Ella Stevens maintains KZ2 championship lead at Glan-Y-Gors

Ella Stevens has maintained her lead at the top of the KZ2 class in the Wera Tools British Karting Championship despite a frustrating race in North Wales.

Ella Stevens recovered well to maintain her lead at the top of the KZ2 class in the Wera Tools British Karting Championship despite a series of setbacks at Glan-Y-Gors, North Wales last weekend [10-11 June].

The 16-year-old arrived at the second meeting of the 2023 season as the ‘one to beat’ after a starring role at the Kimbolton season opener last month, including a history-making first female victory in the KZ2 class for the Gloucestershire teenager.

Stevens immediately backed that performance up in Friday testing around the technical, twisty 1.1-mile Snowdonia venue, including the quickest time outright in the second of three sessions.

Tyre management is always crucial at Glan-Y-Gors, and Stevens was able to find the space out on track during qualifying to put her Jade Racing Team-run machine on the front row, in second.

Despite a few difficult starts, Stevens was able to maintain her position at the sharp end of the field across the heats and would start the Pre-Final a strong third on a 16-strong grid including some of the UK’s brightest rising stars.

From there, however, adversity struck, with Stevens on the receiving end of a first-lap incident that left her #28 kart with a bent axle, forcing her to retire without completing a racing lap. Even more significantly, that would Ella on the back row for the all-important Final.

For the second meeting in succession, Stevens put on another stellar showcase of her overtaking prowess, rising up 10 places through the order to take sixth at the chequered flag.

Crucially, the points keep her at the championship summit with half of the season gone, the Brit 8 points clear of nearest rival Tom Adams with events at Shenington (21-23 July) and Rowrah (15-17 September) to follow.

Ella Stevens (#28) said:

“The weekend started off really positively, with fast lap times across the practice sessions. I knew from the get-go that managing tyres was going to be a difficult ask on this circuit, but qualifying on new rubber was certainly a help to the majority of drivers.

“I was fortunate enough to find some space and get a good lap on the board in clean air, putting me P2 for the heats. They were tough, with some tricky starts to recover from, but we managed to maintain our place up at the front of the grid.

“The Pre-Final definitely didn’t go to plan. I got caught up in an incident at the start, and that bent the axle on the kart, so it was game over on the spot.
That did put me last for the Final, but the main thing was to get my head down, keep focus and make as much progress as possible. To come away from sixth from the back was a good feeling, and I think had we started higher up, we’d definitely have been in the mix to win for the second meeting in a row."

“I’m still in the championship lead, so that’s the main positive to take from the weekend. Next up is Shenington, one of my favourite circuits in KZ2, so I’m keen to see what we can achieve there.”

Alice Powell, Ella Stevens’ Manager said:

“I think it’s still a really positive weekend for Ella. She’s still new to the class, it’s her first year, and she’s up against experienced drivers."

“We were just shy of pole position, got unlucky in the Pre-Final but then backed up the earlier performances with a fantastic drive through the field in the Final."

"She’s still leading the championship at the halfway stage, with two rounds to go, and I can’t fault the work and commitment she’s putting in to make the most of each weekend."

“Hats off to Jade Racing Team, as well, who are doing a fantastic job with both Ella as a driver, and with her kart. A big shout out to Scott and Ross for all their continued efforts.”

Ella will be in action for Round 3 of the British KZ2 Championship at Shenington on the 21-23 July.