Tag Archives: little green man

Jonny Edgar to race in US and UK

Edgar FREEFlorida Winter Tour champion Jonny Edgar plans to accept an invitation to race in more events in the United States, as well as racing in domestic competition this season.

The 11-year-old scored the Mini-Rok title at the final round of the series in Ocala earlier last month ahead of Nicholas d’Orlando who had led the points heading into the weekend. Edgar was run by the Benik squad, owned by ex-Pats Ben Cruttenden and Nick Mitchell, throughout the Winter Tour as well as at last year’s SuperNationals event in Las Vegas.

“The final weekend was huge as it was a triple header, so 300 points were up for grabs,” Edgar’s dad, Justin said. “We went to Vegas last year but it was a big shock. We thought it would be easier and we had to work hard to eventually get the fifth place finish. But the relationship with the team began there and has continued.”

Edgar’s Winter Tour win has handed him a prize ticket to the ROK World Finals at Garda in Italy in October. That will give the youngster his first experience of European racing.

“We’ve no plans for the end of the year just yet,” Edgar Sr added. “Benik have invited Jonny to go back out there again but his main focus is on Super One and Little Green Man Cadet. He will continue with that next year too, but European racing is also possible. The MG tyres at the Florida Winter Tour were very sticky and the kart was bigger than a Cadet machine with quicker engines. It was in between a Cadet and MiniMax kart. The MiniKart category in Europe is something I’d be keen to consider, possibly instead of MiniMax.”

Watching The Pennies – A look at the WTP Cadet scene

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Martin Fox’s collection of WTP B1 engines

With only two rounds remaining, Sam Priest has replaced Cory Stevens as the Little Green Man Championship leader. He seems to be on something of a roll right now and extended his championship lead with a well taken win at Buckmore Park. Sam’s performance has certainly confounded those critics who claimed earlier this year that no-one could possibly get near Cory Stevens and Sean Gee who race together in the John Mills team. In actual fact we’ve seen a very open championship race, with various drivers all capable of producing quick times. Apart from Priest, Stevens and Gee, Alex Stott has found winning form and was just about untouchable at Three Sisters back in May. We’ve seen good performances, too, from Gaby Weyer, Max Stilp, Lewis Brown, Thomas Day and Alex Sedgwick.  The real surprise package, though, has turned out to be 10 year old Shayne Harrison who is producing incredible lap times from his B1 motor. Four years ago, Mike Mills introduced a weight limit of 92 kilograms for B1 users, hoping to “give them a chance” against the faster B5 runners. Now, as he studies Shayne’s times, Mike is feeling somewhat bemused. “Shayne’s speed has taken us all a bit by surprise,” is Mike’s rather understated comment.

The answer might lie in a Middlesex garage not far from Heathrow Airport where ex car mechanic Martin Fox lives with his partner Rachel and three children Casey (5), Kerry (7) and Shayne. It’s there that Martin spends many patient hours testing a batch of B1 motors on his Dynamometer. “We’ve managed to pick up quite a few B1s from different sources and they’re all pretty quick,” says Martin. “Earlier in the year I was able to buy them for £100 each, but they’re now fetching £250 or more on e-bay. I like to think that the sudden increase in price has got something to do with Shayne’s success. When he first expressed an interest in karting, I looked at all the different options and chose WTP because the idea of a thoroughbred race engine, as opposed to industrial motors, appealed to me.  No-one had really tried to compete against the B5s by using a B1 and I found the challenge quite interesting. Shayne is still very light and he can take full advantage of the weight differential, otherwise it wouldn’t work, of course. The B1 is very robust and will happily rev to 15,000 rpm. It means that, at many circuits, we’re running with a 97 tooth sprocket when B5 contenders are relying on 93s.”

Martin is no stranger to karting, having raced successfully in Junior Britain during the early eighties. “I won the Roy Mortara Trophy at Blackbushe but my main claim to fame was having a punch up with Dario Franchitti during a meeting at Clay Pigeon,” he recalls somewhat sheepishly. “My father Peter competed in stock cars for many years and I’ve a brother, Lee, who raced in sidecar events most notably at Cadwell Park. You could say that Shayne has motor-racing in his blood, although we both recognise that he’s at the wrong end of a steep learning curve and has a long way to go right now. All the circuits we’ve visited in the Little Green Man Championships have been completely new to Shayne, apart from Fulbeck where we did a couple of club meetings. He’s also raced once at PF and we will, of course, be returning there for the final round. He was going well at Three Sisters but we later discovered that the throttle wasn’t fully opening. Shayne’s performance in the championships encouraged our youngest daughter Casey to try her hand in a kart but unfortunately she crashed and hasn’t shown a lot of interest since then. Maybe if the Bambinos start picking up we’ll persuade her to have another go.”

Shayne first started racing last year and made sufficient early progress to win the Rye House Club Championships. Whilst attending Kartmania last November Martin visited the BKC stand where his attention was drawn to a BRM kart done out in Brawn GP livery. He promptly bought it as a Christmas present for Shayne. This kart helped him establish a new lap record at Blackbushe in April 2010 and he lowered the quickest time at Tattersall by more than a second. Another lap record came his way during the Little Green Man round at Ellough Park. In a very short period of time he has amassed around 40 trophies and now requires another cabinet to display them all. He attends St Andrews School in Uxbridge and the teachers there are very supportive of his karting activities, encouraging him to talk about the sport in front of his classmates. He doesn’t participate in any other sport apart from karting but enjoys watching F1 races on TV. His favourite driver is Jenson Button and the McLaren factory in Wokingham is just a few miles from his home. Should he ever need to get involved in a tribunal, Motor Sports House is also handily placed, virtually round the corner.

shane blackbush
Shayne Harrison, whose speed has surprised everyone

Ever since an astonishing opening round at Fulbeck, Shayne’s lap times have been the subject of much paddock gossip. “There’s absolutely nothing out of the ordinary about our B1 engines,” Martin insists. “I have them checked and sealed by John Davies who can verify that they are strictly legal. For someone like myself, with a strong interest in motors, having to get them sealed is rather a nuisance. That’s why I’d like Shayne to move into Junior TKM after cadets as there’s no sealing required. For the time being, though, he’s very happy racing WTPs and we both hope that the class can continue for another year at least.”

Cadet Column

Whenever the opportunity arises, I always enjoy a discussion with Gerard Cox from Project One. We tend to agree about many issues although the relevance of timed qualifying in Cadet racing
is one on which our views differ. Unusually for a kart manufacturer and trader, perhaps, Gerard is concerned about the damage caused by first bend collisions. He firmly believes that such incidents are greatly reduced by sorting out quick drivers from slower ones through timed qualifying sessions. I don’t doubt Gerard’s sincerity on this issue, whilst disagreeing with his conclusions.

There are many others who
share Gerard’s opinion. Timed qualifying doesn’t eliminate this risk altogether, but it’s generally accepted that starting from a front grid position greatly reduces your chances of crashing out at Turn 1. I’m prefer the time honoured system of running three Heats
For 25 years or more this system was used at just about every kart race in Britain. Around the mid- eighties Class 100 International, later known as Formula “A” introduced timed qualifying. This, it was argued, would allow our top drivers to familiarise themselves with a system used in world and European Championship events. Gradually it was cascaded down to other classes. Early last year Gerard presented me with an interesting challenge.

“I expect that you’ll be a

Open To Debate

Send your thoughts to news@kartingmagazine.com – we’ll print them in next month’s issue.

As reported recently in Karting magazine, next year’s Little Green Man Championship is under threat from the MSA’s decision to implement a rule that has existed for some time without ever previously being enforced. Dave Bewley argues that the regulation is perverse and should therefore be scrapped.

For over 500 years it’s been legally permissible to kill a Scotsman within the city walls of York, provided that he’s carrying a bow and arrow. There’s a legal requirement in several places for Englishmen to attend target practice on the village green at least one day a week. All archers doing so must be dressed in Lincoln green, although no-one may enter Parliament wearing a suit of armour. Furthermore, anyone who has the temerity to drop down dead inside the House of Commons is committing a crime. Any pregnant woman may urinate wherever she likes, even if it happens to be inside a policeman’s helmet, but no-one is permitted to eat mince pies on Christmas Day.The statute book is full of rather stupid laws that no-one has ever bothered to repeal. The passage of time doesn’t make them any less ridiculous, but no real harm is caused until someone actually tries to enforce one of them. Earlier this year the MSA attempted to implement a rule that would have caused major problems for cadet drivers on several circuits throughout Britain. As reported recently in Karting magazine, the rule states that “Championship drivers will fully integrate with the club meeting and will compete alongside the club racer. No separate races are to be run for classes already run by the host club.” I’d assumed that this rule had been quietly dropped, having found no trace of it in the 2014 MSA Yearbook. Surprisingly, though there was an attempt to enforce it just as this year’s Little Green Man Championships got underway.

After much discussion, such action was suspended for 12 months but there now seems a determination to implement the regulation in 2015. It would result in club members, even those with very little experience, suddenly racing against 60 or 70 others. They will be getting involved, as third party participants, in some rather fierce battles for LGM championship points. One or two might actually relish such an opportunity, but I suspect that other, less confident types will recoil in horror at the prospect. It is one thing allowing enthusiastic “guest” drivers to race in such a field, but quite another when reluctant participants are involved. I would have thought that the safety implications alone would be sufficient to bring about a change of heart at Motor Sports House. It’s true, as one rather unsympathetic individual pointed out, that those who don’t like the idea of racing in such company aren’t forced to turn up. Indeed, I’m sure that quite a number of cadets will actually vote with their feet. That might seem a solution for some, but what sort of crazy regulation actually seeks to discourage drivers from competing at their own club meeting? Of course there’s always the adverse effect on championship contenders to consider as well. I’d be very surprised and greatly relieved if title chances aren’t compromised at some stage by collisions involving third parties, especially as the LGM runners will be using older tyres in later rounds.

We shouldn’t assume, though, that the risks will be confined to LGM competitors. At all of these rounds there will be club championship points being contested also and top contenders could actually find themselves running in a “C” Final. At Rowrah on June 8th Mike Mills organised a poll amongst competitors. Within a couple of hours over 100 people had signed to say they opposed the regulation and there wasn’t a single signature in favour. Furthermore, the depth of feeling was equally strong amongst LGM contenders and club competitors. The list was submitted to Motor Sports House before the consultative deadline of June 13th. An MSA statement recently pointed out that the regulation had been open to consultation. We know that at least 100 expressed their objections. I wonder how many the MSA was able to find actually in favour of their approach. I don’t suppose we’ll ever be told the answer to that question.I’m still not sure what the MSA hopes to gain here. With 72 cadets having taken part this year, roughly double the number of British Championship contenders, the Little Green Man is undoubtedly Britain’s most successful Series for young drivers. Competitors clearly like the format and there are obvious benefits for hosting clubs, also, as they collect £10,000 or more in entry fees from each round without having to fork out for prizes. That’s why most clubs have welcomed the LGM with open arms. I’d hate to think that such hospitality might soon be replaced by a growing resentment amongst club competitors, who feel they are being pushed out.

If it’s not broken, why try to fix it, especially with a cack-handed rule that produces absolutely no winners but plenty of losers?One or two people might suppose that if the Little Green Man Series should disappear, then Super 1 entries would automatically increase. That’s a total fallacy in my opinion. Approximately half of the LGM contenders currently race in S1 also. There’s a further group of privateers and drivers based in small teams, for whom the costs associated with S1 would normally be a dissuading factor even if the LGM didn’t exist. The next group consists of competitors who are either too young or don’t have sufficient experience to race at British Championship level. By nurturing these drivers, the Little Green Man is actually complementing S1 rather than acting in direct competition. I’m always conscious of the fact that there are usually two sides to any argument. There may well be some persuasive logic behind the MSA’s thinking on this matter, but so far it has totally eluded me. There are those who insist that, as the regulation dates back several years now, it must be enforced for good or bad. That’s a valid point. I just hope that those who are making it won’t be eating any mince pies on Christmas Day!

 

 

LGM Championships – Round 7

Round 7, Shenington, 21st September

Jewiss wins but Wood seizes the initiative

“What happened to the last lap board?” That was a question most of the LGM finalists were asking after an eventful race in which positions had changed with remarkable speed. There had been no electronic clock informing drivers of the elapsed time and nothing else to indicate that they were embarking upon their final lap. Race winner Kiern Jewiss was clearly taken by surprise when the chequered flag came out and he almost forgot to slow down. It meant that, for once, we had a final lap conducted at normal race pace as the leaders hadn’t realised it was time to drive defensively. “Maybe we should forget about last lap boards at all of our rounds in future,” quipped organiser, Mike Mills.

Faced with a very taxing schedule the Shenington Club had decided to run a couple of Heats on Saturday afternoon. Kiern Jewiss won the first one ahead of Ben Wooldridge and Joe Turney. It was Lewis Thompson who caught the eye in this one, however, setting the fastest lap time as he moved up to 6th spot from grid 23. Heat 2 produced a very tight finish as Jonny Edgar claimed the win just a yard or so ahead of Zac Robertson and Tom Wood. Edgar stunned everyone the following morning when he won Heat 3 from grid 26. He was followed home in this one by Brandon Martland and Tom Wood, It looked as though Jonny was heading for a hat trick of victories when he caught and passed the Heat 4 leader Josh Rafferty. However, Rafferty stayed with him and pulled off a last gasp manoeuvre that also allowed Finlay Bunce through into 2nd spot.

Next time out it was Turney who celebrated victory by a couple of yards from Dexter Patterson. Teddy Wilson got the verdict for 3rd place in a photo finish with Bunce. That placed Edgar on pole for the Final alongside Wood. Owen Bya occupied 3rd slot, his best starting position to date, with Jewiss on grid 4. Immediately behind were Thompson and Bunce, followed by Wooldridge and Turney. Joshua Rattican, Lucas Nannetti, Mathew Hunt and Joe Willoughby qualified via the “B” Final following a tense battle with no less than six karts finishing virtually together. Maxwell Dodds and Owen Johnson were the unlucky losers on this occasion Edgar assumed an immediate lead in the “A” Final, closely followed by Wood. Jewiss took 3rd place away from Byatt, with Thompson, Bunce, Turney and Wooldridge fighting over 5th position. Edgar and Wood were trying to work together to pull out a gap, but the strong headwind thwarted their efforts.

Consequently for much of this race we had a dozen or more karts circulating en masse. After four laps, Thompson hit the front only to be replaced by Jewiss shortly afterwards. Wood moved up into 2nd spot ahead of Edgar as Thompson dropped down to 7th. Just after half distance Wood took over the lead as Jewiss fell back to 4th place behind Edgar and Byatt .Zac Robertson had started this race from 11th on the grid, but he soon made his way up to 4th. Edgar once again decided to lead for a couple of laps before being overtaken by Jewiss. Halfway into the chicane, Edgar sustained a hefty whack on his rear bumper that knocked him down to 9th place. Byatt then moved up to 2nd, challenging hard for the lead before he also was knocked out of contention with less than a lap remaining. Robertson inherited 2nd spot and suddenly Jewiss could enjoy a breather as the gap stretched to 10 yards. The chequered flag caught everyone by surprise as it welcomed Jewiss home ahead of Robertson, Wood and Thompson.

Turney, Rafferty, Edgar, Patterson, Martland and Wooldridge made up the top tenTeddy Wilson had arrived at Shenington with a championship lead of 2 points. However, the wizardry he’d displayed at Kimbolton nine weeks earlier appeared to desert him.The newly crowned British Champion struggled for pace and could only manage 11th position. Tom Wood’s 3rd place fi nish here gives him a 7 points cushion over Wilson and he will go to PF as the championship favourite.

 

Little Green Man – Round 8 October 2014

Round 8, PF International – October 5th, 2014
Tom Wood claims the 2014 title at the final round at PFi by a whisker

Tom Wood had arrived at PFi effectively holding a lead of two points over Teddy Wilson. The pair couldn’t afford to ignore Zac Robertson who was more than capable of producing an outstanding result here. Also in the reckoning, mathematically at least, were Kiern Jewiss, Dexter Patterson and Lewis Thompson. With 50 entrants to accommodate, five Heats were required. Lorcan Hanafin secured a narrow win in the first of these, but almost lost out when Kiern Jewiss and Zac Robertson both charged through from rear grids to fall just inches short at the finish line. Hanafin’s performance in Heat 2 was rather more impressive as he gained 22 places before losing out to Ben Wooldridge by a mere fraction. Van Knapton finished a yard or so further back in 3rd spot. Next time out Wood, Thompson and James Taylor were involved in a photo finish with Wood finally getting the verdict ahead of Thompson. Heat 4 produced yet another tight finish, as Edgar held out Robertson and Thompson.

Jewiss won the last Heat by a comfortable margin from Hanafin, with Finlay Bunce claiming 3rd spot. Brandon Martland won an exciting ‘B’ Final, with Bray Kenneally, Klaas Kooiker and Harry Foster joining him as qualifiers. Hanafin claimed his first ever pole position in a Little Green Man ‘A’ Final, starting this race alongside Jewiss. Setting off behind these two were Wood, Finlay Bunce, Teddy Wilson, Jonny Edgar, Thompson and Joe Turney. Zac Robertson knew that he had it all to do as he sat on the grid 15 slot. Hanafin made a clean start from the lights but soon found Wood pressing hard behind him. Jewiss lost out to Wilson and Edgar, as Wood hit the front. After a couple of laps had been completed Edgar took over the hot seat, dragging Wilson along with him. Robertson had been picking up placed at a rapid rate and he soon displaced Hanafin in 3rd position. Edgar, Wilson and Robertson began working together, so that a gap of around ten yards appeared before Thompson took over 4th place. At this stage, Wood was back in 6th spot, some 20 yards or more behind the leaders. If things remained that way, then the title would be Wilson’s. By half distance, Thompson had caught up with the leading bunch.

He swiftly moved up into 2nd position, compromising the lines of both Wilson and Robertson so that they suddenly found themselves 25 yards or more behind the leaders. That suddenly elevated Turney to 3rd place. With six laps still outstanding Thompson took the lead, as Wood moved ahead of Wilson and Robertson. The championship was now very finely balanced. Crouching low, Wood was trying desperately to reduce a gap of 15 yards or more that the leading trio had established. Wilson, meanwhile, seemed happy to sit behind him and await his opportunity later on. Robertson, back in 6th, knew that he had to get amongst the leaders. With less than two laps remaining, Edgar outsmarted Thompson into the left-hand hairpin and took the lead. A few corners later, though, he lost out to Turney. The three leaders headed down the main straight to begin their final tour, with Wood still more than 10 yards adrift in fourth. Edgar moved back into the lead under the bridge, but suddenly he had eight others all pushing hard behind him.

Wood decided that he had nothing to lose and made a seemingly outrageous manoeuvre that took him to the front. Robertson followed through but Wilson suddenly saw his championship chances disappear when Turney knocked him off the circuit. Onto the main straight, Robertson tried desperately to get his kart alongside Wood, with Edgar just a few feet behind. Wood’s raised hands told us that he’d managed to hold on, but just 0.04 seconds actually separated them. It later emerged that Robertson had set the fastest lap, thus gaining an additional trophy and two bonus points. If he’d actually gone 0.05 seconds quicker on that final lap, the championship scores would have been tied. By such narrow margins are these things often decided. As it was, Tom emerged as the seventh different winner from eight rounds and he could celebrate a well earned title victory, too. “On balance I’d have to say that Tom deserved his title win and there’s certainly no shame in us finishing second to a driver who started the year as a clear favourite,” said Fusion Motorsport boss Dan Hazlewood.

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New Circuit Layout Key to Rissington Super One Return

stock-superoneThe inclusion of the inner loop section of the Little Rissington circuit was one of the key reasons why the circuit returned to the Super One calendar for the first time in 11 years last month, according to its club chairman.

The Gloucestershire track, which is restricted to just seven club meetings per year, was reinstated to the national racing calendar this season by Super One chief John Hoyle. It last hosted a Super One round in 2003.

Rissington Kart Club chairman Mick Chalmers said hosting a Northern Kart Federation meeting at the circuit two years ago made track bosses aware of the potential for closer racing, particularly for gearbox karts.

ìThe NKF wanted more of a challenge and so instead of just using the outer track section which is reasonably flowing, we included the direct drive inner loop section. We received good feedback that instead of dropping down one gear, gearbox drivers were having to drop two gears. It made the racing more exciting. I believe that has been one of the key reasons why Super One is returning.

Chalmers said club members have been extremely supportive of the initial submission to Super One and wants to get the circuit back on the map of Britainís top circuits if the track is going to have a long-term future.

“We held a survey of club members at the start of this year as to whether we should try for a Super One round, as it would have meant losing a club round,” Chalmers said. “But members were 90 per cent in favour. Because of the circuitís running restrictions we previously didnít feel it was fair to the members.

“Rissington has been a lost circuit over the past few years. Ten years ago it was running C Finals and full gearbox grids. The established Super One circuits get more advertising nowadays and are recognised as being more mainstream. With the MSA KZ Championship as the British Senior crown, grid numbers are increasing, and so Super One needs more circuits which can cater for those karts and we hope Rissington is here to stay on the national calendar.”