Title-winning racer Chris Needham will be the latest long-circuit karter to join the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres this weekend at Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk, ahead of a planned full season in 2020.
Set to contest just the second day of action at the East Anglia track on Sunday, 8th September, and so contesting three of the weekend’s six races, the 31-year-old from Altrincham will have to start each encounter from the back of the grid as per the rules for new mid-season entries into Legends.
Needham, who has won multiple Superkart championship crowns in recent years and also has strong experience on the European stage, says he has been seeking a new challenge in a highly competitive category – and the Legends provide the perfect choice.
“I’m sharing a car with my friend Gareth Sheridan for next year, we jointly own the car and will be racing a day each as a Team Car, but this weekend is a great way for me to test the water – although I’ll only be racing on Sunday”, said Needham, “I’ve been racing karts for 23 years now and I’ve been looking for a bit of a change, the Legends are a good fit for us.
“Whenever we’re at the track it’s always the Legends you want to go and watch, so I’m really looking forward to Sunday and seeing how we get on. I’m not setting any goals, I haven’t done any testing in the car – which I picked up three weekends ago – so we’ll be straight into qualifying without any practice. Hopefully it’ll all go well and then we can be up there in the top 10 next year.”
After starting out his career in club level karting at eight years-of-age, Needham moved into 125cc long-circuit karting as an adult and duly went on to win the KZ Championship crown in 2010 before heading onto the European stage where he competed in 250cc karts, becoming a top 10 regular.
Returning to 125cc karts for 2014, the British racer won all three championships contested and has continued to be a front-runner ever since. Now, he is swapping his 100mph-plus Superkart for a 1250cc motorcycle-engined Legend, and is relishing his maiden experience.
Speaking on Needham’s arrival in Legends, championship owner Phil Cooper said: “It’s fantastic to have Chris out with us at Snetterton for his debut in Legends Cars, and we’re all looking forward to seeing how he gets on. We’re seeing a lot of growing interest, especially from many of the drivers in Superkarts, which is obviously great news and proof of how appealing Legends Cars is.”
Needham’s appearance in the Legends Cars National Championship this weekend follows that of former rival Daniel Clark (Darras Hall) who made a sparkling return to the series at Donington Park last month, having previously raced Legends 13 years ago. Like Needham, Clark will be on the Legends grid full-time next season.
All of the weekend’s Legends Cars action at Snetterton will be filmed by Digitex Television for subsequent broadcast on Amazon Prime, BARC TV, Motorsport.tv and the Front Runner TV channel. The online and televisual Legends Cars coverage is sponsored by 24hr Solutions.
Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres Points (after Rd8):
1st Miles Rudman, 3470pts; 2nd John Mickel, 3450pts; 3rd Sean Smith, 3365pts;
4th Sy Harraway, 3125pts; 5th Marcus Pett, 3010pts; 6th Connor Mills, 2885pts