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What happened to 2010’s top 5 Junior Max drivers?

In 2010 these drivers finished in the top 5 of the Superone Junior Max Championship. Five years later, we catch up with each driver to see where their journey has taken them.

Oli Hodgson – 5th 479 points

2010. This was a new venture for me and my team KR Sport into Junior Max after three years of Junior TKM. Our two highlights was a win at Larkhall Super 1 and the O plate. Overall I’d say 5th was respective of my performance, inconsistencies stopped me from doing better.

2011. I moved into Senior Max sticking with KR Sport, I started off the year very well with the highlight being 2nd at the 0 plate but unfortunately we had a poor end to the season and finished 6th overall.

2012. We finished 2nd again at the 0 plate. I was on the podium at a few of the Super 1 rounds. Unfortunately we didn’t have any wins but the podiums helped me to finish 3rd overall. That got me a ticket to the World Finals which was amazing. I finished 3rd which was a fantastic achievement!

2013. We had a lot of wins which helped us to finish 2nd overall 8 points behind Sean Babington. Our best race that year was at Kartmasters where we won the GP plate! We then went to the World Finals in New Orleans. We were pole after the heats and then won both the Pre-Final and Final!

2014. I won the Senior Max 0 plate with KR Sport. I then raced in KGP and KF abroad with Paul Fletcher. In KGP I was excluded from the first round as I had an exhaust port too high so my championship was technically over as I had to carry a zero score. KF wise I struggled to get used to grips with the kart and I was hit by a lot of bad luck!

2015. We’re sticking to KF with Paul Fletcher doing the CIK European and World Championships: aiming for a better season!

Jack Barlow – 4th 503 points

2010. We competed with DHR in Super One, Formula Kart Stars and EuroMax; we started the year badly! We moved to Strawberry and immediately started getting results. I finished 4th in Super 1, 2nd in FKS and 3rd in EuroMax. This took us to the World Finals in La Conca where after a poor start I ended up leading the final going onto the last lap before another competitor collected me after going onto the grass, but 4th overall was still a solid result!

2011. We stuck with Strawberry, Junior Max and Super One. We cleaned up on everything we did; winning Super One and Kartmasters!

2012. We wanted a new challenge so I went into KF2 with the Intrepid Driver Program in WSK and S1 with Millennium Motorsport. It ended up being a bad decision as the Intrepid Driver Program went bust
so we had to pull out of WSK and just continue in Super 1 where I finished 3rd overall with Millennium Motorsport. It was a year to forget!

2013. We went into cars doing the brand new championship BRDC F4. We went into Round 1 with only two days testing and got two 6ths and a win. After a great season we went into the last round 2nd overall but ended up finishing 6th.

2014. I struck a late deal to do the British Formula Ford Championship with MBM. It looked like it was going to be a great season but I had a huge accident at a test in Thruxton, where I rolled the car three times. I was air lifted to hospital and told I had fractured my T9 vertebrae, which ended my season.

2015. I’m racing in the MSA Formula Championship with MBM. We’ve hardly tested but we’re getting to grips with the car, hoping for podiums and wins!

Sean Babington – 3rd 530 points

2010.  Overall it was a consistent year with DHR, Babington was in the top 5 on various occasions and won at Rowrah. A bad race at Round 1 was probably what lost him 2nd in the championship!

2011. He moved into Senior Max and finished 2nd in the Super One Series, losing out in the end to …. He also did the Rotax Euro Challenge and finished 5th overall which qualified him for the World Finals in Al Ain (UAE). He qualified 3rd for the main final and was running in that same position before he was tagged into a spin by another driver.

2012. He went into 2012 all guns blazing and nothing other than a win in both Super One and the Euro Challenge would be good enough! He won both, which was a fantastic achievement.

2013. He stayed in Senior Max in Super One, however in the Euro Challenge he swapped to the DD2 class in the attempt to win back to back championships. In terms of Super One it was mission complete as he retained the title but in Europe he was just one point off taking the championship from Ben Cooper.

2014. He again took on the assault of the DD2 Euro Challenge. He switched to Strawberry Racing and ended up 4th. He qualified for the World Finals and was crowned World Champion.

2015. Babington moves to Dubai to work and driver for the Energy UAE Kart Team. He helps coach the young drivers as well as
racing for the team in the KZ2 class in Europe. He loves it out in there. KZ racing has been Babington’s dream for years and he’s properly living it in the UAE.

Jack Marshall – 2nd 544 points

2010. I was racing with Strawberry Racing in the Junior Max Class in Super One. I had quite a few podiums, won finals at Larkhall and Shenington and actually won the championship on overall points but when the dropped scores came in I lost out to Matt Parry. I also did the Rotax International Open in Senior Max in Zuera at the end of the year and finished 4th overall after a crash in the Pre Final.

2011. I moved into Seniors staying with Strawberry Racing. I had a steady start to the year, but come the end of the year I started to get quite a few podiums which put me 4th overall in Super One. Unfortunately that turned out to be my last season in karting. My Dad couldn’t continue paying for it anymore and I couldn’t afford it myself so I ended up getting a job in it, working full time with Strawberry Racing.

2012. In my first full year I was a mechanic for a girl called Jessica Backman. I was doing the nationals and Euros and it was a good year.

2013. The next year I mechaniced for an American Driver called Darren Keane. Again I did the European and National Championships.

2014. I mechaniced for Harry Webb and we won the Rotax Euro Challenge which was fantastic! It feels really great when the kids do well, there’s times when I hate it, but overall it’s really enjoyable.

2015. I am on the spanners for a driver called Axel Charpentier and we’re doing the Euro Challenge and Super One. Karting is hard work as it’s every day of the week and a lot of weekends! I’m just taking things year by year at the moment. I love the sport and the fact that I am now paid to be in it is something really great!

Matt Parry – 1st 561 points

2010. Everything was going smoothly up until Larkhall where I had an incident with another driver and I was disqualified from the race. Having to carry a zero score for the rest of the season really put me on the back foot! Thankfully we managed to get the results we needed to go on and win the championship. That was my second year with Paul Carr Racing and we worked fantastically together!

2011. From there I moved into Formula Ford with Fluid Racing and was the only one on the Van Diemen chassis. I think that was the reason why I really struggled that year and ended up 8th overall. It taught me a lot about the racing world as you quickly realize how hard it is to reach F1.

2012. The next year I moved into the Intersteps Championship with Fortec. With the experience of Formula Ford I managed to win the championship comfortably with several wins. I also became part of the Caterham F1 Driver Development Programme

2013. I stayed with Fortec and did Formula Renault NEC and won the Championship which was a fantastic result! Later in the year I then won the McLaren Autosport Award, which allowed me to drive the McLaren F1 car which was awesome!

2014. I moved into Formula Renault Eurocup sticking with Fortec for a third year. The competition was so much higher than NEC, which was why we struggled and ended up 11th overall.

2015. The offer came in to do GP3 with Koiranen and we felt that was the best place for us to to in order to reach our ultimate goal, F1. Being in the F1 paddock is obviously perfect as they watch you when you’re out on track.