Webb reigns in Spain

Strawberry Racing’s Harry Webb is stalking towards a spectacular, unexpected and seemingly impossible European kart title, after back-to-back victories in Spain last weekend (19/20 July).Forced to sit out the opening round of the prestigious Euro Max Challenge in April due to a lack of funds, the 17-year old managed to put together to join the Euro Max fray and has been in electrifying form since.

Webb then travelled to Italy for the second event of the championship, at Castelletto Di Branduzzo, and cleaned up, unpredictably winning both finals, despite his enforced early season lay-off.

Still with no serious thought on the championship title itself, Harry arrived at the Zuera circuit, near Zaragoza, looking to maintain his form and hope for a podium. However, after struggling for pace in the practice sessions his hopes could have taken a knock. Thankfully his confidence in his own ability and that of his team and equipment had not and as the timed qualifying session got underway, it quickly became evident that he was going to be one of the chief protagonists. A blistering first flying lap was all it took for the former Junior World Champion to take pole position for the forthcoming heats. Now on the front foot, he duly took lights-to-flag victories in all three preliminary races to top the intermediate rankings and claim P1 on the starting grid for the first of Sunday’s two finals.

The weather seemed to respond to the forthcoming drama and tension of the important races with increasing temperatures and a tempestuous wind, which made driving conditions challenging in their own right. Despite the best efforts of the race commentator to ramp up the excitement and tension beforehand, Webb kept a cool head as the first final began.

A clean, efficient start saw the Norfolk teenager ease away from his fellow front-row starter, team-mate Guan Yu Zhou. Once ahead, Harry reeled out a string of fast, consistent laps to put daylight between himself, Zhou and the rest of his pursuers. Having effectively killed off any potential challenges from behind, he cruised to a dominant start-finish-win, never looking in any danger once the race had found its rhythm. Webb completed his perfect weekend with an imperious performance in the second final. As one observer put it “he drove in a sphere of his own. No one was able to keep pace with him.” At the chequered flag, the Strawberry driver was five seconds clear of Zhou, thus taking his fourth win in a row. “To be honest, Saturday was a lot harder for me,” he said after his latest triumph. “I was really made to work hard for my heat wins and after Friday practice, I was a bit surprised to be so quick in qualifying. The fact that I was is thanks to Strawberry Racing. They gave me the perfect set-up to go and get the job done on Sunday.”

Albeit that he missed the first round of the series, Harry has scored the maximum points in the subsequent two meetings and now has a mathematical chance of snatching the title at the championship’s finale at Salbris, France, in September (7).

“I’d have to have another absolutely perfect weekend and repeat my success in Zuera” he said, adding: “It’s an outside chance at best but you never know. We’ve just got to go there thinking positive and give it our best shot.”