Flying finish for Liam

LIAM Hamilton battled through a dramatic last few round of the Kumho BMW Championships to win his class and finish second overall in the final drivers' table.

Stuart Watson

LIAM Hamilton battled through a dramatic last few round of the Kumho BMW Championships to win his class and finish second overall in the final drivers' table.

The 17-year-old, who has now won Class D of the Championships for Team AFM Racing two years in a row, went into the final two rounds at Oulton Park, Cheshire still in with a shot at winning the title.

However, drama in both races meant than in the end Hamilton was left relieved to hold onto second spot.


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Race one saw the Ipswich-based teenager suffer the first major crash of his career when, after hitting some oil on the track, he went careering into a wall at 80mph.

Somehow Hamilton managed to get going again, however, the whole front side of his car was pushed back onto his tyre causing him to lose a great deal of speed and control over the remaining two laps.

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Despite the damage, the Suffolk College student still managed to maintain his remarkable record of bringing the car home in every race of the season.

The second race provided yet more problems for Hamilton who was suddenly faced with a slipping clutch.

This proved to be the moment that the teenager, who became the youngest ever to race in these Championships at just 16-years-old last year, really displayed his ability.

Even with the erratic drop in power from his car, Hamilton was still able to record the fastest lap and a track record for his class.

“It shocked a lot of people how quick I was with a broken car,” said Hamilton. “The guys on the team said how well I had done and told me that they think I am ready for another step up.”

Overall, Hamilton finished the season with eight first places and eight second places in his Class. He set 12 fastest laps and was also named Driver of the Day at Rockingham.

As a result, Hamilton will make the giant leap from Class D - racing an on-loan car with a 318s engine - to Class A next season with a brand new M3 Evo 3. It will mean that Hamilton will become the youngest driver ever to compete in an M3.

“It's another big step up for me, but I'll put in some testing over the winter and will hopefully be successful.

“This year was always about learning the tracks in preparation for an M3 so I hope I can get some top five finishes next year.”

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