Doing his Daley karting duties
LABELLED the 'Usain Bolt' of karting, 17-year-old Collin Daley Jr earned the title of double champion at the 2014 Florida Winter Tour (FWT) in Ocala, Florida, last weekend, by winning both the Formula Briggs Lo206 and Formula Open shifter classes .
"It was a good achievement. My family was happy about the wins, but there's always more to come," Daley told Auto.
The trophies only give a small peek into what Collin did. Both titles are at the opposite ends of the karting spectrum, as the Briggs class is significantly slower than the Shifter class. The latter is the stepping stone into professional single-seater racing.
"We were aware of the points lead, but we don't race like that," said Peter Moodie Sr, Daley's team manager and driving mentor.
According to Moodie, the aim has always been to get his charge noticed so he can get the exposure and support he needs to move further up the auto racing driver chain. With over 30 countries watching the FWT races and numerous factory teams in attendance, Daley did what many would have thought impossible: win two titles from different driving spectrums. The effort meant six races a day, 12 in total, for the whole weekend. The FWT runs two heats plus one final per class, per day.
"I think it says a lot about his endurance and ability to adjust," said Moodie.
On his way to winning, Daley managed to set a new lap record at the circuit, which he visited three times. It wasn't all smooth sailing as on Saturday, Daley found himself with a damaged kart in one of his races, yet still managed to fight back for a nail-biting, last-minute final corner pass for a win.
Given the success Daley continues to display at overseas international level events he and Moodie are frustrated by the meagre corporate support they receive.
"We are pretty much a private team funded by the generosity of a few, doing what factory karting teams are doing in terms of results," said Moodie.
He hopes that something will come of Collin's performance as they try to seek the US$30,000 needed to attend another large international meet, the Dallas Summer Nationals in April. For now, Daley continues to enjoy karting with the full understanding that it is a necessary step for the progression of his racing career.
"I still enjoy racing at Palisadoes. It's still relevant to me allowing me to test new things," said Daley.
-- Rory Daley