IT’S NOT every 14-year-old who can say they are a world champion, but Stuart Clarke really is the best junior in the world at radio-controlled model stock car racing.
The Avon Valley pupil won the title in a tense two-day event against eight other drivers at Coventry Motor Museum earlier this month. In a tight battle he managed to win the five-minute final by two laps.
He’s already the British junior champion and junior champion at Rugby Stock Car Club, which meets every Friday at Rodgers Hall, Hillmorton.
Stock cars have long been a Clarke family passion and he was introduced to the hobby by his parents Debbie and Peter when he was just six. They love to follow the full-sized versions in action at Brandon.
Model racing is also a full contact sport with the aim of completing the most laps of the oval circuit. The 1/12th scale replica Brisca F1 stock cars reach speeds of up to 25mph and must comply with strict specifications. They are powered by six ni-cad batteries and fitted with a counting device which registers every lap.
They even have the coloured tops like the real thing, representing the grade of the driver.
Stuart explained: “Mine’s red, which is the top level and I have two gold stripes to show I’m world junior champion. It’s brilliant to have won it.
“It’s a really good hobby and it doesn’t matter what age you are. The cars don’t have brakes, so you just have to control it well and get better with experience. You need to look out for trouble and think what the other drivers are going to do. It’s pure racing sense.
“If you roll it, the marshals can tip you over again, which isn’t what happens at Brandon where you’re out for the rest of the race!”
Stuart, who is also a talented footballer being captain of Bilton Ajax Under-15s, is very grateful to his parents for all their help and encouragement and to Jon Cutts, his mechanic.