Formula Kart Stars made it’s re-launch just over a month ago at the Whilton Mill track in Northamptonshire. after a three year absence FKS came back with a bang and in a completely new way. In our April issue we talked about the five things we were looking forward to the most, so this month we’re looking back on the opening weekend and we’ve chosen three things that we liked and something we’d like to see improved.
Things we liked:
1. Paddock Atmosphere – The first thing that hits you in the FKS paddock is the atmosphere! It was something completely different to any other kart meeting and was so refreshing. With clear awnings provided and all put together in avenue’s it made the drivers feel equal no matter what team they were racing for. There were two commentators which was great especially during qualifying where one adopted themselves as a pit lane reporter so I think for interviews during a kart meeting it must have been a world record! The commentary went out live on the internet and the meeting was also covered of course by Sky Sports F1 and Downforce Radio. Former FKS drivers Dean Hale (cadet guru) and Brad Smith (junior guru) we also both on hand to help drivers with set-up and lines and also present was Terry Fullerton and BTCC driver Tom Ingram who was the driving standards observer!
2. Track Time – The amount of track time given to the drivers over the weekend was truly amazing. On both race days the drivers had a 5 minute warm up session followed by a 30 minute qualifying, three 10 minute heats finishing with a 15 minute final for cadets and a 20 minute final for the Juniors! It was something that no driver in the paddock would have been used to so it was a true test of their physical fitness. Seeing a 30 minute qualifying session was also very interesting and perhaps may have been too long, but especially in the Super FKS session on Sunday it threw up an exciting prospect with a drying track. The longer finals was a slightly daunting prospect for some and drivers were struggling at the end of the weekend but if that’s going to make them train more for round two then that surely should be a good thing.
3. Fantastic racing! – Finally and most importantly of all the racing was fantastic! I don’t recall any finals where a driver completely ran away with it and especially in FKS Junior we saw some fantastic battles for the lead with plenty of last lap and even last corner moves being pulled off! In Super FKS the option tyre made things very interesting, it was around eight tenths quicker so when you put them on you had to win and that made things exciting. The equal equipment also brought people from all backgrounds of racing together and at times we had people at the front that you would perhaps never have expected to be there. As Tom Wood (FKS Junior driver) said himself after his battle with Jac Maybin for the lead on Saturday “We would probably never cross paths at a club meeting.”
What we’d like improved:
1. Grids! – In our opinion there was only one thing that lacked at the opening weekend of FKS and that was the grids! FKS Cadet especially struggled with only 9 on the grid with Super Cadet having 11, both the Junior grids had slightly more and it made a difference. FKS have put a lot of hard work into this championship and it looked amazing when the karts all rolled out on track but it became clear there weren’t enough karts on track. There were people that were always sceptical whether the championship was going to even start or not and on Thursday night there were people turning up looking
to enter, so all we can hope is that by the time we get
to Silverstone there will be more karts on the grid to provide even better racing!
Full race results and reports can be found at the FKS website – www.formulakartstars.com