McLaren Protege De Vries Wins World Karting Title

Nyck de Vries was crowned CIK-FIA Karting World Champion last weekend. The 15-year-old Dutchman won the one-off event held at Zuera in northern Spain, taking the lead of the race on the final lap. De Vries is part of the McLaren Young Driver Programme, and is managed by Anthony Hamilton, father of 2008 Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

He passed 18-year-old Welshman Jordan Chamberlain on the final lap of the 18 lap race to take the crown. He also beat a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, Brendon Maisano, who finished in seventh. Former GP2 Series racer and Formula Renault 3.5 race winner Ben Hanley was also competing, but retired on the first lap after a collision.

“I was closing only very slowly on Jordan,” said De Vries after the race. “Then at the start of the last lap I said to myself that this braking manoeuvre would probably be my very last chance to be world champion. I decided to make my move some way back…and that was how it went.”

De Vries won the European KF3 championship last year and has also won the German Junior and WSK World Series titles twice, in 2008 and 2009. After becoming world champion, he has said that he would like to contest another season of karting in 2011 before making the step up into cars.

Former winners of the Karting World Championship include Riccardo Patrese and Jan Magnussen, as well as current Formula 1 drivers Jarno Trulli and Vitantonio Liuzzi.