MALMESBURY racer Louis Harvey kicked off his Ultimate Karting Championship season with an eighth-place finish at Whilton Mill last weekend.

A field of 40 senior Rotax drivers took to the track between Friday and Sunday for the chance to pick up valuable championship points.

Harvey showed good pace all day in Friday’s practice and found a good set up to work with for Saturday and Sunday’s racing.

In heat one, the Wiltshire teen started 19th and made a strong start, quickly moving up the order. By the halfway point Harvey was up to ninth, however, the front pack had already had a gap which he was unable to close in time.

Following an uneventful heat two in which Harvey finished in seventh after starting from 11th, a much more exciting heat three saw the Malmesbury teen fight up to third from ninth place.

Unfortunately for the Wiltshire racer, he overheated his tyres in the battle for a podium place and was forced to back off and cross the line in fourth.

Harvey started the pre-final from seventh on the grid, and following two red flags that resulted in two full restarts, the young driver battled to an eighth-place finish.

With the pre-final results dictating a driver’s starting position for the main final, Harvey lined up eighth with his sights set on a top-five result.

He made a clean start and was with the front pack, starting to make up some positions when a badly-judged manoeuvre by another driver caused a collision which resulted in a bent steering column for Harvey.

The crash made it tough for Harvey to control the kart for the remainder, and he battled through for a 12th-place finish in the end.