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McCarthy Adds British title to Euro Crown

Published: Friday, October 2nd, 2015

Photo Credit: Chris Walker/Kartpix

The popular phrase ‘winner, winner, chicken dinner’ was given extra spice wen Strawberry Racing’s Jack McCarthy savoured his victory in the Super One series with a celebratory dinner at his local curry house.

The 15-year old from Bromley had travelled to the championship’s finale at PFi (26/27 September), with one hand already on the prestigious trophy and after a solid performance in qualifying and the heats, needed only to finish the two finals to seal the title.

In timed qualifying, McCarthy posted the 3rd-fastest time and went on to take a brace of 4th-place finishes in the preliminary heats. With his Strawberry Racing team-mate, Tom Gamble, taking pole position for the first final, Jack coolly stayed out of the fray to bring his kart home in 12th position.

Now, with an unassailable points lead, the champion-elect chose to drive around in the second final at the tail of the field, watching Gamble complete his second lights-to-flag triumph. Scoring 44 points for his eventual 18th-place finish, Jack knew he was the 2015 champion as he took the chequered flag with his arms aloft.

“I looked up into the grandstand and could see all the [team’s] mechanics jumping up and down. They had their arms in the air and so did I”, Jack explained. “Everyone was very happy and excited. As I came back into the pits, people were hugging me and congratulating me.”

Asked if he had been nervous before the two finals, Jack said: “I was pretty confident. I had a big points-lead but still had to do my best, and make sure my closest rivals couldn’t catch me. My plan was not to get into any trouble and it was quite boring driving at the back but I’d rather that, than crash and lose the title.”

With some international races still to compete in, including the world finals at Portimao, Portugal in November (8-14), Jack will stay in karts for another year before graduating to single-seaters in 2017.

“My next step will be to move up to sSenior Max next season, followed by the MSA Formula the year after. Ultimately, I’d love to be in Formula One or the World Endurance Championship.”


Aged 8, Jack first experienced karting at a friend’s birthday party held at the Raceway indoor track in London’s Docklands. Instantly hooked, Jack kept going back before eventually persuading his dad, Warren, to buy him a kart and start club racing in the Kent area. Today, Jack competes in the Junior Rotax Max category, better known as Junior Max. The class uses 125cc water-cooled Rotax engines and is open to 13 to 17-year olds, with speeds reaching a maximum of 70mph.

He started 2015 with victory in the Dubai Open Championship and followed this with the runner-up spot at the Rotax Winter Cup, held in Campillos, Spain. He clinched the Euro Max championship at Genk in Belgium at the beginning of September (5/6).

Also a keen footballer, with “a good left foot”, avid Chelsea fan Jack says that if he wasn’t a racing driver, he’d love to play professionally for his favourite team. 

Jack recommends the Chicken Shaslick at the Sonargaon Tandoori in West Wickham.