Tracking down tomorrow's karting champs

VIDEO OK let's get this over with straight away. Yes, I was beaten by an 11 year-old girl, and yes, to complete my humiliation, I was lapped in what was only a five-lap race.But believe me, Kasia (pronounced Kasha) is fast. No seriously, she is very fast.

At 11 years-old Bury St Edmunds' Kasia Nicklin is one of the counties most promising young prospects in motorsport. Having left a trail of young speedsters in her wake on her way to the Red Lodge Cadet Championship last season, Kasia is hungry for more success behind the wheel as GrassRoots reporter Stuart Watson found out when he took up her challenge of a race at Ipswich's Anglia Indoor Karting track.

OK let's get this over with straight away. Yes, I was beaten by an 11 year-old girl, and yes, to complete my humiliation, I was lapped in what was only a five-lap race.

But believe me, Kasia (pronounced Kasha) is fast. No seriously, she is very fast.

Suited up before our planned five-lapper, this confident young girl told me how at eight years-old she had come to this very track in Ipswich and fallen in love with speed.

Since then, Kasia has progressed to outdoor racing and, having dispatched the challenge of many boys in the male dominated sport already, it was clear that she would relish damaging the ego of a 22 year-old sports journalist.

And that she did, however before I indulge you in the exact details of my embarrassment, let me get a few excuses out of the way.

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Not only did Kasia storm to the Red Lodge Championship last season, she also finished fourth in the highly competitive Whilton Mill Kart Club Championship.

In 2007, Kasia moved onto the Super 1 National Cadet Kart Championship, a series of races in which 35 of Great Britain's best drivers battle it out and the place that household names such as Nigel Mansell, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton first started.

Currently, halfway through the Championships, in which she will race in places as far a field as Scotland, Dorset, and Wigan, Kasia has finished as high as 11th and recorded a fastest lap on one occasion.

Despite all of this, Kasia, already an National A License holder, still has two years left of Cadet racing before she has to make the next step up.

Impressing so much, Kasia has attracted sponsorship from Cecil & Larter Saab.

Right, back to the race. Being far lighter than myself (I really am clutching at straws now) Kasia out accelerated me from the grid.

From there onwards, the frustratingly speedy kart in front of me appeared to get further and further away at each corner, and while my kart seemed to skid around each corner, losing vital speed, hers seemed to glide around effortlessly.

Flying round the impressive Anglia Indoor Karting track, which now includes a ramp and tunnel, Kasia soon came round to catch me and on the final lap she nipped up my inside and lapped me to the delight of those watching.

Just to rub things in we were handed print-outs of our performance afterwards. My average speed 24.6mph, Kasia's 28.6mph. She had finished a full 17 seconds ahead of me.

My colleagues promise me they won't let me forget this, however I am sure I won't be the last young male Kasia will leave in her rear view mirror over the coming years.

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