They have arguably been the most successful team this year after KR Sport wrapped up British titles in the Junior Rotax and OK Junior classes. Along with that they secured 3rd in Mini Max and Junior Max and were 4th in Rotax Max and Senior X30!
2016 Official British Junior Kart Champion
It was labelled by many as the most competitive class in British Karting this year with a grid at round one that would be fit to be titled a World Final. With Europe’s best present Johnathan hit the ground running going unbeaten almost all weekend at round one, Whilton Mill. Bar Final One he won every race to confirm himself as a championship favourite.
At round two, Shenington, Johnathan and KR Sport went unbeaten all weekend, proving round one was no fluke. At a track that is mostly straights it was unheard of, but all Johnathan needed to do at round three was keep his nose clean. That’s exactly what the KR Sport driver did, but he still set the fastest lap in final two for good measure!
Johnathan can now call himself the Official British Junior Champion and his prize will be a Factory drive with one of the OTK Factory Teams at the CIK-FIA OKJ World Championships at Bahrain in November.
Junior Max Championship – 3rd
On top of all that Johnathan also claimed 3rd place in the Junior Max class and with it a ticket to this year’s Rotax Max Grand Finals in Sarno, Italy. In all the excitement of the OK Junior it’s easy to forget Johnathan even competed in the class this year, but he finished a very deserved 3rd place it what was a close run championship.
It was particularly close from 2nd to 4th and had Johnathan not had his worst round of the season at PFI he may have ended up finishing as Vice Champion, but he did just enough for 3rd to claim a ticket to the World’s.
Junior Max British Champion
Last weekend at PFI, Joe’s dream season continued as he added the Super One title to his BNL Karting Series that he won earlier this month. He’s in the form of his life and after the cruel luck he had at Kartmasters he showed true courage to be able to come back and claim the number one plate.
It made it two British titles for the KR Sport team in what is arguably the two hardest classes in the Super One Series, with the exception of the Cadets. They are one of just two teams to do it this year and as of yet, Joe puts his name is the history books by becoming a National and European champion. If he could win the Worlds too, it would be the stuff of legend.
Mini Max British Championship – 3rd
Tom was the sole driver from the team competing in the Mini Max class this year, which makes his 3rd place even more impressive. He got his season off to a fantastic start before his luck quickly turned which led to some unfortunate results, but Tom never gave up and fought right until the chequered flag at PFI.
It was that determination that enabled him to see it through to the end as he eventually beat Lorcan Hanafin to 3rd place. Tom was one of the ‘Ones To Watch’ at the start of the season and proved he deserved that title on a number of occasions. Previous drivers to finish in Tom’s position in the past include Ashley Sutton, Jack Aitken, Harrison Scott and Harry Webb. It’s fair to say the future is bright!
Senior X30 British Championship – 4th
Missing the second round of the championship was never going to make things easy for Matthew Hirst, it meant he could only afford one other bad round with the worst two being dropped.
Matthew was up against some seriously quick drivers in terms of the championship which included British and Vice World Champions! However, Matthew put in some fantastic performances especially at the last round all of which was enough to get him 4th place. Whether the missed round would have caused him to finish higher is another story, but I don’t think he or the team will be complaining.
Rotax Max British Championship – 4th
The jump up to the Rotax Max class should have been a difficult one for Harrison considering his tender age of 15.
However, given his fantastic performance in the Junior Max class last year in both the UK and World Finals he was tipped a one to watch by Super One Series commentator Alan Taddei and proved him right on a number of occasions. Overall Harrison didn’t quite have the luck he perhaps deserved, but he constantly brought in good hauls of points to keep himself in the running.
Come the last round he was in a straight fight with Charlie Turner for 4th place and did enough to just beat him on the last day of the championship. He unfortunately just missed out on a Grand Final ticket, but will be at the Rotax International Open to try and win the last one up for grabs!
Impressive performances all round!
Finally, we have the performances of the four remaining drivers who all did a varied amount of rounds throughout the season.
Let’s start with Cameron Thomson who did all bar one round in Junior Max. Cameron was a Rookie in Super One this year and was very close to taking the Rookie title along with a seeded number. He found himself in a fight with Tom Edmunds all year and in the end fell short by just 24 points. Had he scored an extra 36 he would have been seeded 10th for next years’ series. Second of the rookie’s is not a bad effort for someone of Cameron’s experience!
Jordan Brown joined the team mid way through the season and also made the jump up from Junior Max to Senior X30. He did the last two rounds in the class and took to the demands very quickly. He finished in the top 10 in all four finals at the last two rounds with a best result of 6th in a field of 21 drivers. His pace will only improve over the winter and he’ll be chasing a World Final ticket next year!
Kai and Rhys Hunter came in for the last round and competed in the Mini and Junior Max classes respectively. Being completely new to the series at a track that everyone knows well was always going to be a tough task, but they both had something to shout about by the end of the weekend.
Rhys looks an exciting prospect for next season. A 10th and 13th in a field of 18 drivers is not bad at all and his time of 59.67 in Final One was hugely impressive, considering the fastest lap was a 59.24!
As for Kai he unfortunately did not have luck on his side, but his 15th place in Final One will be a strong base to build on for next season. With a chunk of drivers heading up to Junior Max next year I have a feeling he could be a firm top ten contender! Watch this space
Two wins, two thirds and two fourth places across five different engine classes is not a bad effort at all and proves one thing, KR Sport are quick in everything they compete in! That level of consistency is no fluke and comes from years of hard work from Ash Orchard and his team. It’s not just the kart setup, but also the driver coaching and wealth of experience that has led to an astonishing season which has the chance of becoming even better at the upcoming World Finals and Rotax International Open.
Join the team for 2017
To enquire about joining the team for 2017 Click here to visit their website or contact Team Manager, Ash Orchard directly at email@example.com
Perhaps you could find yourself in this photo next year…