Welwyn Garden City youngster in go-kart final

PUBLISHED: 11:30 09 October 2011

Kasey and Steve Penstone-Smith

Kasey and Steve Penstone-Smith

A FATHER, who raced against former Formula One world champion Jenson Button, watched his son reach the grand final of a hand-made go-kart rally.

Steve Penstone-Smith, who was a keen kart racer as a child, entered himself and his son for the Screwfix Go-Kart Rally after seeing the competition advertised in the company’s store in Mundells, WGC.

The Hatfield resident and the rest of the family (or The Guinea Pig Grandprix Team as they prefer to be known), who run blacksmith trade, Mill Green Forge, then set about crafting the vehicle.

After three days inside the Essendon workshop, the team had made the kart for free using scrap metal, spare parts from a mobility scooter, and an MDF shell – a friend even did the fancy design.

The pair took to the grass hill track in Sussex last month, battling against other racers to record the fastest time.

Son Kasey scooped second place in the junior category – enough to secure his place in final, which will be held as part of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) in Scotland, which starts on Friday.

Steve, however, came fourth in the adult heat.

Former master blacksmith Steve, from Acacia Avenue, now looks after his wife as a full-time carer, but keeps his DIY hand in by making props for his daughter’s dance school.

He said: “It was quite easy to build, but we ended up roping in my brother and my other son as it was such a laugh. I’ve built engine-powered karts before, so this was an easier task.”

The 35-year-old added: “When we were younger, me and my brother used to race all over the country. I often came up against Jenson Button and I remember we used to take the mick out of Lewis Hamilton, who was in the younger group, for being so small!

“So it’s a passion we’ve had for a long time really.”

Steve said: “I was a bit nervous for Kasey going down the track but he’s done me proud.”

Kasey, 12, was one of the youngest racers in the competition, which was run in association with power tool brand Evolution and Peugeot.

The Stanborough School pupil said: “We got our team name from the rescue guinea pigs which we look after and also race. We have about 10 at home at the moment.

“My favourite part of the kart is the paint work.”

In addition to racing in the grand final, the duo have won tickets to watch the IRC rally and Kasey also received an electric remote control car.

Screwfix’s John Mewett said: “We have noticed a real trend for people wanting to get back to those ‘lads and dads’ days of old, which is why we created the Go-Kart Rally tournament to celebrate just that – families getting their kids out in the fresh air, and working together on projects – so it’s great to see the Penstone-Smiths having done so well in the competition.”

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