Red Deer’s Parker Thompson achieves a first at go-karting
After six years of hard work, Parker Thompson accomplished something no Canadian, or even North American, has done before.
The 14-year-old Red Deer native placed third in the junior category at the 2012 Rotax World Finals of go-karting in Portimao, Portugal, which ran from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1.
“It gives you a feeling of accomplishment and you make your country proud,” said Thompson. “Words can’t describe how good it felt on the podium.”
He started the event, which he called the Olympics of his sport, finishing his practice rounds in the top five. Then in his heats he fell a little back and was slotted 20th in the grid for the pre-final.
During the pre-final, knowing he had to make a move, but trying to keep his nose clean, he ended up getting into two incidents with other drivers, but didn’t crash out and as a result he managed to move up to 18th heading into the final.
“Not where I wanted to be, but considering all the stuff that went on in that race to not damage the car in any way and bring it home in one piece, it was OK,” he said.
As the race started, Thompson was able to make some key moves up the grid early and was in the mix with the top group. Although the leader had pulled away, Thompson said there were three competitors fighting for second in the race. He was in second place for a period of time but Thompson ended up in third.
Another highlight of the race for Thompson was he was able to put together the fastest lap of the race.
He is now ranked third in the world, which he said is a tremendous feeling.
“I’ve been working at it since I was eight and I finally was recognized at the world stage,” said Thompson.