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 Links to his social media accounts can be found. We wish him the best of luck in 2018!

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Written by Chris McCarthy


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