No Fear

Steven Marsh wants to be a motor racing driver- can he achieve his goal? Lets find out together...

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4. Ups and Downs

The dizzy delight of victory was unlike anything he'd felt before- yet as Steven pulled into the pits it was a sensation twinned with fear. He'd seen Peter crash hard, and didn't know what had become of him.

As he parked his kart other drivers patted him on the back and congratulated him, and he shook the hands that were thrust at him, but he was only interested in finding out how Peter was.

Rodger found him and gave him a friendly tap on the side of his helmet. Ellis (the older, black guy) was shouting something at him- and he was smiling.

Ripping his helmet off, Steven ran a hand through his sweat-soaked hair. "Is Peter alright?" He asked.

"Yeah yeah, he's fine! A few cuts and bruises! He strained his neck in the crash but that's all! You won!!!" Ellis clasped him by the shoulders. "Well done mate!"

"Yeah, thanks, I can't really believe it..." And Steven couldn't believe it. It hadn't sunk it, but now he knew Peter was ok...

"Well done mate." Said a voice from behind him that Steven didn't recognise. He turned around to see a lad about his age, with long black hair, who bore a resemblance to former England keeper Peter Shilton. He was wearing a green and white uniform- and his eyes held a lot of frustration.

He was the guy Steven had pipped at the last corner to win the race. Quite understandably he didn't look happy, but here he was, congratulating Steven on his victory, offering a handshake.

"Thanks, it was a good battle, I enjoyed it." He replied, accepting the out-stretched hand. His father had always said to him that being a graceful winner mattered every bit as much as being a gracious loser.

"I won't be so forgiving next time out!" The lad grinned, but there was also steel in his face. "Name's Philip Dicenzo."

"Steven, Steven Marsh. I look forward to the next race!"

****

The second race at the Daytona Milton Keynes took place the following day. Peter was fit to race, despite being in a bit of pain, and he confirmed to Steven what he'd suspected- that the kid was a lot quicker than he'd let on. Peter won the race, whilst Steven could only manage fourth. The game was on.

The season wore on with Steven doing reasonably well but not managing to take the bull by the horns, so to speak. The championship race was shaping up to be a close one.

He was in the mix, as was his team mate Peter- and the Unleaded racer Philip Dicenzo too. One of the Elite Dragons, a lad called Michael Stone, was the other main contender.

With 10 points for a win, 6 for second, 4 for third, 2 for fourth and 1 for fifth, the season entered its final two races at the Letchworth track, which Steven was thrilled by. It was the track he knew better than any other- and to secure the title win here would be truly wonderful.

Whether he would or not was another matter.

After twelve difficult races (complete with a few bumps and bruises), the order in the title race looked like this:

Stone (Elite Dragons) 55 Points

Marsh (Meerkat Racing) 51 Points

Sullivan (Meerkat Racing) 50 Points

Dicenzo (Team Unleaded) 48 Points

With a max of 20 points still to play for, the title race was wide open.

***

"So son, you looking forward to the weekend?" His dad, now starting to lose his hair (a fate which Steven feared more than death) entered the living room with a cup of tea. "Kettle's just boiled if you want a brew."

Steven had just come home, after a study day at the college he attended. He loved racing, but if that didn't work out his father had drilled into him the importance of a fall-back position. Steven was studying A Level IT and also A Level Statistics- the idea was he could work in technical support or something similar; computers were something Steven understood pretty well and it was, by all accounts, a reasonably well-paid profession. It wasn't racing though.

"Cheers dad..." Steven replied, flopping onto the sofa and kicking off his trainers.

"Oi, trainers in the hallway on the mat!" Admonished his father. Steven huffed a little but did as he was told.

When he was seated again, this time with a cup of tea in his hands, Steven took a moment to unwind. He was nervous about tomorrow and Sunday, no question, and needed a bit of a break.

"Gonna practise on your Playstation?" Joked Steven's mother. Her long blonde hair and blue eyes made it clear who Steven took after.

Steven rolled his eyes in mock-derision. "I don't practise mum- I unwind!" Though privately he thought the F1 games he played weren't bad at teaching him a few things!

Their home wasn't a bad little place- not huge but the living was spacious enough to have a three-piece suite and dining table too. They had Sky Digital but not the sports channels- Steven wasn't really into football, or any sport save for motor sports. He rather liked the films though.

His bedroom was a shrine to the great F1 drivers, past and present. His manager Rodger had got him tickets to Silverstone, so he and his dad had been a second time, and he'd managed to get a picture of Nigel Mansell in his Williams FW14B signed by the great man himself. That took pride of place above his bed.

Posters of the late, great Ayrton Senna and the 'Professor' Alain Prost were also plastered about the room, joined by ones of James Hunt and Jackie Stewart, and the legendary Fangio. His own little TV was hooked up to his Playstation, which doubled up as a DVD player. Steven had quite a few F1 season specials, plus a few from Indycar and Nascar.

Nearly eighteen, Steven had taken a very different path to his friends. They were chasing after girls and buried in coursework. Steven had taken his A Level seriously but he'd never really glanced at the opposite sex. Oh, he'd seen enough material to know what it was all about and wasn't without his urges, but he had only one desire right now- and tomorrow he'd have the chance to realise it.

The TV was showing a football-related documentary- something about the rivalry between Arsenal and Spurs. Steven wasn't interested, but his dad was a passionate Spurs fan and he kept snorting derisively at any mention of anything Arsenal had achieved.

"Lucky wa... I mean sods." He said, sheepishly looking at his wife and earning himself a glare. Mum didn't like swearing. His dad indulged in it whenever mum was out.

Steven just laughed, and drank his tea. Inwardly he was a nervous wreck.

 

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