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Markethill teen (13) follows family footsteps becoming third generation karting champion

"His Granda was Northern Ireland Champion and both uncles were Northern Ireland Champions, so it's maybe a bit of a disease!"

A Markethill teenager has added yet another trophy to the family cabinet as he scooped the British Ultimate Karting Championship trophy at a recent awards event in Manchester.

Daniel Kilpatrick (13), attended the prestigious red carpet event – which marked the end of 2023 Ultimate Karting championship season – at the Concorde Conference Centre on Saturday, January 6.

The Championship, which commenced in April 2023, took place throughout six race circuits in Scotland and England.

Since age eight, Daniel has been honing his skills in pursuit of his dream of becoming a professional racing driver and in those short five years he has already secured recognition as two-time Ulster and Northern Ireland Karting Championship winner, in 2021 and 2022.

As the third generation of karting champions in his family, the talented young driver has the support of a highly experienced ‘pit team’.

His father, Clive Kilpatrick, who has his own accolades as two-time Northern Ireland Rally Champion, said: “I was Northern Ireland Rally Champion for two years, so it was probably me that pushed him down that road. We were just racing at home and last year we went over to England and had a good run there as well. His Granda was Northern Ireland Champion and both uncles were Northern Ireland Champions, so it’s maybe a bit of a disease!”

Daniel competing at the Ultimate Karting Championships

Undoubtedly, 2023 was one of Daniel’s most successful seasons to date. After becoming Mini Max Champion in 2022, he made the decision to take a massive leap up into the Junior Rotax category.

And he didn’t lose pace. Daniel secured multiple top 10 results in the Ultimate Karting Championship and achieved several wins in club races at Ulster and Northern Ireland Championship rounds.

Now, having just signed on with ‘the best karting team in the UK’ Dan Holland Racing, Daniel has a solid footing as he sets his sights on returning to the Northern Ireland and British Karting Championships for 2024.

This year, he will be racing in the Junior Rotax class which, Clive said, “is the highest level of karting in the UK”.

Daniel at the Ultimate Karting Championships, left and his 2023 Mini Max award, right

To ensure his continued success, Clive is eagerly sourcing sponsorship.

He said: “To get an opportunity to drive for the best karting team in the UK, unfortunately, it comes at a cost. Travelling back and forward to the various tracks adds a lot of cost, never mind the main cost of running the kart on the race weekend.

“A typical race weekend means we leave Markethill on a Thursday morning/afternoon so we can be at official practice Friday morning with the main races on Saturday and finals on Sunday. This means it’s always a challenge to be back for school on Monday mornings!”

With all this being a Champion it’s easy to forget that school still comes first!

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