With Super One heading into it’s second weekend of the year, introduced to the series for the first time in 2017 will be the Honda Cadet and Rotax 177 classes. With that in mind it’s time for my ones to watch in both classes.
Arguably one of the most competitive classes this year, Honda Cadet has seen five seeded drivers return for another season with most of the other seeded drivers moving onto other classes.
The returning seeded drivers include Lucas Ellingham, 5th in last years championship there’s no doubt he’ll be chasing the championship this year as will fellow seeded drivers; Archie Brown (7) and James Walker (8). Lucas has taken some impressive wins and podiums on the build up to this season and has already won the TVKC Winter Series which should make him one of the favourites for this season.
Josh had a mixed 2016 in Super One, he was absent from the opening round, but quickly started finding his feet and was super impressive at Fulbeck as he challenged for victory eventually finishing 4th. Josh has just moved to Virtus Motorsport in time for the start of the season. The team, run by Lewis Hall, had an impressive debut season and with a teammate like Oliver Bearman I think Josh will win races this year.
The team Josh has moved away from is Global Karting who look particularly strong this year with a driver line-up that includes Lucas Ellingham, Luke Watts, Ivan Lomliev and Joshua McLean. Finishing 18th as a Rookie in last year’s championship Josh McLean has been quick over the winter and I really think that he will pick up plenty of wins and podiums this year. One result that will certainly make him confident will be his win at Rissington’s last club meeting in a full grid! Whether he can beat Bearman over the season is another story, but my prediction is that he’ll be there or there abouts come PFI. Watch this space!
There is a significant amount of Rookie’s entered into the Honda Cadet class which is great to see and the battle for that title may be just as interesting as the fight for the overall championship. There are lots of contenders to take it, but for me Alfie Rigby has been the inform driver over the winter and I can see him leaving as the top Rookie. He was 3rd in the TVKC Winter Series and has looked quick at other Super One tracks. He’ll have very stiff competition in Theo Micouris and other challengers may come in the shape of Lorenzo Kordal, Khali Atkins, Kacper Skuza and Daniel Guinchard.
The returning Vice Champion and reigning British Open Champion, Oliver Bearman is certainly a nailed on favourite for the title this year. The Virtus driver seems to have a similar style to last years champion, Harry Thompson with a more aggressive driving style which seems to win him races and I think it’s his time to take the championship. For anyone to beat Bearman this year will be extremely tough, for me this is his title to lose.
Three rounds with a prize that includes a ticket to the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals at the end. The entry list may not be impressive, but the prize list certainly is! It’s great to see Rotax 177 back with a championship and hopefully this is the start of resurgence that will see a grid that continues to rise!
Over the last few years Forest Edge Kart Club has become the home of Rotax 177 and I don’t think it’s too dramatic to say it may have even saved the class! Their hard work was rewarded last year when they received a Grand Finals ticket to give at the 177 O Plate, also hosted at Forest Edge. Their club championship has remained strong so far this year and one driver to already pick up a win was James Beacroft at round one. He was 4th at round two and if that pace can be reflected at Rissington this weekend he may just stand on the podium.
Currently 2nd in the championship at Forest Edge after two rounds is Lee Hodge having been on the podium at round one. He’s an inform driver so will be coming into Super One confident of challenging for that Grand Finals ticket!
The man who won the O Plate and Grand Finals ticket last year was Chris Thomas. As a result he represented Great Britain out in Sarno, Italy in the DD2 Masters class and showed impressive pace all week. Having had a taste of what the event is really like I think Chris will be determined to get back again this year and with the backing of Dan Holland Racing, I think Chris will just sneak it. He’s already been beating most of his rivals at Forest Edge this year and leads the club championship.
Written by Chris McCarthy
Images courtesy of Stu Stretton