Karting ace Max makes British championship step-up

Max Bird's karting progress is back on track  Picture by Chris Walker / kartpix.net
Max Bird's karting progress is back on track Picture by Chris Walker / kartpix.net

After narrowly missing out on a top-ten overall placing in the British national mini-max kart championship class for 11 to 16-year-olds in 2013, Max Bird has moved up to the faster and highly-competitive junior max class for this year’s British Championship.

Over the winter months the 14-year-old from Chidham raced with the same team that he competed with in 2013 – and with considerable success, taking second place in the winter championship at the PF international circuit in Lincolnshire.

But changes in the team and a very disappointing race in the European Rotax Winter Cup in Spain in February prompted a re-think and a change of team in March when he joined RL Racing.

It takes time to fit in with a new team and Bird and the team have worked hard together to ensure he can race at the front in the junior rotax class.

Bird has had a number of top-six finishes and set fastest laps over the past two months since joining RL, but his results at national level have been disappointing with 25th and 18th places in the first two rounds of the British championship.

But hopefully the hard work is beginning to pay off. In a warm-up race at Larkhall in Scotland before the next round of the British championship, Bird set the pace with a first, a fourth and a ninth place in his heats which put him fourth on the grid for the final. A good start and fast opening laps enabled the top four drivers to open up a lead over the rest of the grid and a battle ensued which saw Bird take third place after four laps and then second place two laps later.

He went on to chase the leader and nearly caught him by the end of the race, but had to settle for second place which, against such a competitive field of 60 drivers, was a great result. Bird is now quietly confident for the forthcoming national championship round this month.

Bird is one of 12 young drivers from across the UK who are members of the Young Racing Driver Academy (YRDA), which is run by Arden International Motorsport and has connections with the Red Bull F1 team, home of four-times world F1 champion Sebastian Vettel.

YRDA provide fitness training, dietary guidance, marketing and PR support and regular driver training on their single-seater racing simulator at the Arden factory in Banbury.

This is the same simulator used by the Arden team drivers who race in GP2 and GP3, and Bird regularly drives the F1 circuits such as Silverstone, Monaco and Hockenheim in his simulator sessions.

Bird is a pupil at Slindon College where he is studying for GCSEs. He trains regularly at the gym, cycles and runs to keep fit between races and enjoys cooking and racing against his karting colleagues on his X-Box.

Bird is hoping to attract support from individuals or organisations interested in nurturing young talent along the journey from karting to racing in single-seater cars with the potential for achieving the ultimate goal of a drive in F1.

Anyone interested in supporting him in his journey to F1 can contact his father Tim Bird on 07850 218010 or by email at tbird@riva-consulting.com to discuss the opportunity.

You can follow Max’s progress at www.maxbird.co.uk or on Twitter @maxbird35 or at www.facebook.com/pages/Max-Bird-Racing/500982656662751