Trio steer their way to karting glory

Christian Harrison, Matthew Graham and Daniel Barber from Ponteland High School, who won the North East Regional Final of the British Schools Karting Championship.
Christian Harrison, Matthew Graham and Daniel Barber from Ponteland High School, who won the North East Regional Final of the British Schools Karting Championship.
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THREE Ponteland High School students have once again proven their talent on the race track.

Matthew Graham, 15, Christian Harrison, 17, and Daniel Barber, 18, won the North East Regional Final of the British Schools Karting Championship (BSKC) after gaining an impressive four podium places in six sprint races at Teesside Autodrome over two days.

The talented trio will now go on to compete against the best school and college karting teams from across the country for the second time in the final of the BSKC 2012 at Daytona Milton Keynes, where they will get the chance to be crowned national champions and win a visit to the famous McLaren Technology Centre.

Rising international star Matty, the current CIK-FIA Under 18 world champion, notched up two first places and Dan got a first and second. Chris finished fourth and seventh in his races.

Ponteland High Associate Headteacher Anita Brown said: “Two years ago the same team were third in the national championships and hopefully they may be able to do even better this time.

“With Matty being an Under 18 world champion, Dan being Northern Area champion and Chris an excellent all-round sportsman, we think we have a good chance and everyone at the school is rooting for the team.”

The students also came through the first round at the Warden Law circuit in Sunderland with flying colours to make the regional final.

Dan leaves school this summer, hoping to study Mechanical Engineering, while Chris is also pursuing a science route at A-Level. Matty, meanwhile, has his eyes firmly set on motorsport.

Director of Key Stage 3 Phil Armstrong, who manages the team, said: “It was a thrilling day for everyone involved and I was very proud to see the boys put in a consistent performance throughout the day.

“They thoroughly deserve their win and have worked hard to earn their place in the national final.

“The sky is the limit for Matty and much depends on who picks him up and how much success he has in the next few years.

“His parents are doing everything they can to support him, with his teachers making sure he keeps up-to-date with school work when he is on his travels.”