GUY Cunnington, from Trowbridge, is the European senior karting champion after claiming victory by a single point in his debut year at continental level.

The 18-year-old led the European Karting Championship standings going into the final round in Mariembourg, Belgium at the weekend, and secured a third-place finish in the final race of the season to land the title by the barest of margins.

The Trowbridge teenager has now added a European title to his British crown that he won last season, and hopes of becoming a world champion could have been realised last November when Cunnington controversially had his initial victory – by 0.003 seconds – converted into a draw.

Though the result of that competition is still being looked into 11 months later, Cunnington is safe in the knowledge his European title will not be taken away.

Reflecting on the achievement, the 18-year-old said: “It’s an achievement that’s been a long time coming really.

“Last year we did the British Championships for the first time. We travelled all around the country, and we won that, so then we thought we would step it up and try the European Championships. I got signed by Strawberry Racing and ended up winning it.

“We went overseas to do some racing before the season started, and I had no expectations then.

“We had strong pace and did quite well with a couple of podium results – going into the actual championships, we wanted a top-five spot.

“But then we were doing better and better every round, and in the end we thought: ‘why not go and try to win this?’”

And win it, he did, beating France’s Enzo Leveque and Britain’s Cian Shields at a soaked Mariembourg.

And with his second crack at a world championship crown just weeks away, Cunnington is keen to secure the title properly this year before turning his attention to a potential assault on F1 – should he be offered the chance.

He said: “If I got offered something, then I’d take it, but it gets expensive racing cars – more expensive than karting!

“The plan is to stay karting for this year and next year, try and win the world championships in the next two years and then if we get offered any drives in cars then we take it.

“Getting into F1 would be a dream, but the karting scene has moved forward quite a lot from the days of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

“When they raced, it was only really a British Championship – now you can race people all around the world. So there’s no need to rush.”