Let us take you back to where the journey began…
2nd March, 2017.
Excited birthday boy Alfie Howland decided to celebrate his 6th birthday with a trip to Lydd Race Track in Kent. His parents, Chloe and Luke, lovingly obliged, more than happy to indulge his dream of racing a Go Kart. In good humour, Luke ventured onto the track aswell, encouraging a touch of mild competition with his zealous son. With the last vestiges of warning for Alfie to take it slow fresh in Lukes mind, he soon realised his words had fallen on deaf ears. Within 2 laps, young Alfie had overtaken his dad and was majestically following the racing line – Luke was beaten and it was official. Alfie had the racing bug.
Chloe and Luke bought a 2nd hand Go Kart for Alfie and for months, weekends were spent practising on Lydd Race Track. Without any formal tuition and his confidence building, Alfie was soon competing.
Reality checks aplenty, Alfie learnt to lose graciously as well as improve graciously. Ultimately, the “win some, you lose some” lesson was being learnt in every race, defining a healthy yet competitive attitude which belied his tender years.
With the racing season looming, Team Alfie Howland soon needed sponsors to help fund the hobby – or more accurately, the sport. The specific racing kit, Alfies crash helmet, the Kart and travelling all over the country to compete did not come cheap. Luke and Chloe successfully secured 3 key sponsors (DDS Demolition being one of them) whose company logos were proudly displayed. Heart-warmingly, the family are forever thanking their sponsors for the support, even Alfie at 6 (and now 7) years old is constantly saying thank you.
Now onto the physical and technical appreciation of Alfies talent and skill. For those that haven’t driven a Go Kart before, it is no easy ride. There is no power steering, no suspension and you’re sat approximately 1 inch above the tarmac in a vehicle that (in Alfies case) reaches speeds of up to 42mph. Each race lasts 10 minutes and even as an adult, your arms can ache afterwards!
Alfie himself explained the other hazards to be aware of, especially when racing in the rain…
“When it’s wet, you could spin more easily so you don’t use your brakes as much but lift off early” he says. Alfie then educates me a little more…
“…also when it’s raining you don’t use the racing line because of the rubber, it makes you spin in the wet.” Then refreshingly, we are reminded that 7 year old Alfie still does this ultimately for fun…
“The other bad thing when it rains it means that me and the other racers can’t play between races because we get too wet and I only have 1 set of overalls!”
Alfie amazingly romped to rookie success throughout his first season of racing with the winning accolade taking 1st place in the Bambino Kart Championship (BKC), 2nd place in the IKR (Independent Kart Racing) and a respectable 9th out of 26 in the one off London Cup.
As Alfie thinks ahead to the next season which kicks off in March 2019, the Howland family once more prepare to unconditionally pledge their whole support to his journey. Luke, Chloe, Devon, Grandad Nick, Grandad Andy, Nanny Anthea and Nanny Alison all pull together to help this selfless, lovely family pursue Alfies dream.
As for us at DDS Demolition, we feel privileged to have been part of Alfies journey so far and remain excited for what lays ahead….move over Lewis Hamilton, Alfie Howland has arrived.