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Cadet Column – Little Green Man Championship

“It’s just a piddling Little Green Man Championship, after all.” That was how one parent described last year’s LGM Series. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I suspect that most of the drivers taking part would have heartily disagreed.

No less than 58 IAME cadets participated in last year’s Series and there’s been an increase of 14 this time around. That’s almost twice the number bothering to show up for the S1 British Championships. Off hand, I can think of only two S1 entrants who didn’t also take part in the LGM and that says quite a bit about how this competition is generally regarded. Having said that, I don’t suppose Teddy Wilson would wish to swap his British title for the huge LGM cup recently claimed by Tom Wood. I remember speaking to the 2004 Little Green Man Champion, Jordon Lennox-Lamb. He’d also finished as runner up in that year’s S1 Comer Cadet Championships. Had it not been for the round at Silverstone being cancelled, thus preventing him from dropping his worst score, Jordon might well have won the Stars of Tomorrow Championships which, in those days, carried a British title. He echoed the sentiments expressed earlier by his predecessor Jack Harvey.

“Mike Mills has done a superb job with the Little Green Man which has to be the best presented championship for cadets,” he declared. “It’s contested by a lot more drivers than any other competition but, if I’m being honest, I’d rather have won a British title as it carries far more prestige.” Jordon’s word still ring true ten years later. That’s how things should be and I doubt if even Mike Mills would want to see the British title devalued to such an extent that it becomes of secondary importance. Nor would it be right for such an honour to be moved from S1 to a club based series like the Little Green Man. If that ever happened, I believe the LGM Series would lose so much of its character that many contenders would desert in their droves. Although it doesn’t carry quite the same prestige as a British title, however, the Little Green Man crown is probably harder to win.

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As Oliver York’s mechanic and mentor Roddy Taylor remarked more than 12 months ago, winning this championship requires a cool head in adverse circumstances, rather than being necessarily the quickest. In 2014 Tom Wood certainly demonstrated that he possessed this particular quality. A couple of days after Tom’s Little Green Man win at PF, Mike Mills suggested that I might work out the points scored from all of this year’s major IAME cadet championships to see who would emerge on top. These were S1, LGM, Kartmasters and the “O” Plate. I think Mike expected the outcome of such an exercise would be either Wilson or Wood emerging on top. On this, he was only half right.

Scoring 40 points for a win in each competition, 38 for 2nd and then diminishing by 1 point per position, I came up with the following rather surprising tally; Teddy Wilson (148); 2. Kiern Jewiss (142); 3. Jonny Edgar (140); 4, Zac Robertson (139); 5. Dexter Patterson (138); 6. Tom Wood (135). Interestingly the first three positions mirror those from S1. Tom Wood’s relatively poor showing is entirely due to his involvement in collisions at both Kartmasters and the “O” Plate. Equally, Edgar’s score was affected by missing two of the Little Green Man rounds. It’s not meant to be a serious exercise, of course. Very few would rank an “O” Plate title as being equivalent to S1, but coming up with an accurate weighting procedure is difficult when there are so many arguments as to the merits of each. Ultimately, I think it’s fair to say this year’s four main championships all produced different winners, but Wilson and Wood claimed the two titles that really mattered in most peoples’ eyes.