Ill Bonnett defies bosses to take top rookie prize

Young karter Matthew Bonnett returned home with more silverware from the Paul Fletcher International Circuit in Grantham last weekend.

Saturday, 12th March 2016, 8:27 am
Matthew Bonnett and his racing team
Matthew Bonnett and his racing team

The Headlands School pupil has spent the winter testing with his new team TDR Racing and was only competing in the final round of the Winter Championship as a warm-up ahead of the NKF Championship which starts in April.

Plans to get him back into race mode suffered a blow when he was taken ill on Saturday with a bad sickness bug and had to miss a full day’s practice.

His team advised him not to race but he over-ruled them and decided he was well enough to compete the following day.

Qualifying went ahead on a very wet track and he managed a fantastic fourth, but in the pre-final, the kart in front of him failed to start and Bonnett was back to sixth.

With the track now dry, he had work to do but managed to get back up to fourth by the chequered flag.

Bonnett had to then start from the back of a grid of 16 strong drivers for the final.

Snow added to his problems but he managed to keep a cool head up to sixth by the finish, beating the five other rookie drivers.

He said: “I just dug deep and remembered all the wet winter testing I had done.”

Team boss Murray Day said: “It’s such a massive achievement, his first race here and considering how the day before he was so ill. Fingers crossed, there will be more silverware to come for him.”

Bonnett added: “PFI is such a big hard track to get right. People come from all over the world to compete here and to stand on that podium felt so special. I just have to keep working hard and carry the momentum to my first race in the championship in pril.

“I would like to thank my team and Chris at West BS.”