In a series dominated by team-based racers, the Senior Rotax category can often be a tough battleground for those who run themselves. But 17-year-old Declan Russell stamped his mark on the 2022 Wera Tools British Kart Championship, by scooping top Privateer despite a tough season.

The Dover-based karter started corporate karting in 2015, winning multiple championships including Buckmore Park Junior Star Pupil, before moving into Honda Cadets in 2016. He would move into Mini Max and contested his first BKC season, with a handful of top-five results, encouraging the shift into Junior Rotax, taking top privateer in the process.

His achievements have also seen him being enrolled on the Motorsport UK Academy initiative which assists with career development, fitness and other aspects of motorsport progression.

But 2022 was to be a tricky season and it didn’t get off to the best of starts either.

“We were still adapting to the new class and different tyres, meaning that we only ended up thirteenth in the Repechage at PFI and the season opener” he explains.

“We then had to miss round two due to not having the budget to compete, so we went straight to round three already on the back foot. This was a better round, having much more pace and being competitive, however, due to unlucky heats we started the repechage on pole and ended up twenty-fifth in the Final.

“A similar story at round four started the repechage in tenth place and ended up twenty-sixth in the Final. Kimbolton was a circuit I had never been to before and went into the Saturday with no practice, and was a big struggle. The last, doubleheader at Whilton Mill started well having a very strong pace however we got unlucky in our heats with two DNFs. But we had an amazing pace in the final going up sixteen places to finish sixteenth. Due to our crash in the heats and damaged chassis we were not able to compete in Sunday’s racing.

“To be honest I didn’t even realise I was top privateer and am really surprised with the season I’ve had. However, I am obviously very pleased to achieve the highest privateer in such a competitive field as being a privateer is very difficult compared to being in a team. I am hoping to be able to compete in the BKC again if we can find sponsorship”.

Good luck Declan!

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