Super One Rissington

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Photos courtesy of Chris Walker @ Kartpix.net

Tom travelled to the Cotswolds, for the 5th round of the Minimax Super One championships at the Rissington circuit.

Tom was in high spirits, and looking forward to racing at the track, where he had claimed 2nd place, in last years Super One Iame Cadet.

He was 5th fastest in timed qualifying, but was unhappy with the handling of the kart, and a few changes were made to the set up.

In heat 1, Tom made a good start and stayed 5th, but lack of pace, and an unsettled kart meant he was unable to stay with the leaders. After dropping to 8th at one point he battled hard to stay 6th, then in the closing stages took 5th over the line.

Heat 2 was much of the same, with lack of pace, and grip. After slotting into second place at the start, he slid down the order, and battled to stay 6th over the line.

From starting P6 in Final 1, he held his position, but the same problems meant he dropped back down the order to finish 11th. Disappointingly, after a technical infringement, he was unfortunately excluded from the race.

Tom was keeping positive, and started P24 for  Final 2. After a fantastic start, he gained 5 positions on the first lap. Tom was lying 9th, with 5 laps to go, but the lead group ahead had too big a gap to close. But still a superb drive from Tom.

Tom commented “We have had problems all weekend,which we have tried to get on top of, and although the kart felt better in the Final, we were not quick enough to win. We think it may have been due to the tyres. I hope I  can recover some lost points in the next round.”

 

 

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British Kartmasters 2015 – Junior X30 Champion !

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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. ”

 

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FKS Double podium in Ireland

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The Nutts Corner circuit in Ireland hosted  Formula Kart Stars rounds 5 & 6 at the weekend.

Competitors had two practice days to learn the circuit. Tom had raced as a young cadet driver at the track in 2012, so was familiar with the track lay out, and was looking forward to racing the X30 around the fast and technical circuit.

Round 5

Timed qualifying went well, Tom taking P3,  with the two Irish guest drivers  taking pole and P2, being their local track.

In heat one Tom had a good start and slotted into second place, pushing away with Sam McDonnell a guest driver. Half way through the race, Daniel Harper the other guest driver caught and passed them both. Toms lap times were getting nearer to the fastest, and he finished 3rd.

In heat two he had a bad start from P3, with loading from behind. Another kart got caught on Toms back bumper and he dropped to 5th.He worked his way back into 3rd, but was unable to close the gap, so finished P3.

Heat three Tom didn’t get a great start and got shuffled into 4th, but the leaders were battling, and Tom was able to catch them. He took the lead, but in the closing stages Daniel Harper caught and passed, with Tom claiming P2 over the line.

Final  Starting from P3, Tom made a good start. The two guest drivers pulled a gap, but with Tom being consistent, he managed to catch and pass Sam McDonnell to finish a brilliant 2nd place.

Round 6

Qualifying was very wet, and although Tom was fast, he was disappointed with P6.

After making some changes to the set up, Tom started Heat one from P6. Starting on the outside he got pushed wide and dropped to 7th. He then hacked back through the field to finish 4th.

Heat two Again starting from P4 on the outside, he was pushed wide and dropped to 7th on the first corner. After another outstanding drive in the wet conditions, he clawed his way back, to take a valiant 3rd over the line.

Heat three Tom got off the line really well and slotted into 2nd, pulling clear of the chasing pack. Sam McDonnell pulled a gap and Tom was unable to catch him. A brilliant drive from Tom taking P2 in worsening track conditions.

Final He got a brilliant start off the line, and was in 2nd, with Sam McDonnell ahead. They pulled a gap from the field, but Tom couldn’t match his pace. Half way through the 17 min  race, Daniel Harper caught and got past Tom, but with a huge gap back to the rest of the field, Tom crossed the line in torrential rain, to take his sixth superb podium of the championship.

Commenting after the race “I love this track and have enjoyed the weekend immensely. The two local drivers know the track well, and I think I put up a good fight. I’m really enjoying  FKS and it’s brilliant that Sky Sports F1 have been here filming  again. I’m so happy to represent Donington Park and also stretching my lead in the Championship. A special thank you to Piers Sexton for helping me to achieve such great results. ”

 

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Super One Glan Y Gors

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Photos courtesy of Kartpix.net

 

The Glan Y Gors circuit in Wales hosted the 4th Round of the British Minimax Championship at the weekend.

Tom was  looking to score good points in the heats and finals, to maintain his overall 3rd place in the Championship and gain points on the leaders.

On Saturday, Tom qualified P5 where he started heat 1. After losing a place on the first lap, he settled into the race, putting in consistently fast laps and worked his way through the field. By the last lap he was battling for the lead, but had to defend his position from the driver behind and he crossed the line 0.15 behind the winner, also gaining fastest lap.

In heat 2 Tom got off the line well, and stayed P5 for two laps, then after a mistake challenging for 4th, he dropped  to 8th. Tom then caught and passed,and climbed to third place, with a gap to close to 2nd. On the last lap, after chasing him down, got past  and crossed the line to finish in 2nd place… again being the fastest on track.

With rain overnight, the paddock woke up to  heavy drizzle on Sunday, and the wet tyres were used in the morning practice. It was a hard call for tyre choice for Final 1, with a wet but drying track. Some drivers opted to use their wet tyres, but Tom and the majority of the grid went out on slicks, to conserve their wets, if needed for the second of the finals, later in the day.Tom started P2, and got off the line well, heading the field for two laps, but the kart set up made it difficult in the tricky conditions, and he was caught and passed, some of the drivers on wet tyres, and he dropped to eighth. With the track rapidly drying, and finding more grip, Tom was able to close the gap and then pass on the last lap to take P7. A brilliant drive from Tom.

The start of Final 2 was questionable, with some drivers jumping the start, and Tom found himself in 10th, rather than P7, with the leader a long way ahead on the first lap. Tom started to close the gap, and looking very fast. After starting to pass another driver he was hit from behind, and went off onto the grass. Now back in 12th, Tom had a lot of work to do, but was once again the fastest on track. In the closing stages  of the 15 min race, Tom was in 6th, and was on the back of two drivers, on the last lap. He tried a move, but was backed up, with them defending, and lost a place over the line, finishing P7. After 2 drivers were given penalties for jumping the start, Tom was promoted to 5th. Not the result he hoped for, but has gained more valuable points in the Championship. He also took fastest lap again.

Tom said after the race “It’s been a mixed weekend for me, but I’ve really enjoyed racing here in Wales. I’ve been very fast all weekend, and looking forward to coming back here again soon “.

 

 

 

 

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Super One Podium at Buckmore Park

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Photos by Chris Walker @ Kartpix.net

Buckmore Park in Kent hosted Round 3 of the Super One Minimax Championship at the weekend.

Tom was looking to have a good result here, and during Fridays practice, worked hard with getting the best set up for the weekend.

Qualifying didn’t go to plan. Although his fastest lap looked like a P1, going purple mid sector, a slight mistake lost him time and he had to settle for P11, with a time of 40.78, the fastest being 40.58secs.

Heat 1 starting from P11, Tom made three places on the first lap, but had trouble getting the kart turning in on the corners. This gave the chasing group the opportunity to get past and Tom dropped to 15th. He fought back and climbed to 12th, before he was pushed down the order to finish 15th.

After making some changes, Tom felt confident he had a better set up for Heat 2. Starting from P11 he got to 8th in the first couple of laps. He was then shuffled back to 11th. With three laps to go, Tom was lying tenth, and looking really fast. He caught the pack ahead and gained two places. In the closing stages, two drivers collided, which  gained him another place. He finished 7th place, and was second fastest on track.

Tom started P11 for Final 1 and climbed to 9th on the first lap. Tom was really flying and was in the lead with 5mins left on the clock. He was then shuffled back to 4th. Closing the gap on the leaders, and with 2mins to go, Tom was hit and half spun, dropping him to 7th. After the race, two drivers were given a penalties. This promoted him to 5th place.

Tom lined up on the grid P5 for Final 2. He made a great start off the line, and was in the lead group on the first lap of the 15 minute race. Tom was in 3rd by the fourth lap. He then passed and took the lead, with 10 mins to go. He was then pushed back to 3rd slot, but had a gap to the battle for 4th place behind. With 5 mins left, the time was shortened due to a stricken kart and driver, at the side of the track. Tom took 2nd place, and looked on for the win. A yellow flag at the penultimate corner, meant he was unable to challenge for the lead, and  although a very close finish, 0.08secs off the win, he finished a superb P2.

Tom said after the race ” I’ve had a good weekend overall. I’ve moved into 3rd place overall in the Championship. Buckmore Park has been challenging, and I’m really happy with my pace. Piers Sexton (standing in for Steve Armstrong) did a great job.”

 

 

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Another Victory in FKS at Silverstone!

 

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Tom  continued his superb run of form in the 2015 Formula Kart Stars series, with another win and a string of podium finishes.

Following up his victory in round one of Formula Kart Stars at Whilton Mill last month,  Donington Park-backed Tom headed to Silverstone optimistic of more podium finishes, and he delivered that in fine style with victory in Saturday’s round three. Starting from eighth on the grid, he carved his way through the field to take another brilliant win in the F1-backed kart series, which counts support from the likes of Bernie Ecclestone and Lewis Hamilton.

He started his weekend strongly with constant progress in pre-event testing, eventually finishing up fourth and just 0.070s off the top spot. He carried that form over to Saturday morning, setting the fastest time in the warm up session before cementing a slot on the front row of the grid with the second fastest time for Heat One.

The first race was to prove controversial. Tom crossed the line to finish the race as the winner after a battling drive including gaining three places in one lap, but was then excluded from the results, due to a technical non-compliance.

Putting the disappointment behind him, he claimed a strong fourth place in Heat Two from 11th on the grid, fighting his way up through the field.

In Heat Three he again demonstrated his overtaking abilities, to claim his first podium of the weekend in third place. Starting from fourth, he dropped to seventh on lap one, but fought his way up to as high as second place, including a three place gain on lap nine, before dropping to third on the final lap.

Heading into the all-important final in strong form, Tom once more showed his fighting qualities to climb three places on lap two, and then four places in the next four laps to hit the front on lap six. He then proceeded to lead the majority of the remainder of the race, emerging on top of battles with Jac Maybin and Dean MacDonald to take another victory, after making a decisive move on MacDonald on the penultimate lap of the 24 lap contest.

Heading into Sunday’s round four, he again showed his intentions with the second fastest time in qualifying, just 0.020s off the best time of Saul Robinson. He followed that up with another podium finish in the first heat of the day, taking third place in a race with numerous changes of position, finishing just 0.320s behind winner Robinson in a very close finish.

Another podium followed in Heat Two. He led the first half of the race until he was overtaken by Robinson and MacDonald on lap eight. Tom then battled hard with Robinson before taking third place.

Tom returned to the top step of the podium in Heat Three, which he dominated. Starting from fourth, he climbed up to third on lap one and then passed Robinson and Ethan Hawkey on lap four to take the lead, which he held for the rest of the 13 lap race.

With strong performances all weekend, Tom was clearly one to watch in the round four final, and he again delivered another excellent performance to end his weekend on the podium once more with second place, well clear of the rest of the pack, with the next driver over seven seconds behind. Tom’s performance was all the more impressive when it was discovered post-race that he was racing with a snapped chassis.

Speaking at the end of the weekend, Tom commented: “It’s been a fantastic weekend at a brilliant venue. It was great to have Christopher Tate there to support me and it was a very special moment to stand on the top step representing Donington Park. FKS is a great Championship, and I’m looking forward to the next two rounds in Northern Ireland.”

Tom is back in Formula Kart Stars action at the end of July, with races at the Nutts Corner circuit in Northern Ireland on 25-26 July.  For more information on events at Donington Park visit www.donington-park.co.uk.

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Super One round 2

Tom was at Shenington for the second round of the Minimax British Championship.

During official practice on Friday, Tom didn’t have the pace he always shows, but he still felt he was competitive and looked forward to the weekends racing.

Timed qualifying on Saturday started well but his flying lap was hindered by another driver, leaving him P11.

In heat 1 Tom got a great start going into 7th on the first corner, but got loaded going into the second corner, and was fired  under another kart. Luckily not hurt, but with his nassau panel damaged, he got going again, but was way down  in 19th, ( the other driver also got back in the race). There was a huge gap to close, and Tom managed to get to 15th. Lacking power down the straight, Tom was passed and finished 16th.

In heat 2 From P10 Tom got into 6th on the first corner. He was then hit from behind, but managed to keep on the track, but losing momentum. The front pack pulled a gap. He was then passed by four drivers, and fought back well, to finish 6th.

In Final 1 on Sunday,Tom started P11 and after another great start, went into 9th. Two drivers passed him, and Tom was unable to to go with them, dropping to 11th. Midway through the race the kart started  to work and Tom was able to close the gap to the pack ahead. With two minutes to go he got to P7 after putting up a good fight. Tom defended his position on the last lap, but got hit from behind, which lost him a place to finish P8.

In Final 2 from P8 he had a brilliant start going into 5th on the first lap. Tom found the kart still lacking  and through the 15 min race, fell down the order, unable to hold his position,  He was passed and dropped, but he put up a tremendous fight to the end to finish 11th.

“It’s been a disappointing weekend, I didn’t really have the pace, but I tried my best. I’m looking forward to the next round and hope to be more competitive.”

 

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