The Super One series heads to the Rissington Kart Circuit this weekend for it’s second event of the year but for some drivers it’ll be their opening round.
On track this weekend will be the Iame Cadet class, all three Rotax classes and both the X30 classes. Super One also welcomes back the Rotax 177 class for a guest round after a few years absent.
Rissington is a very flowing circuit and one that always provides for plenty of overtaking and great racing. There have been some dramatic finishes to finals there especially in the case of the 2014 Iame Cadet Final, which we reminded you all of last night.
There are 40 drivers entered into the Iame Cadet class and after a pretty much faultless weekend at Rowrah, Harry Thompson comes in as the championship leader. His clean sweep in the finals helped him to a total of 195 points over the weekend.
However he certainly didn’t have it easy! The first televised race was a truly fascinating one which saw as many as 12 drivers all battling it out for the lead. Harry’s Fusion team mates Joseph Taylor and Zak O’Sullivan had a big part to play and both came very close to podium finishes in the second final so there’s no doubt they’ll be right in the mix this weekend.
AIM Motorsport have once again come with a strong line up which was led by Bray Kenneally, Taylor Barnard and the ever improving Alex Simmonds. At one stage they managed to break clear from the Fusion boys but we unable to sustain the gap over the course of the 15 minute final.
However this weekend I’m going to keeping my on two drivers who had disastrous openers. Max Dodds and Reggie Duhy are certainly title contenders this year and after leaving round one in 19th and 14th respectively they’ll be in no mood to wait around this weekend.
What Mini Max lacks in numbers it certainly makes up for in it’s extremely talented entry list! Tom Canning took both final victories at Rowrah which left him with a eight point lead in the championship over Jonny Edgar. It’s then seven points back until you find Dexter Patterson.
Strawberry Racing team mates Lorcan Hanafin and Jenson Butterfield certainly didn’t get the starts to the championships they were intending and currently lye 5th and 6th in the championship. There’s no doubt they’ll be eager for victory at Rissington to try and close the gap to Canning which already stands at 19 points.
Cadet graduates Guy Cunnington, Brandon Martland and Kieron Jermey have all had steady starts to their 2016 campaign but with a weekend of experience now under their belts there’s a good chance there’ll be pushing up the top 10 this weekend.
But if I had to put money on a result my prediction is that this will be Strawberry’s weekend. Butterfield threatened to dominate at Rowrah but had a torrid Sunday and I think he and Hanafin may share the spoils between them this weekend.
Given his track record at Rowrah it came as no surprise to see William Pettitt come away as championship leader. There’s something about that place that just brings out the best in him but that does not mean he won’t be a contender again this weekend!
Jonathan Hoggard also looked very sharp on the Sunday taking victory in the televised final so I’d be very surprised to not see him feature on the podium in one of the two finals this Sunday.
Things did not go well in the televised final for Axel Charpentier. The French man just had one of those races but his victory in Rotax Euro Challenge recently makes him the favourite to me this weekend. He just seems to be showing the attitude that this is his year and he’ll be hard to beat on Sunday.
Turney, Kimber, Hudson and Chesterton will also all be up there but I’m going to be keeping my eye on Tyler Sullivan. Now with Tooley Motorsport, Tyler had a fantastic off season and comes into this championship very prepared. With a round out the way and the nerves more settled he could be the surprise package this weekend.
Over the course of the first round Jack McCarthy showed a lot of maturity and his two championship wins last year have certainly made him a more calculated driver. He never took any real risks, stayed out of trouble and that inevitably got him 2nd in the televised final.
He’s going to be tough to be this year but that’s not to say he will win this weekend. Josh White will be looking to carry the form he showed at round one into round two and try and do something about his current championship position of 4th place.
Charlie Turner and Harrison Thomas also looked in good nick and it was great to see Josh Skelton take a podium in Final one after a frustrating 2015. Nicolas Schoell will also be back and it’s only a matter of time before he starts to win races in Super One, could that start this weekend?
However my one to watch has to be Danny Russell. Now with the all conquering Strawberry Racing he had a round one to forget and will be in no mood to wait around at Rissington. I’m expecting a podium from him at the very least.
This weekend will be the opening round for both the X30 classes and it’s good to see the numbers up in both categories. In Junior’s I think the Jade Karts team are going to be very tough to beat! Angus Fender and Ethan Pitt both competed in the series last year taking wins and podiums but in the end were unable to keep up with the BKC and CRM drivers. But this year with those teams absent in my eyes that makes them firm favourites to take the top spots!
One of their biggest challengers will be MLC driver, Tom Douglas. Tom was involved in a horrific incident at a Rissington club meeting a couple of months ago but has since recovered and if he is able to find the pace he showed earlier this year he’ll be right up there.
Another driver who may go well is Harrison Smith. He’s recently moved to Jack Dex Racing and look for him to improve as the season goes on.
My one to watch though is Alicia Goundry. Fresh out of Cadets Alicia has showed flashes of brilliance already and defintely has the capabilities of running right at the sharp end with the likes of Fender and Pitt.
Like last year the Senior X30 championship is wide open and could see multiple race winners as the season goes on. Josh Collings is the defending champion from last years four round series so will be looking to repeat that this year with World Final tickets up for grabs.
His biggest challengers could come in the shape of Brett Ward, Scott Mackrell and Sam Marsh. Marsh a champion last year in Rotax Max has been right up there over the winter and knows how to win Super One titles. Brett Ward and Scott Mackrell bring raw speed to the table especially with Mackrell who has taken to the class like a duck to water.
Matt Davies of course won in the championship last year at Sheinington then you have Charlie Turner who will also be competing in Rotax Max. Watch out for Jack Partridge also, a former British champion has really upped his game this year and could be a big player.
My one to watch though is Charlie Bingham. A PFI specialist and Karting magazine highly commended ‘Rookie’ driver showed at a recent Whilton club meeting he’s quick everywhere and I think he may be an exciting watch throughout the season.
As previously mentioned the Rotax 177 class will be back for Super One to do a guest round and it’s a shame not to see more drivers on the grid. Only 8 have entered which is disappointing but that’s not to say they’ll be any less exciting to watch than the other classes!
You can follow live timing throughout the weekend and also keep up to date with results at – http://www.tagheuer-timing.co.uk/results/s1/2016/20160424.html
A full report will follow on Karting magazine next week
Written by Chris McCarthy
Images courtesy of: Chris Walker, Kartpix & Stu Stretton