Olli Caldwell recently announced he will be moving to the British F4 Championship this year and to mark the occasion we spoke to Olli to look back at his successful Karting career. Olli ended Karting on a real high with fantastic results in the Rotax Max Euro Challenge which led him to the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals. But now the Young Racing Driver Academy member has decided it’s time to move on to single seaters.
So, without further or do, here are 5 moments Olli considered his best karting memories!
5. Racing in the Bahamas with Formula Kart Stars
Back in 2012 aged just 9 years old Olli travelled all the way to the Bahamas with Formula Kart Stars to put on a show for the locals in their karts as part of the Bahamas speed week. The Bahamas was a one off trip that the FKS Championship ran and only a select few drivers got the chance to travel over where they’d driver the karts around at set times and show the local children how the karts worked. It was a great scheme and something Olli will always remember!
4. Finishing 9th in British Cadet Championship 2013
In 2013 at just 10 years old, Olli finished 9th in the Super One British Cadet Championship in what was a hugely competitive year! The championship winner that year was fellow F4 driver, Oliver York with Alex Quinn finishing as runner up. Olli ended the season in style as he battled with the afore mentioned drivers and more for the victory all the way to the end at Shenington. It went down as one of the best kart races ever, have a watch below! Olli also finished as Vice Champion at Forest Edge in the same year.
3. Pole at Zuera: Rotax Max Euro Challenge 2016
One of Olli’s highlights last season was round three of the Rotax Max Euro Challenge at Zuera, Spain. Olli started the weekend with pole position in qualifying before he went on to fight for victory in all three heats! He did the same in the Pre Final and finished 3rd and had a fantastic Final leading most of the race. He was just pipped by Axel Charpentier on the last lap, but it was at this point many tipped him to go to the World Finals!
2. Finishing 3rd in the Rotax Max Euro Challenge 2016
Olli had a fantastic season in Europe last year and finished 3rd in the hugely competitive Rotax Max Euro Challenge! Over 55 drivers took part in the four round series and Olli’s huge consistency took him to a championship podium. He did no racing in the UK last year and pulled out of the BNL Karting Series with a broken rib which made the Euro Challenge even tougher.
1. Representing Great Britain at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals
That championship podium in the Euro Challenge brought Olli a ticket to the prestigious Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals where he was one of 12 drivers to represent Great Britain. Olli’s pace in practice forced the camera crew to have him as the ‘camera kart’ for the weekend and Olli ran at the front for the whole weekend! The Pre Final saw Olli out on slicks in the rain, but despite this he managed 7th which would put him 13th on the grid for the Final. After a bad start to the race Olli recovered from 22nd to 8th and set a new lap record ending his Grand finals experience in style!
It’s fair to say Olli has some very fond memories from Karting all of which have prepared him for the next stage of his career. British F4 is next for Olli, but we hope to see him around the karting paddocks throughout the year.
Olli will be competing in the Challenge Cup this year, but with his 15th birthday in June he will be missing the first four rounds of the series which may put him on the back foot, but he’s proved on more than one occasion he can learn quickly and he’s in great hands with Arden Motorsport.
Images courtesy of The RaceBox & Jakob Ebrey