SPEED king Jordan Baines has once again demonstrated his natural driving talent during a brilliantly successful year on the track.
The 12-year-old picked up the Trent Valley Kart Championship in the MiniMax category and came within a whisker of the Northern Karting Federation (NKF) crown.
Add that to victories on his home circuit at Wombwell and in the Lincolnshire Kart Club championship and it has been a good 2011 for the Wath Comprehensive pupil.
Dad Mark said: “It’s been fantastic this year and we’re over the moon with how it’s gone.
“It’ll sound biased but he is a brilliant driver.
“I’ve been around karting since I was a lad and I can tell you Jordan is a natural.”
Baines finished second in the NKF MiniMax championship, just 13 points behind the winner.
Victory in the championship would have been likely for S8 Racing team member Baines had he not missed a round in North Wales to compete in the British Kart Grand Prix.
He won three of the six NKF round finals, locked in a tussle with eventual championship winner Chad Little who competed at every stage.
Dad Mark said: “Jordan came so close but we knew missing a round would probably cost him the championship.
“He was desperate to be at the British Grand Prix and I don’t think any of us would take that experience back.
“He was fantastic in the last weekend of the NKF, he knew he had a lot to do to have a chance of winning and he did as well as he could have, winning two of the heats, coming second in the other and winning the final.
“But the other lad did just about enough.”
The British Grand Prix was held at Trent Valley Kart Club and Baines endured a mixed weekend.
He missed the qualifying stage so started at the back of the 34 strong field for the first heat but produced a brilliant drive to earn a place 11th on the grid for the pre-final race.
Another fantastic performance saw Baines finish fifth to give himself a strong chance of a podium finish in the final race.
But disaster struck five laps into the race when his engine blew up, robbing his kart of power on the straights.
But remarkably, he managed to finish the race in 16th place.
Dad Mark said: “We were gutted when the engine went because he was in a really good position and had driven brilliantly all weekend.
“But it was still a cracking performance to finish 16th because he had nothing to work with.”
Baines is hoping to realise his dream of competing in the British Kart Championship next season.
But financing the move to the elite competition is proving difficult for his small operation.
Dad Mark said: “We’re looking to raise about £4000 which would still be nothing compared with what some of the drivers will be working with.
“You’re talking tens of thousands and some of the lads have a full team behind them.
“We’re never going to have that, we just want to be able to get there and compete.
“Jordan has got the natural talent and can compete with the lads who have the money for the equipment.”
Anyone interested in sponsoring Jordan should contact Mark Baines on 07917774050.