Special thanks to Chris Walker @ Kartpix.net for the fantastic photos
The 2015 MSA British Kartmasters Grand Prix, held over 4 days at PFI was a truly impressive event, with bumper grids in the X30 classes.
With a grid of 47 drivers in the X30 Junior class, Tom was up against some very experienced drivers some having raced in this class for two years.
Representing RL Racing Department, Tom was hoping for some good results in his heats, to be at the front of the grid for Sundays Grand Prix.
Tom qualified 3rd in his group, P5 overall.
Toms first heat was a baptism of fire, getting loaded several times and ending up on the grass. After recovering well from dropping to 7th, he made a move on two drivers at the 1st hairpin taking 5th. With two laps to go he made a move at the first hairpin, and pulled a gap, to finish 4th.
In his second heat, he got to 3rd , after a good start, before getting shuffled back to 6th. After changes of positions throughout the race, he got back up to 3rd. With two laps to go, he made a move going over the bridge, taking the lead, and pulling a gap, crossing the line winning by 3.45 seconds.
Timed qualifying, Tom was P1 in group, P2 overall.
Heat 3 Tom dropped to 4th on the first corner, but by lap 5 he had taken the lead. Heading the field on and off for 3 laps, he got demoted back to 6th, after a mistake, and bounced over the grass. He held 6th over the line.
In his 4th heat, Tom took the lead at the first corner and lead for a couple of laps.There were changes of lead with him, and at one stage was pushed wide onto the grass. Recovering well, he fought hard to finish 3rd.
Pre Final Tom started a well earned P2. He was pushed onto the grass at the start but managed to hold 4th. He then progressed up to the lead. After heading the field for 5 laps, he was then lunged and pushed off onto the grass. It took a couple laps to clear his tyres and be able to start coming back. Unable to make more places in the closing stages, Tom came home in 8th, but after a penalty to another driver, moved Tom to 7th.
Grand Prix Starting from P7 Tom was loaded, but managed to maintain his position. Moving up to 5th Tom tried a move on the defending drivers, but lost a lot of places dropping to 11th, and lost 3 seconds on the lead group on lap 4. Tom went past two drivers who had crashed and started to reel the leaders in.Catching the front group and with 3 laps to go he made a move for 2nd, and left the group behind squabbling for 3rd. There were 2 laps remaining and 8 tenths of a second gap to close. On the 16th and final lap,( Tom being fastest on track) and with two corners to go, he caught the leader and then got a brilliant cut back to pull clear and take victory. What a drive !! A truly awesome show of talent.
Tom’s comments ” I’m absolutely delighted to be the Junior X30 Kartmasters Champion and to also have been awarded the very special ‘Driver of the day’ award. It was a tough race, but all the hard work paid off. It was such an emotional moment for me, crossing the line to take the victory. I couldn’t have achieved the result without Steve Armstrong, RL Racing Department, my mechanic dad, and Kartune Motorsport. I’d like to thank everyone for the awesome support they showed me. A special thank you to Chris Walker at Kartpix for his brilliant photos. ”