On first hearing his name, I thought instinctively of Joe Gormley who famously led the National Union of Mineworkers in those halcyon years before Arthur Scargill. Instead of digging for coal, however, ten year old Corby Gormley appears more interested in searching for gold and he’s certainly unearthed quite a few trophies on his travels to date. Since first entering the sport in July 2004, Corby has raced at Warden Law, Wombwell, P.F., Whilton Mill and Shenington. His collection of trophies improved by 13 additions in 2005 and he holds the lap record at Warden Law jointly with Stuart Sellars. However, it’s not just in the art of collecting silverware that Corby has made his mark. Last year, he went round his home town of Scarborough raising sponsorship for a 5 hour karting stint at Warden Law. He raised £1,099, all of which went to the St Catherine’s Hospice where his mother used to work as a housekeeper. “It was something Corby decided to do entirely off his own bat,” claims proud dad Darren. “We arranged track time with the Warden Law club and they actually chipped in themselves with £50 in sponsorship. Rory Campbell from Race Craft kindly supplied us with two WTP motors for this particular event and we made a quick engine change halfway through the proceedings. Corby was out on the kart for slightly more than 5 hours in which time he completed over 300 laps.
With stoppages for fuel and a few rest breaks, the whole thing took us around 7 hours. It turned out to be a lot of hard work, both for the driver and his back up crew, but I think it was well worth the effort involved. Apart from St Catherine’s benefiting to the tune of £1100, we also got quite a bit of publicity for karting itself with articles in the local newspapers and on Radio York.” It was Harry Winkfield who first got Corby interested in the sport by taking him to Scarborough’s Indoor Kart Centre one evening. Since the age of five he’d been messing around with quad bikes and so karts seemed a logical next step. His parents bought him a Trulli/WTP and he proved to be instantly on the pace at Warden Law meetings. The Trulli was later swapped for a Zip chassis and, since then, his mum and dad have barely been able to find a spare moment as karting now occupies most of their time. It’s kept their young son fairly busy, also. Apart from raising money for charity, he’s proved pretty adept at attracting his own sponsorship. He is supported by DBM Signs and HMFH (Handy Man For Hire) who recently provided him with a new racing suit. His main financial backer, however, is the local car accessories shop in Scarborough known as ‘Better Motoring’. “The people at Better Motoring have always been interested in my race results and they’ve got a large photograph of me displayed on their counter,” explains Corby. “This is pretty good because you get a lot of customers commenting on the photo and asking a little bit about the sport. They’ve also taken me to a few car shows, encouraging me to answer questions about karting. I went with them to the Pickering Car Show and they’re also taking me to the Autosport Show. Apart from that, I sometimes take my kart to school and we have talks in Assembly after some of my races.
I’ve been asked to give a karting demonstration at the School Summer Fair which might encourage some other pupils to take up the sport themselves.” Corby has inherited his father’s passion for motorsport and has a photograph of Superbike champion John Reynolds in his bedroom. “I’m quite a fan of Superbikes myself,” exclaims Darren who earns a living making fibreglass patterns and moulds. “It’s also a business interest as I’ve actually made many of the fibreglass panels currently used on these bikes. I’ll probably have to make a few more in future to finance Corby’s karting activities as he’ll be competing in the Little Green Man Championships in 2006. We’ve had lots of help from Rory Campbell who really has made all the difference. He’s a fantastic coach and always manages to bring out the best in young kids.” The admiration is mutual as Rory speaks about Corby’s potential in glowing terms. “At Warden Law he really is phenomenal and has proved to be untouchable in club meetings up there,” says the Race Craft boss. “He was barely out of the novices when the ‘O’ Plate meeting was staged up there. It’s always been a good circuit for Stuart Sellars and he set the lap record there, but Corby managed to equal it even though he was racing in the ordinary club race that day. I’ve spent quite a lot of time coaching him and he reminds me a lot of Jack Harvey. His style is so relaxed and he always seems to remain calm and calculating.
The only thing that’s holding him back at the moment is his starts. At Warden Law they’re electric, but on other circuits he wants to play safe all the time and consequently loses out. Once he’s improved this aspect of his performance, I think he’ll be a very real threat to the front runners. I’m expecting him to be amongst the top six runners in this year’s Little Green Man at the very least and I’ll be very disappointed if he doesn’t manage a few podium finishes.” So, what does mum Aleysha make of all this? “I actually think karting has made Corby a much more sensible young lad,” claims Aleysha. “He’s definitely more settled since taking up the sport and it’s worked wonders for his confidence also. We’re going to a lot more race meetings now, about three every month, so there isn’t much time for anything else. It’s a family occasion for us all, though, so I don’t mind the time involved. Darren looks after the kart and my job is to act as cheerleader and chief cook as we always take the caravan with us. I suppose our family budget’s taken a knock but Corby’s been lucky to find some people who have given him very good support. I know that St Catherine’s Hospice keep a folder about Corby and have shown it to some very influential people who act as trustees, so his charitable efforts might bring him some unexpected rewards.” Unfortunately, you don’t find many competitors today who are prepared to go out and sell the sport. Those like ten year old Corby who do make an effort could be worth more than their weight in gold for any club that’s smart enough to take advantage. I wish him all the very best of luck in the future.