AN eight-year-old driver is continuing to defy expectations as he ends the season with 14 podium finishes from 18 races.

Oliver Sibbald, of Cleator Moor, has had a scintillating season behind the wheel of his kart, including eight wins.

He came second in a race at the British Championships; he won the Fulbeck Sprint Series, the Wombwell Club Championship and the East of England Cup and he was vice-champion of SuperOne BKC.

“It’s been a hell of a year,” explained dad Matthew Sibbald. “When we started he used to do time trials, but you could tell all he wanted to do was race. You set off and then five seconds later someone else sets off and he didn’t enjoy that.

“We looked at other venues and two years ago we went to Wombwell and he was miles away (from winning) but he kept going.”

After a difficult start to his racing career, the Frizington Primary School star finished on the podium in 14 out of his 18 races this season.

Oliver and his family were previously reluctant to enter the bigger competitions as his engine would not be able to compete with other drivers.

They then received an approach from Venom Race Engines who agreed to supply Oliver with the engine he needed to compete.

From being miles off the pace at Wombwell, Oliver was just five points off winning the ‘bambino’ class in the Clay Pidgeon round of the Motorsport UK 2020 British Kart Championships.

Oliver practises regularly at Cumbria Kart Racing Club in Rowrah.

Next season he will compete in the Micro Max category which levels the playing field and ensures every driver is using the same type of engine.

Matthew hopes the new class will give Oliver an even better chance of success as it will solely be a test of driving ability.