Grimsby kart racer Lee Harpham delighted with his Euro title
GRIMSBY racer Lee Harpham described winning his first European karting title as "unbelievable".
The 30-year-old finished second and third in the final two races, held at Le Mans, France, as he won the CIK-FIA European Superkart Championship.
Harpham finished 24 points clear of his main rival, and Redspeed Racing team-mate, Marcel Maasmann. He needed to outpoint the Dutchman in both races to win the championship.
There was drama affecting the pair's battle even before the opening corner of the first race – Maasmann, who qualified fifth, lost control of his kart before the first corner and took out four fellow racers.
Harpham, pictured, avoided the crash and, after dropping to two places to fourth, hit back to finish second.
In race two, Maasmann was forced to retire due to vibrations in his steering, probably caused by his earlier smash.
Harpham, a British champion in 2006, finished third before celebrating his maiden European title.
"It's unbelievable," he said. "I didn't enter the European competition in 2010 and 2011.
"On my return, I was aiming at podiums but not at the title. However, the season went beautifully."
Harpham's Grimsby-based Harpoon Racing team joined forces with Redspeed Racing for the first time this season.
And reliability played a big part in Harpham's title win – he retired just once in the championship's eight races.
"Apart from the broken chain I had when I was leading the second race at Hockenheim, I didn't have the slightest mechanical issue," said Harpham.
"I landed three wins and stepped on the podium seven times in eight races. I'm very happy and would like to thank all those who made this title possible."