Category Archives: Interviews

Interviews from Karting magazine over the years

Jonny Wilkinson: My 5 best karting memories

After a successful debut season in the Junior X30 class Jonny Wilkinson has wasted no time in getting his career in car racing started by moving up to the ever popular Ginetta Junior category. Looking back on his time in karting Jonny has been particularly successful over the last few years at British Championship level and even broke a record in both the British and Welsh Championships. It’s no surprise these were all included when we spoke to Jonny about his five best karting memories!

5. Winning my first race at the 2015 Welsh Championships

It’s rare that a driver can say their first race win brings them home a plate they can use on their kart wherever they race for the following year but in 2015 Jonny Wilkinson achieved just that. Racing at the Welsh Championships (IAME Cadet class) for the coveted ‘C’ plate, Jonny had tough competition in the shape of Klaas Kooiker and Shay Keough with the trio split by just 0.015 seconds at the flag! It showed great composure from someone still relatively new to the sport.

4. Retaining the Welsh Plate in 2016 (First ever back to back winner in Cadets)

One year later and Jonny was back to Llandow Kart Club to defend his Welsh title. He would have tough competition with Matthew Rees present, but the determination to win from Jonny was evident. In tricky conditions he made the correct tyre choice and took the lead early on from Rees to eventually go on and win by over four seconds. It was a win that felt even better than the first and meant Jonny could continue to carry the ‘C’ plate for the rest of his season.

3. Winning my first ever national race

It was in 2016 where Jonny really started to move his way up through the grid challenging for both the Super One and LGM titles. In LGM it was at GYG where Jonny showed he meant business with his first ever win at national level. As you would have picked up on Wales has always been a happy hunting ground for Jonny and the win at GYG put him in contention for the LGM Series title. More good performances would follow in both British championships which will lead us on to Jonny’s next point.

2. Finishing 3rd and 4th in the 2016 British Cadet Championships

As previously mentioned to go along with his second Welsh title and national race wins Jonny managed to secure 3rd in the British Cadet Championship and 4th in the LGM Series. Considered as one of the most competitive classes it was a brilliant achievement from Jonny and the KMS team who were a much smaller outfit in comparison to his rivals. Jonny’s best Super One performance was at Buckmore Park where he finished 1st in the second final with the win at GYG being his best LGM result.

1. Becoming the youngest ever Junior British Championship race winner

The race that Jonny looks back on with the best memories and most pride was his win in Super One last season at Rowrah. It was the second round for the Junior X30 class with 46 drivers on the grid! After taking two second place finishes in the heats Jonny secured 5th place in final one and inside row three start for final two. After a decent start to the race Jonny took no unnecessary risks as he worked his way through the top five and timed his race to perfection to take the win from 3rd place at the last corner, last lap! At just 13 years old it made him the youngest winner in the class as well as being one of the most dramatic finishes to a final in Super One where he then went on to finish a highly credible 5th in the championship overall.

Next up for Jonny in 2018 is his first season in cars in the Ginetta Junior Championship. Racing on the TOCA package will see Jonny not only support the British Touring Car Championship but also race live on ITV4 with crowds of over 30,000 expected! It’s going to be a completely new atmosphere to take in, a lot to learn but all that said a big year for the Elite Motorsport driver. His team supported Harry King and Tom Gamble on a very successful campaign in 2017 so Jonny is in very capable hands.

Speaking ahead of this season Jonny commented: “My karting career has been absolutely amazing, I have to thank the teams that supported me KMS and Mick Barrett Racing, my engine builders Joe Boullen at Ogden and Jonny McDonald at Shox, Chris McCarthy at the Karting magazine, all at Zipkart and to my Mum and Connor for all the support. I am looking forward to the new challenge ahead of me in Junior Ginetta’s and I can’t wait to finally get racing after my intense pre-season testing plan.”

If you are interested in sponsoring Jonny this season get in touch at info@jonnywilko.com Links to his social media accounts can be found. We wish him the best of luck in 2018!

Facebook – https://m.facebook.com/JonnyWilkinsonRacing/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jonnyvwilkinson/

Written by Chris McCarthy

 

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Jac Maybin: My 5 best karting memories

Tom Canning: My 5 best karting memories

Taylor Barnard: “I feel over the moon to be given this opportunity”

It’s been just a few days since reigning British Cadet Champion, Taylor Barnard, announced his move to Kart Republic to race abroad in the OK Junior class. It came as no surprise given the remarkable achievements from Taylor last year, but it was a recommendation from Formula 2 driver, Oliver Rowland, followed by a successful test which sealed the deal for the 13 year old.

A look back at 2017

So, what exactly was it that Taylor done that caught the eye of many in the industry, well where do we start? He cleaned up the British Cadet Championship going unbeaten in the first ten finals going on to eventually win 11 of the 14 finals. Along with that Taylor dominated the LGM Series and won both the GP plate and O plate.

The Fusion Motorsport driver was hardly beaten all year and he made the IAME Cadet class a race for 2nd rather than a real race for victory! Backed by Andy Priaulx Sports Management, off track Taylor was always very confident in front of the camera and never seemed to look under pressure or get flustered. Having spent a day their myself it’s easy to see why!

The first test

After such dominance, it was hardly ever going to be a surprise to hear Taylor would be moving up but to be a part of Dino Chiesa’s new setup, Kart Republic, is very impressive. The initial test was put together with the help of Formula Two driver Oliver Rowland. Oliver raced for Dino back in 2009/10 with the pair winning the 2010 CIK-FIA World Cup.

With Oliver setting up his new Cadet team, Oliver Rowland Motorsport, last year he was hugely impressed with Taylor’s performances and put his name forward to Dino. That earnt Taylor a test late last year at Lonato, South Garda and the success of that has now led to a signing for 2018.

Speaking about the deal Oliver commented: “I am very pleased to have been able to guide Taylor into the next step in his career. Having watched what he did in last year’s Cadet category there was no doubt in my mind that he deserved an opportunity to fight with the best! I raced for Dino and Chiesa Corse in 2009/10, and he taught me a lot and we had some great results. Between Dino and Taylor, I am sure they can form a strong partnership and have a successful 2018!”

Oliver on his way to World cup victory in 2010

Where will Taylor be racing in 2018?

Taylor will have a busy 2018 season racing in the CIK-FIA World & European Championships along with all the WSK events and the DKM Championship. This will take Taylor around the best tracks Europe with just one race back home at PFI for round two of the CIK-FIA European Championship.

It’s a big step up from IAME Cadet, but one fellow Brit Harry Thompson made look almost easy last season as he finished 2nd in the European Championship and 3rd in the World Championship. Predicting how Taylor will get on is difficult, but I think he is going to be a very exciting addition to the CIK, WSK and DKM paddocks. He’s very talented and will be going in prepared, with all that said I can honestly see him fighting for podiums throughout the season.

Speaking ahead of the season Taylor commented: “The test at Lonato couldn’t have gone any better, and I really enjoyed the experience of not only learning a new track, but also learning a new kart as well – both of which I thought went really well. I feel over the moon to be given the opportunity to race under the guidance and expertise of Dino, and can’t wait to give my all for the team. I must give special thanks to Oli who put me forward for this chance – it gives me even more drive now to succeed and do the best job I possibly can.”

 

Who is Dino Chiesa?

Dino has been the man running the Zanardi chassis over the last few years with big success last year after Danny Keirle won the CIK-FIA World Championship at PFI. Prior to that a fellow Brit, Tom Joyner, found success with Dino as they won the World Championship in 2013. Other Brits to race with Dino include Lewis Hamilton, Matthew Graham, Callum Illot, Dan Ticktum and Ed Jones.

It’s safe to say Taylor is following in some pretty big footsteps but is also with a huge and successful name in the sport!

On the news Dino commented: Having Taylor join KR [Kart Republic] is a boost to the team. It is clear that the level of British Cadet racing is very high and Taylor has proved he can compete and win on a regular basis. It is a big step to OKJ directly, but we believe he can be competitive and the objective is to win races and championships together.”

What is Kart Republic?

Kart Republic is a completely new project for 2018. It was founded by Dino last year having stepped away from the Zanardi chassis. It’s a new chassis which is going to be manufactured and supported by Breda Racing. The chassis has been described as ‘unconventional’ but with Dino’s experience it’s hard to think it’ll be a slow chassis. With a good driver line up it’s going to be interesting to see how it goes against the might forces of Tony Kart and CRG.

 

What’s first for Barnard?

The first race for Taylor will be next weekend at Adria for the WSK Champions Cup. Having had a pre season test this weekend he’s had a good chance to get himself prepared and find out where he stands in comparison to his fellow competitors.

Great Britain completely dominated European and World Karting in 2017, with drivers like Taylor moving up there’s every chance that will continue in 2018.

Taylor Barnard Racing Timeline:

 2017

British Cadet Championship, 1st
LGM Series, 1st
Kartmasters, 1st
British Open Championship, 1st

2016

British Cadet Championship, 7th
British Open Championship, 2nd
Kartmasters, 8th

2015

British Cadet Championship, 5th
Kartmasters, 1st

2014

British Cadet Championship, 15th
Trent Valley Kart Club Championship, 3rd

2013

Trent Valley Kart Club Championship, 14th

2012

Trent Valley Kart Club Championship, 10th

Taylor winning Kartmasters in 2015

Written by Chris McCarthy

Images courtesy of Kartpix, KSP & Phil Askey

 

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Jac Maybin: My 5 best karting memories

Brett Ward wins Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals!

Jac Maybin: My 5 best karting memories

Jac Maybin has just announced he will sadly be leaving Karting to graduate into the JCW Mini Challenge. Although a miss to karting, it’s hard to deny this is a fantastic opportunity for a young talent who has mostly found himself racing on the club scene. There were times when Jac was able to race on the big stage at events including LGM, Kartmasters and the IAME International Final. With that in mind we decided to speak to Jac about some of those memories.

Jac claiming the 2016 Junior X30 Whilton Mill Kart /Club Championship

Here’s a list of Jac’s five best karting memeories!

5. LGM Series Podiums at GYG and PFI

Jac had many strong performances in the LGM Series which included podiums in both 2016 and 2017. In 2016 Jac was racing in the highly competitive X30 Junior class which saw over 60 entries at some stages of the championship. To make it into the A Final was often a goal for most given the championships classic race format, but Jac managed to make the podium on two occasions at GYG and PFI.

4. LGM Series pole position at Whilton Mill

A year later and now in Senior X30 Jac put in perhaps his best performance racing in the championship by taking pole position at Whilton Mill against the likes of Oliver Hodgson and Mark Litchfield. That was an achievement in itself, to finish 3rd in the final was just as impressive. The grid in LGM last year may have decreased slightly but it had around 20 drivers capable of finishing on the podium which always made the racing entertaining. Going toe to toe with a multiple British Champion and World Champion is something I’d always look back on with pride if I were Jac.

3. Pole position on Senior X30 debut

Jac’s debut in the Senior X30 class came around six months prior to the afore mentioned LGM Series podium. It was at Whilton Mill, the track Jac had been both Vice Champion and Champion at in the two years leading up to 2017. With plenty of experience Jac was always going to be confident, but in a packed grid of 33 drivers many didn’t expect such a big impact early on. A win in his very first race followed by an 8th and 9th in the other heats put Jac pole position for the final!

As for the race itself Jac almost won it up until a confusion with the last lap board saw him gift the win to Gus Lawrence. Although slightly disappointed it was a huge positive heading into the season.

2. IAME International Final 2016

The IAME International Final was certainly an event where Jac was able to make a name for himself worldwide. The end result may not have been what he would have hoped for but his performances up until that point were excellent. A front runner throughout qualifying and the heats Jac managed to classify 4th out of a staggering 130 drivers! Starting 4th in the Pre Final Jac hit the front after just two corners and in an entertaining race featuring the World’s best he fought hard to eventually roll home in 4th place. In the final itself, Jac showed he was in Le Mans to win puting in some fantastic overtakes to eventually get himself in a comfortable 3rd halfway through the race with the two leaders only a kart length or so away. However, it was at this point engine problems started creeping in which dropped Jac into a scrap for 4th. The battle was intense and unfortunately saw Jac coming off the track in an incident with Owen Byatt at turn one.

An unfortunate end to what had been an almost perfect weekend up until that weekend. For a driver with little British Championship experience and absolutely no European racing under his belt, it was very impressive!

Watch the final down below

1. Junior X30 Kartmasters Podium 2016

However, despite all of the above the weekend that Jac will remember the most is his 2016 Kartmasters campaign in Junior X30. In a 42 strong field Jac was never far from the front with the BKC Racing driver taking three wins in his four heats followed by a 2nd place. This unsurprisingly left Jac on pole position for the Pre Final where he went on to finish 2nd after a brilliant battle with teammates Callum Bradshaw and Sam McDonnell along with the World Champion that year, Oliver York.

The final itself was even more entertaining. Jac found himself breaking away with teammate McDonnell before being joined by both Bradshaw and York for a three lap shootout. It was at this point Jac dropped to 4th but biding his time he was soon back up to 3rd with the last lap board out. As for the last lap itself there were no changes from Jac’s point of view although a penalty post-race for York would move Jac up to 2nd with all three BKC Racing drivers on the podium!

Watch an epic final back below

However, all of those memories in the past with Jac looking forward to a new prospect in 2018. He’s had some brilliant results and is always a very friendly face to have around the paddock. I’m sure he’ll make a big impact in the Mini Challenge.

Speaking of his new plans Jac said: “It’s finally a relief to confirm that I will be competing in the JCW Mini Challenge for 2018. Having tested various formula since last summer I feel this series is the perfect step for my Motorsport career. Joining a proven team like ExcelR8 Motorsport will make it a promising and positive year. I have to thank Silverstone Paint Technology and Angle Consulting Ltd for their support. I truly can’t wait to go testing!”

Written by Chris McCarthy

Images courtesy of Stu Stretton, Chris Walker & Marc Quinlivan

 

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Meet the new ABkC Chairman, George Robinson – Everything you need to know

On Tuesday 13th June, George Robinson (pictured above) was voted in as the new Chairman of the Association of British Kart Clubs (ABkC) by the members after receiving more votes than Nigel Edwards, who has stood in as Chairman after Colin Wright resigned. I understand that Nigel & George will work together to further the betterment of the sport both through the ABkC and improved relations with the MSA. Watch this space, we all hope it’s true!

I caught up with George directly after the announcement in a Facebook interview (see below), but for those of you out there not familiar with George, here is everything you need to know.

How George got into Karting

George’s love for karting started all the way back in 1962 when he was just 10 years old.

“A friend of mine’s family farmed the land on the Ex-RAF Base at Tangmere in West Sussex, the perimeter road was still intact & my chum James had a Kart, it was a Prokart with a Clinton E65 engine, the business in those days, I was immediately hooked. I was really lucky as a kid, I drove my Dad’s tractor when I was 8, I remember having to stand up & heave on the steering wheel to apply the Clutch or brakes!”

“Soon after this first taste of Karting I was able to save up to buy a Brise Invicta with a JAP mower engine, not as fast as the Clinton but good enough to scare the crap out of my parents & all their Horses.”

First race

“My first race was as a Junior at Southampton in 1968 and my first trophy at Clay Pigeon in April the same year. I couldn’t afford to race the 100 national class which was big at the time, but I could afford the 100 International class, the engines were cheaper second hand so I raced that instead. It was also around this time where I learnt how to build engines as I couldn’t afford to pay someone else to do it.”

George continued to race over the next few years and was picked to race for the British team in 1974 which resulted in him running out of racing funds.

“I met the wrong girl & married her, by 1981 marriage was no longer fun, so a divorce was in order & Karting back on the menu. I met up with an old friend who still had some equipment but no longer raced, he was keen to be involved but preferred to mechanic while I raced, perfect!”

“After some fairly low-key racing in the UK, I was invited to sample the busy world of 100cc Endurance Racing in Europe. There was a big following for it in those days & it appealed to my interest in the engineering side of the sport. The engines, chassis, brakes & tyres all had to work very well & reliably for long races. So many people thought that the endurance world was for steady old boys over there for the Beer. I soon discovered that was not the case. In a sprint race, if you are a couple of tenths off the ultimate pace, a good guy can still be competitive. In an endurance race if you are regularly 2 tenths down, you are a lap down after an hour!”

Leading Barry Greenham, Paul Elmore and George Robinson at Clay in 1971

Making TKM and Rotax successful

What was perhaps most interesting in my chat with George Robinson was finding out how he was one of the first people to try both a TKM and Rotax engine.

“In the late 1980’s we were sponsored by TKM, I had known Alan Turney for many years & after a successful period with Zip Kart we moved over to TKM. The Sport was in need of an entry level class & Alan was keen to utilise the BT82 (The engine was named in memory of his Father Bernie Turney who had died in 1982 hence the “BT82”). I took one to Birmingham Wheels & finished 3rd in 100 Britain, as far as I know that was the 1st time the BT82 was used in a race in this country. The engine had previously been very successful in America.”

“Ten years later I was offered a new extraordinary Rotax engine by Andover Norton in Southampton, they imported Rotax bike engines at the time. I was told this one had a self- starter & a clutch & was called Max! I bought the engine, installed it on one of my 100cc Fullerton Karts & drove it round the Indoor track in Fareham, which I owned at the time. I was immediately impressed with Max! little did I know that while I was doing that my old friend from 100cc days, John Gravett was negotiating with the Rotax Factory for the import rights to the Rotax FR125 Max! MAX Had come to stay.”

George then went on to become a consultant for JAG and remains one to this day. He’s done lots of testing with them and still does the odd test every now and then.

Roles within the sport

“I have always had a strong sense of belonging within the Sport of Karting, I have been incredibly lucky to be able to work within the sport that has also been my passion & to have has such a long career driving in some great places with some great people, I could not be more grateful.”

“My first management role was as Secretary to Chichester Kart Club back in about 1971. I those days we raced around the car Park of the famous Chichester Festival Theatre, imagine that today, making all that noise in a City at 8.30 on a Sunday Morning!

I got a job tyre testing for the MSA in the late 1980’s which led to appointment to the Kart Committee & then Chair of the Kart Technical Sub group. More recently the MSA approached me to help them with a strategic review of the sport that was in 2009 with an option to complete the task over 3 years, in fact the job was done in just over 18 months, by this time the MSA were planning an overall strategic review which is still ongoing.

I have been on the Kart Technical group again for the past few years. “

“Motor Sport & Karting is a fast-moving world, I am sometimes frustrated by the speed at which governance moves when the customers want to speed ahead.”

What are his plans for the ABkC?

“The ABkC has to move on and move on quickly to keep moving with the times. It’s a young person’s sport and we need young people in the ABkC.”

“I’d like to modernise the ABkC, improve our relationship with the MSA, vastly improve quality of staff and empower the clubs to have more direct control over the management of their Race meetings. Less reporting to the MSA on relatively trivial infringements which could perfectly well be dealt with efficiently & professionally on the day. The Competitors are our Customers, they need to respect the team managing their Race meeting. First the Club Officials need to earn that respect by best quality performance & decision making process.”

How will he do that?

Speaking to George unfortunately there are some things he has kept from the media for the moment, but once any announcements come in you’ll hear them first on Karting magazine! For now he must build all the relevant bridges he needs and use all of his experience to help things move quickly.

Is he the right man for the job?

I think George is a great person for the job. He’s got a wealth of experience and really does realise the value of change. Getting more young people into the ABkC is a must for me personally and I will be doing my best to bring instant updates on decisions made and anything that could potentially be in the pipeline.

I’m glad he feels strongly on change needing to happen quickly and I’m looking forward to seeing what decisions are made. As many have already said though, I just hope he doesn’t find himself being bogged down by red tape.

Written by Chris McCarthy

 

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Premium Karting: The new place to find your next mechanic

You may have seen or heard of Premium Karting in the last month or two with the site recently making it’s UK launch. The site is designed to help mechanics and drivers and to find out everything you need to know about it we caught up with the man behind the idea Micky Higham.

1. Tell us a bit about your background in the sport?

“I began racing at the age of 10 back in 1995 after a birthday party at a local indoor circuit which had me hooked. After a few months I got my own kart, began racing and continued with some success nationally until 2006. I would always prepare my equipment before each event. Initially this started as just a wipe of my cadet kart with a kitchen cloth and some WD40. It wasn’t long before I took an interest in taking the whole kart apart and putting it back together again. I naturally progressed to start working for other drivers as a mechanic on a regular basis from 2001 and won my first British national championship in 2002. After I had finished school I studied for a HND in Motorsport Engineering which taught me a lot about the fundamental mechanics of all forms of motorsport. I began working with Ricky Flynn Motorsport as a mechanic in 2005 with many successes at British and European events. In 2010 I took on the role as a team manager and have gone on to win 2 World championships and 3 European championships in that period.”

2. When did you first come up with the idea for Premium Karting?

“Over the years I would frequently get asked if I knew of any mechanics that were available for various weekends and thought to myself there should be an easier way to find mechanics. I would also find myself with free time but no work because teams would assume I was busy. I first thought of the idea about 5 years ago but never acted upon it until last year.”

3. Tell us in more detail what Premium is and how it works?

“The site is primarily designed as a karting mechanic database. Mechanics can create their personal profile on the site where they can list any skills, experience, achievements and availability that they have. When a team or driver is searching for a mechanic they can input the dates for which they need them and apply filters to find a suitable person. They can then make contact with them to make the necessary arrangements. Reviews can also be left for mechanics to help future teams choose the right mechanic.”

“The site also allows teams and companies to create profile pages where they can advertise themselves to potential customers. If a driver is searching for a new team that specialises in a certain class, or if they are planning to take part in a race in a different country then hopefully they should be able to find a suitable team on the site. Likewise, if they are searching for a new kart, an engine tuner or a driver coach for example, I hope they will be able to find the right people on the site.”

4. Why hasn’t the idea been tried before?

“I don’t know the answer to that to be honest. Maybe people have considered it but just haven’t taken the time to go ahead with it. A lot of people have commented on what a good idea they think it is though.”

5. How long have you been working on Premium for?

“It was back in May last year that I decided to go ahead and make the site and began putting my ideas down on paper. I’ve had to spend a lot of time making the site user friendly and as simple to use as possible which I hope I have achieved!”

6. What has the initial feedback been like?

“Everything has been positive so far. I have asked people to be extra critical to help me eliminate any issues with the site but everything seems to be working well. The site is new so the word is still spreading. I’m sure once more people go ahead and sign up and support the site, then it will become a very useful tool for all karters worldwide.”

7. What are your goals for the next six months?

“I’m looking to promote the site and make it known throughout the UK initially before hopefully getting it to spread throughout Europe and then worldwide.”

8. How has Premium been helping people out already?

“The initial members of the site have already had their profiles viewed over 250 times. If this hasn’t led to them getting more work by now, it should certainly help them in the future.”

9. How much work has gone in to getting it to where it is already?

“As this is a new concept I’ve had to design everything from scratch including logo designs, layouts, content, how it functions and continuous testing. Many hours have been spent getting ideas in my head down onto paper and then trying to make it all work on the website.”

10. How do people sign up to Premium?

“It is quite simple really, just go to the site at www.premiumkarting.com and click on ‘sign up’. After a quick email validation, it should only take 5 minutes to create a profile. The best of all is it’s completely free to set up and use.”

Personally, I think Premium Karting is a very clever idea. How many times have you seen a team boss, mechanic or driver post a Facebook Post looking for a mechanic for the weekend? That then leads into various mechanics being tagged and no doubt contacting the team and that’s all before rates and experience are even talked about.

Premium will essentially mean that no longer needs to happen. As long as all mechanics keep their profiles updated then the work will come to them. Likewise, drivers can make educated decisions on teams without even having to visit a track. This should certainly help new drivers to the sport and any drivers looking to jump up to bigger teams or simply just jump ship.

It’s evident Micky has put a lot of work into the site already and it will allow anyone looking for mechanics and teams to make the right decision first time. I think it will be very successful.

Micky’s 5-1

5 words to describe yourself?

⁃ Committed
⁃ Efficient
⁃ Honest
⁃ Ambitious
⁃ Reliable

4 of your favourite tracks?

⁃ La Conca
⁃ Essay
⁃ Garda
⁃ Buckmore park

3 drivers that have inspired you?

⁃ Michael Schumacher
⁃ Dale Earnhardt
⁃ Alex Zanardi

2 memorable moments in your career?

⁃ Winning the KF and KFJ world championships on the same day in Essay in 2014, an unforgettable moment and amazing feeling.
⁃ Winning the Winter cup in ICA in 2006, my first major European win as a mechanic with 128 entries.

1 goal for the future?

⁃ To make Premium Karting successful worldwide.

Written by Chris McCarthy

Images courtesy of KSP & Chris Walker, Kartpix

 

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Maurice Henry has his eyes on the NKF title

Reigning Honda Cadet Shenington Kart Racing Club Champion got his first ever NKF campaign off to a decent start with 6th at round one in March and has told Karting magazine that he wants to win the title! It may be Maurice’s first year of national racing, but he feels confident he can take the fight to the leaders especially heading into the next round, GYG.

Maurice Henry may have only started racing in 2014, but has already won two championships one of those being in his very first year! Having come via corporate karting at Daytona Milton Keynes, Maurice brought his own kart and began testing at Hooton Park.

“I remember first testing at Hooton Park. I thought the track was good, but when I went to Wombwell I really liked it so I started to race there.”

Maurice’s first year saw him enter the South Yorkshire Kart Club Championship in the Honda Cadet class as a Privateer and things seemed to get off to a good start with Maurice getting himself straight onto the top step of the podium!

As the season went on good results kept coming in, so with three rounds to go Maurice’s Dad, Cecil, decided to join the Mark Baines Motorsport (MBM) team in a bid to win the championship. “We had often got advice from Mark Baines” Cecil explained, “I didn’t know anything about the sport and the competition was getting stiffer, so I thought joining a team would give Maurice the best chance at winning the championship.”

Going into the last race of the season Maurice needed to finish 2nd to do something I doubt rarely happens, win a championship in his first year racing!

“When I crossed the line I knew I had won as I finished 2nd. I was so happy! We all were, Mark was very happy too it was such a great feeling! I couldn’t believe it!”

So, after a first season that would have been hard to top Maurice switched to the Zip Eagle chassis and decided to move away from Wombwell to compete in even more competitive grids in the shape of Whilton Mill and Shenington.

It wasn’t just Zip chassis Maurice went on as he joined the Zip Allstars Team too, run by Luke Hines, would this see him win another championship?

“For 2015 we weren’t expecting to win any races it was all about development. It was just about improving all the time. We didn’t really compete in any full championships as we tried some different tracks, but the one track we started to do very well at was Shenington.”

Heading into 2016 Maurice decided to invest in some new kit once again in his bid to try and win the Shenington Club Championship in the Honda Cadet class. Maurice also did all bar one round at Whilton Mill. All seemed well, but there was one slight problem which would make the task of Maurice winning the championship harder…

“In the Shenington championship we knew we couldn’t make two rounds which was going to make things a lot tougher. You can drop three of the twelve rounds but knowing that meant there was only room for one error. Similarly, at Whilton Mill we weren’t able to make round one which was going to make that tougher too, but I was glad I knew from the start.”

As the season got underway at Shenington Maurice got off to a great start with consistent top five finishes which was followed by a podium at round four before Maurice got a win at round five! It was a milestone passed and Maurice’s goals started to rise. When the second win of the season came at round nine it was all or nothing in terms if the championship with Maurice determined to win.

Despite his lack of experience, he did just that as he wrapped up the title at the penultimate round to take an emotional championship win! Over at Whilton Maurice’s constant improvement in results saw him take a top five position in the championship as Maurice explains.

“At the start of the year whilst drivers were preparing for Super One it was very tough but as the season went on we started getting quicker and quicker and we got some good results despite lots of bad luck. That was always the aim so to get top five was very good.”

So, heading into 2017 it was time for another step up and Maurice and the team decided to enter the ever growing NKF Championship. It’s a very competitive series and perfect preparation for Super One, something Maurice may consider at some point in the future if budget permits.

It may be Maurice’s first taste of national racing, but heading into the championship he set his goals high!

“I’m confident I can win. I’ve beaten some top Fulbeck drivers already this year so I think I can go and win it!”

Round one of the championship was just a couple of weekends ago and Maurice got off to a good start considering the problems he had over the weekend. Maurice finished 7th in the first heat, 10th in the second heat and 6th in heat three, all of which would put him 6th on the grid for the final. But then came a slight problem.

“Before the final there was a change to the timetable which we didn’t know about and we found ourselves late to the grid for the final which meant we had to go off the back. It was our own fault, but starting from 21st rather than 6th was going to be hard!”

In many ways, the mistake presented Maurice with a challenge which he grabbed with both hands and really showed what he could do! He charged through from 21st on the grid to finish in 6th place! He got into a battle with Kieran Conchie on the last lap and was just able to sneak through at the second chicane in a move that really impressed Allstars Racing Team boss Luke Hines!

The day after the race we spoke to Maurice who commented:

“Although we had problems over the weekend 6th place is still a good result. I felt comfortable racing against leaders and really enjoyed the weekend. Kieran Conchie was 2nd in NKF last year so battling with my new mate felt really good.”

“I’m still aiming to try and win the NKF and am confident as I will be heading to some tracks that I know better than Fulbeck, like Wombwell. There’s some tracks I’ve never been to before, but hopefully we can test at them before NKF.”

“I think one of the drivers to beat is Archie Carter [who won round one]. He is leading the championship and also did NKF last year. He has experience which will make it tough, but the lap times we have shown are good and we can race against the front runners.”

Post Fulbeck the team discovered a problem with Maurice’s engine which would have heavily affected him round Fulbeck with it’s long straights. With that problem fixed at round two, GYG, Maurice was able to finish 4th taking him to 4th in the championship going into round three at PFI.

Maurice’s view on the new tyres

“I personally think the new tyres can be less durable. They go off unexpectedly which has already affected us this year. The grip can just fall off even before a race weekend has finished when usually they would last a lot longer. It’s important to get the pressures right.”

5-1

5 words to describe myself

Determined, Thinker, ‘Never Give Up’

4 of my favourite tracks

Shenington, Glan Y Gors, Wombwell, PFI

3 drivers that have inspired me

Lewis Hamilton because he’s fast and never gives up,
Luke Hines because he is my coach,
Michael Schumacher because he achieved more championships and records than any other Formula 1 driver.

2 memorable moments in my career

Winning the Wombwell Championship in my first season.

Going from the back of the grid to first in a heat at Shenington .

1 goal for the future

To be a professional racing driver.

Written by Chris McCarthy

 

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Lucas Ellingham determined to win Super One this year!

Lucas Ellingham determined to win Super One this year!

Last year’s Honda Cadet Super One Championship saw Lucas Ellingham walk away with 5th place and top Rookie! This year he is back and determined to walk away with the one plate and nothing less! We caught up with him ahead of the first round of Super One at Rissington to find out his thoughts ahead of a potentially big season.

Lucas first started karting when he was 6 years old at PFi with their ‘Racing For Buttons’ scheme. This was originally based at Rowrah and was introduced so that children under the age of 14 could get experience and a taste for karting. He then raced IKR for a couple of years before moving to MSA racing in Honda Cadet.

Last year Lucas competed in Super One for the first time and finished 5th in the championship after some fantastic results including 2nd at the Shenington round!
Speaking about this Lucas said: “It felt amazing finishing 5th, we were only hoping for a top 10 so it was brilliant to get 5th.”

However, explaining why they have chosen to do another year in Honda Cadet Super One, Lucas also said “5th was good, but 1st is better, this year we’re aiming  for the win.” 

There are some big names in Honda Cadet Super One this year, including the likes of last years Vice Champion Oliver Bearman along with other seeded drivers, Archie Brown (7) and James Walker (8). Unsurprisingly Lucas see’s his biggest rival as Bearman and I’m looking forward to seeing the pair go toe to toe throughout the season along with some of the other big players in the class.

Lucas has stayed with Global Karting again for this season and believes his teammates (Ivan Lomliev, Joshua McLean and Luke Watts) will also be his rivals as everyone is chasing that title! That said there’s nothing better than having some good teammates around you, to work with in a race or trade data and setups. That should certainly work in Ellingham’s favour this year.

When talking about the 2017 Calendar, Lucas told us he is looking forward to Clay Pigeon the most as it is the only track he has been to twice and won both times. “The tracks I am feeling the most positive about and think I could win at are Clay Pigeon, PFI and Larkhall.”

“Im not, not looking forward to any of the rounds, I feel like I am strong at all of them, I couldn’t single one out – I enjoy all of the tracks on the calendar and Im excited to race at them all.”

Lucas has been very strong recently which is a great start to the season! He has finished in the top three at almost every race weekend he has competed in since the new year. He has also already won a super competitive TVKC Winter Series. It would mean everything to him to win this year and judging by his results last year and his progress this year, he is definitely a title contender!

Events he will also be attending this year are:

  • O-plate – Buckmore Park
  • E-plate – Shenington
  • Kartmasters – PFi
  • Various club championships including TVKC Summer championship

We asked Lucas if he has an plans yet for 2018 and although he is uncertain, there is the possibility of Junior X30 as thats the class that seems to be in the limelight at the moment, or Junior TKM, maybe test with someone else already in that class.

Lucas’s Dad – Ralph Ellingham added

“Ever since Lucas’ first foray into karting he has shown a passion and now looking back it’s rewarding to see how his dedication and hard work have brought him to where he is now. He has always set his sights on contending for the Super One Honda Cadet title and this year, our last in cadets, he looks to be peaking at the right time. Since the new year he has been at the sharp end of every meeting he has attended which I put down not only to having refined the required level of driving skills and race-craft but also showing his strong mental state. We are looking forward to the upcoming Super One Series and hope that all the work will pay dividends, in a few months and 7 meetings we will find out, but whatever the outcome I am sure he will give 100% and we will end the year feeling proud of his achievements.”

“Looking to the future, next year is undecided as yet but if it were up to Lucas it would be a move to X30 or OK I would guess but let’s get this year out of the way and go from there.”

Rissington will be the first round of Super One for Honda Cadet and Lucas is feeling excited and confident, especially after coming 2nd there last weekend. There’s no doubt he’ll be looking to repeat that result this weekend with an aim to go on and win the title.

Lucas’s 5-1

5 words to describe yourself?

  • Enthusiastic
  • Focused
  • Determined
  • Confident
  • Ambitious

4  favourite tracks?

  • PFi
  • Clay Pigeon
  • Larkhall
  • Rowrah

3 drivers that have inspired you?

  • Mike Spencer
  • Lewis Hamilton
  • Valentino Rossi

2 memorable moments in your career?

  • First ever win -IKR
  • First ever Super One podium

1 goal for the future?

  • To become a Formula racing driver

Written by Bethanie Lawson

Images courtesy of Chris Walker, Kartpix & Stu Stretton

 

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