Burgeoning talent Max Cornelius just missed out on winning the Autosport Young Guns title by the slimmest of margins at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire on Sunday, 29th August – a dramatic final corner tangle in the last race of the season proving to be the decisive moment.

Driving brilliantly to the seventh race victory of his rookie campaign during the opening encounter at the UK’s fastest track, the 16-year-old karting graduate put the title well within reach ahead of the final round. However, an incident with arch rival Patryk Szczerbinski at Club Chicane meant Max just missed out on becoming a champion in his first season of car racing by a mere four points.

The Motaworld Racing driver, who resides just 40 miles from Thruxton in Southwick on the Somerset/Wiltshire border, had his eighth win – and the championship – in his sights as he nosed ahead of Szczerbinski for the lead into the last turn but the pair made unfortunate contact, ending their race.

Understandably disappointed with the conclusion to his final weekend in Autosport Young Guns, Max nonetheless has the consolation of being the driver with the most wins over the course of the season – a tremendous tally of seven victories from the last 10 starts. During the second Thruxton encounter he also posted the fastest race lap of the weekend, 1m18.356 seconds, to underline his consistently rapid pace.

“Obviously, it’s really disappointing to miss out on the title this way but we’ve given it a really good shot since we joined the championship and to win more than half the races I started in my first car racing season is great”, said Max.

“Congratulations to Patryk, we’ve had some close battles and it’s been good fun racing with him. I want to thank all the guys at Motaworld for doing a great job and I also need to say a huge thank you to my family and to the fantastic sponsors who have made this season possible.”

Max’s weekend started firmly on the back-foot when an engine failure during testing on Friday, after just a couple of laps, meant he was unable to complete any set-up work. Even so, he did a great job during qualifying to secure a spot on the front row of the grid alongside Szczerbinski.

Having made some changes to the settings ahead of raceday, Max aimed for nothing less than the win during the first encounter and he delivered superbly during a frantic, back and forth battle with Szczerbinski throughout the 15 lap duration.

The lead changed hands at least a dozen times over the course of the race with nothing between the two championship protagonists at all. Dicing hard and with average lap speeds of well over 100mph, Cornelius headed into the final lap in second place but took the lead back on the run up Woodham Hill to claim a very well deserved seventh win of 2010.

With his first single-seater campaign now wrapped up, Max is considering a range of options for his next step on the motor racing ladder. With potential opportunities to compete in Asia in Formula BMW and to undertake a test programme in the UK in Formula Renault and Formula 3, there is plenty for him to think about over the coming weeks – visit www.maxcornelius.com for all the latest.

His participation in the Autosport Young Guns finale was made possible by the vital support of, in no particular order: CPS Garage Services of Bradford on Avon; Upsalls Property Management, Giantbox & Dan Toilet Hire of Trowbridge; Auto Components (Westbury) Ltd, Club Ice, Stairway Joinery, Kevin’s Menswear from Westbury; Frome Scaffolding, Innetar Bodyshop, Compugraphic Design, Café Le Strada, Part 2 Hair Dresser, Lettings-R-Us, Telefringe, Train Station Gym of Frome; Polar Thermal Products of Warminster & Hatton Hotels Group.