Staffordshire University Motorsport student Lloyd de Boltz-Miller has claimed new British and European records for most distance covered while driving a go-kart over 24 hours.
The 23 year old completed his gruelling marathon at Ellough Park Raceway, near Beccles, to raise money for the Spinal Injuries Association.
Though the typical British rainy weather sent his World Record attempt skidding off course, he still managed to walk away with the British and European records after completing 1,019 laps, nearly 1,000 kilometres.
Lloyd’s attempt had got underway in perfect conditions at the Suffolk track on the first day, and by 9:30 the next evening he was confident that he was on course to break the 2008 record, set by South Africa’s Myk Prescott.
Lloyd said: “After nine and a half hours, I was already full of respect for Myk’s achievement. However, my pace and consistency was such that I was sure that I would beat his record of 1152 kms, or 716.15 miles.”
As the sun rose however, the rain began to fall. A light drizzle soon gave way to a persistent rain that only increased. This slowed Lloyd’s pace and despite him driving at ten-tenths, he lost precious time.
His support team, composed of family and friends, urged him on for the full twenty four hours - whilst also playing the roles of mechanic, refueller, driver coach, masseur and fan club.
With 23 hours completed, a shattered Lloyd came into the pits for fuel. He said: “There was so much water. I aquaplaned so many times, at one point, the water picked up my front end and chucked me sideways.” But with his massage and refuelling complete, he slammed his visor shut and headed back out onto the circuit.
As he edged towards the finish line, there were anxious moments in the pits. With just three minutes remaining, his battery failed and he coasted to a halt in the pits. Furious activity got him back out to take the chequered flag but it wasn’t quite enough to bring the record to England.
After 24 hours of drama, endurance and sheer will-power, the weather had deprived Lloyd of his goal – by just 51 miles.
Despite his obvious disappointment, Lloyd was pleased to have established the British and European records while raising much needed funds and publicity for the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA).
He said: “I’m really annoyed I didn’t get the record. We were on par to take it but the rain put the kibosh on any real chance of doing it, but hopefully I’ve put the fantastic work of the SIA in the spotlight”.
Lloyd, who is enhancing his love for racing and race vehicles with his BSc(Hons) Motorsport Technology degree at Staffordshire University, is already planning next year’s assault on the record, saying: “I really want the record in the kart. I’m going to have another go next year but with the added incentive of going for the 24 Hours distance record in a car after that.”
He added, “I’d like to thank Tim Gillard (Gillard Racing Karts) for lending me a chassis, Steve Ogden (Steve Ogden Motorsport) for generously giving me three of his engines to use, Luke Hines at Grand Prix Racewear, Jason Fowler at JLF, Toby Warrington and Luke Brackenbury at Arai UK, Sunoco’s Anders Hilliband for the fuel, Richard Palmer of Autotel, Ben de Zille-Butler at Carrefour for letting me use the gym facilities, Richard Lock, Matt Stell (Science in Sport) and my personal trainer, Darren Stones for all their help. Without which, this would not have been possible.”
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