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Caithness karting ace Jack in the thick of the action as motorsport returns

By Alan Hendry

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Jack Ryan (left) was delighted to take a podium finish at Golspie after coming off the track on the first corner.
Jack Ryan (left) was delighted to take a podium finish at Golspie after coming off the track on the first corner.

Castletown teenager Jack Ryan has been making his mark on the karting and autocross scene since motorsport was given the green light to restart in May.

The North of Scotland Kart Club had the first race of the year at the Golspie track. It was well attended with 71 drivers from all over Scotland competing.

Fifteen-year-old Jack was among 12 Junior Max/Minimax entrants and had an eventful time as he emerged as driver of the day for the spectators.

He began in pole in heat one, finishing in third position.

Heat two saw him start in fourth position. He got up to third, then on the last lap a kart had come off the track in front of race control and Jack had to swerve to miss it.

He landed on the grass verge and kept the kart going as he bumped up the verge for about 100 yards, maintaining his third position to the astonishment of the spectators.

Jack started in fifth position in the third heat. After a racing incident on the second lap, he was put off the track but he got back in and fought his way through to finish in third.

It looked to be all over in the final when Jack came off the track on the first corner. He got the kart back onto the track but this left him in 11th position.

He fought his way back to fifth position on lap nine. On the last lap (14), he got up to fourth and then on the second-last corner, 300 yards from the finish, he passed the kart in front.

Jack was punching the air in triumph having secured in third place. It was a fantastic achievement to recover from 11th in an eight-minute race to finish on the podium.

He will be competing in the Scottish championship in Crail in July.

Results – 1 Dylan Mackay, Golspie; 2 Reece Duthie, Peterhead; 3 Jack Ryan, Castletown.

Jack passed his BARs test at Knockhill to allow him to compete in the Junior 1000 Rally. He was presented with his certificate by the three-times British touring champion Gordon Shedden.

Caithness Autocross Club's new season began recently and Jack was the fastest driver in the junior section in the first round at Thurso East.

In the second meeting of the season, also at Thurso East, Jack came second in his section, losing out by 0.16 of a second.

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