The 2016 Formula Kart Stars championship kicked off at Buckmore Park and the drivers were treated to the circuit looking better than ever! With brand new barriers around 60% of the circuit sporting the blue and white colours in Henry Surtees’ memory and with fully tarmacked run offs there was really no better place to start the season.
FKS Cadet – Dodds confirms himself as the favourite!
Max Dodds established himself as a firm favourite for this years Cadet title with an almost perfect start to the series. He started the day by taking pole by almost four tenths of a second before cruising to victory in the first two heats. But disaster struck in heat three when his kart failed to start and the loss of points meant he would start down the order for the final. With 15 minutes there was plenty of time for Max to work his through but he was not waiting around and led by the end of lap one! As the battling then commenced for 2nd behind Dodds was allowed to drive off in the distance and take a comfortable victory.
Freddie Spindlow was in some ways the surprise package in the Cadets. He was the winner of the Haymarket competition at the start of the year meaning he is fully sponsored for this year’s series. He ran Dodds closest for most of the day but seemed to loose pace in the final and in the end was just able to sneak on the podium. Aiden Neate took a 2nd and two 4th’s in the heats and followed that up with a solid 2nd place in the Final.
Harley Keeble was the third driver in what was a hugely entertaining battle for 2nd. He looked like he had done the job on the penultimate lap but dropped back to 4th right at the end, but took honours for fastest lap.
Super Cadet – Harry takes first honours
It was Dexter Patterson and Harry Thompson who fought for the title all the way until the final race last year, this year I feel Dexter will very much be replaced by Joseph Taylor.
The two Fusion team mates were at it all day! It was Harry who took all three victories but they all went down to the wire and the biggest winning margin came in the first heat at just 0.7 seconds!
In the Final it was very much round 4 of this never ending tussle. Taylor was patient behind Thompson, trying to analyse where the best place would be to attack Harry who was on his home track! As we started the penultimate lap Taylor was trying everything he could and the pair ran side by side on several occasions but it was not meant to be for Taylor this time as Thompson went on to take victory.
The wild card, Jack Davies, put up an excellent performance all day. He was entered into the meeting by Buckmore Park and did them very proud taking a podium in the final and fastest lap in Heat two!
FKS Junior – Oliver Clarke dominates!
Well who expected this? In a championship where everything is equal no one is ever supposed to have the day Oliver Clarke did on Sunday. Coming into the series this looked like the closest championships of all. There’s not one driver in the field who isn’t capable of podiums and choosing a winner before any drivers turned a wheel felt impossible!
Oliver Clarke, who has just graduated from Honda Cadets after becoming British Champion last year, was a fairly late entry to the series with Fortec Motorsport and there are drivers who will be wishing he never came!
He took pole in qualifying before going on to win all three heats. He won heat one by 12 seconds, heat two he had a margin of 2.3 seconds and in heat three Harrison Wedgbury was able to keep within a second.
Clarke lost the lead at the start of 20 minute final to Ethan Hawkey, but once he got it back he never looked back and went on to win by 4.7 seconds! Truly astonishing by Clarke and Fortec Motorsport!
Finishing 2nd in the final was the Fusion driver, Jonny Edgar who will feel his delay mid race from back marker Dexter Patterson may have cost him a shot at victory but Clarke was never going to beaten in my opinion!
Rounding off the podium was Chris Lulham who drove fantastically to come through from the back of the grid!
Super FKS – Winning start for Deano
Super FKS was rich in talent with returning drivers, new drivers and even Josh Smith who’s back from MSA Formula!
Fortec driver, Max Stilp adopted for soft tyres in the heats in the attempt to maximise points and did that successfully with two wins and a 3rd. His team mates Jack McCarthy and Dean MacDonald seemed to be his biggest threats all day with Jack taking the remaining victory in the heats.
In the final and now on the hard tyre Stilp was always going to struggle and quickly dropped down the field, quickly replacing him at the front was MacDonald. McCarthy, who very much went into the final a favourite, was shuffled wide at the start and was now having to recover through the field.
The surprise package was South African driver Bradley Liebenberg. From the outside of row two he was quickly through to a very comfortable 2nd where he would finish.
Up front Dean MacDonald went on to take a dominant victory with fastest lap. In 2nd place Liebenberg received a ten second penalty which dropped him to 3rd and promoted McCarthy to 2nd, which after his start I’m sure he’d be very satisfied with!
FKS will return at the track it finished at last year, Glan-Y-Gors, for rounds 2 & 3 of the series on the 29th April
Written by Chris McCarthy
Photos by Sam Parrant, Cracking Capture