the third heat in 18th place, and with some skilful karting, moved up to 8th on the very first lap, but the race, unfortunately, had to be abandoned after very lengthy delays due to two pile-ups – which, by the way, Stefanos had managed to steer clear of. However, he had done enough to ensure he started the Final on pole position. From start to finish, over 13 laps, Stefanos drove faultlessly to finish 30 metres ahead of his nearest rival, and win the London Cup. His great performances were even captured on film and televised on Sky Sports’ ‘Men & Motors’ programme.

On receiving the coveted trophy, Stefanos movingly dedicated his victory to his late friend, Joshua O’Malley, a popular figure at Rye House and on the karting scene generally, who tragically lost his brave fight against cancer last year.

Stef, as he’s known to his family and friends, lives in Finchley, North London, and, similar to Lewis Hamilton, has been racing karts since he was 12. Stef’s father, Bambos, deserves special praise for his dedication in taking Stef all over the UK every weekend, and playing no small part in his development, with valuable advice and encouragement from his years of rallying. These long and tiring weekends have meant that Stef has had to keep up with his school work at any hour of the night or day that he can. It’s therefore a great credit to him that he managed to achieve good results in his recent GCSEs, and is moving on to his A-level studies.

Stef – or Stefanos, he doesn’t mind which – is a young man with a bright future ahead of him.

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