Tom wins the first round of FKS

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Photos courtesy of Chris Walker@ Kartpix.net

Tom  enjoyed a dream debut in his new Formula Kart Stars category at Whilton Mill circuit last weekend (2-3 May), playing a starring role during Saturday’s opening round with pole position and three wins, including a triumph in the final.

Despite only sampling the new kart for the very first time in testing on Thursday, he made an immediate impression on the championship, consistently lapping at the front of the pack in Friday’s seven practice sessions at the Northamptonshire circuit.

With lap times between the grid packed full of rising karting stars proving extraordinarily close during practice, a tight qualifying was expected, but Tom excelled and claimed the first pole position of the year by just 0.020s from Jac Maybin. Making a great start to the first heat, Tom then led the first four laps before being shuffled back to sixth place on lap five. Engaged in an entertaining battle with Angus Fender and Jac Maybin, Tom demonstrated the fighting skills he’s become renowned for and moved into third place with two laps remaining, by passing Fender and Maybin on the same lap.

Soon after that opener, Tom was starting from third place for the next heat, and he then put in a classy drive to take his first win in Formula Kart Stars, holding off a challenge at the end from Dean MacDonald.  Tom made sure of the victory with a decisive move on the last lap of the 14 lap race, taking the win by 0.070s from Ethan Hawkey, with the top six racers covered by less than a second at the chequered flag.

If the second race was hard fought, the third was anything but. Tom dominated the race, starting from pole, leading every lap with a commanding drive, to finish almost two seconds ahead of nearest rival Maybin.

The 26-lap final was the showpiece event of the first day of this prestigious new series, and Tom once more showed the qualities that make him one of the most keenly watched drivers on the karting scene. Starting from pole once more,he led the majority of the race, and fought back extremely well after being shuffled back to fourth place on lap 15. He was back at the front however, within two laps and then held his position at the front to the end, finishing 0.330s ahead of Maybin and so rounding off a dream opening day in the F1-supported series.

Tom followed that up on Sunday, with the third quickest time in both the warm up and qualifying sessions and finishing third in the opening race of the day after battling back from fifth place late on, backing that result up with a fifth place in the second heat in a largely uneventful contest.

A challenging second race on a drying track saw Tom start fifth on the grid, but he was down to ninth at the end of the opening lap. Undeterred, he fought back magnificently to move into fifth place by lap four, but drama soon followed after a  loose chain meant Tom was off the pace but he kept plugging away and finished fifth at the end of the contest.

For race three Tom started ninth but soon moved up to fourth on the first lap.  Tom set the timing screens alight with blistering pace but disaster struck after contact with another driver while Tom was making his move for third place, dropping him to the back of the field.  A spirited drive saw Tom come through to eighth place at the flag setting the fastest sectors and lap of anyone in the race.

Lining up in fifth for Sunday’s final, he was up to third on the first lap and again recovered well after falling to seventh place on lap four. Immediately fighting back, he gained two places on lap five and then two moves in two laps towards the end of the race saw him claim another podium finish from a superb opening weekend in the championship.

Speaking of his first weekend, Tom commented: “Saturday was a dream debut in the series with a pole in qualifying and three wins out of four races. Sunday was challenging due to the changeable conditions however I’m glad to end the weekend with another podium. I feel very privileged to have the great name of Donington Park behind me, allowing me to compete in this wonderful series. A special thanks to Piers Sexton who supported me this weekend”

Formula Kart Stars benefits from six dedicated shows on Sky Sports, as well as features on the Sky Sport F1 Channel, the F1 Show and Game Changers broadcast on Sky 1. Formula Kart Stars is next in action at Silverstone on 6-7 June while Tom’s next race meeting is this coming weekend (8-10 May) in the Super One Minimax Series at Shenington near Banbury.

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Tom aims high in the FKS season opener

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Donington Park-supported  Tom  kicks off his Formula Kart Stars (FKS) campaign at Whilton Mill this weekend (1-3 May), with aspirations of making an immediate impression in his new series.

Formula Kart Stars is a British based Karting championship supported by Bernie Ecclestone and Formula One Management (FOM), and Wood, who also acts as the ambassador for Donington’s Little Racers kids club, is racing in the FKS Junior category this year.

Tom got his first taste of the impressive new Formula Kart Stars machine in official testing at Whilton Mill yesterday. Despite a big jump in speed compared to other categories he has competed in, he is very confident of strong results right from the off.

“I’m aiming to finish in the top three this weekend,” he commented. “I can’t expect too much though as it’s my first time in the kart and I’ve never raced in the class before. I’m coming into the weekend with no pressure behind me so I will see what I can do.”

Tom’s new kart boasts a powerful 125cc engine, bigger than anything he’s driven so far, while added mechanical grip from the tyres mean cornering speeds are increased, resulting in very quick lap times.

He comments; “The kart is amazing, the grip is so much better in every single aspect and there’s a lot more power, almost double to what I’ve had before. It’s a different kart, so it’s going to take some getting used to.”

“I’m aiming to finish inside the top three of the championship at the end of the year.

“I’ve got the brilliant name of Donington Park behind me and will try and do them proud. It’s great to have Donington’s support and I wouldn’t be doing this series without their backing.”

For information on events at Donington Park, click here

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Super One Minimax Round One

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Photos courtesy of Kartpix.net

Tom was back at Rowrah in Cumbria to contest the first round of the  Super One Minimax British Championship at the weekend.

It was a very wet, six minute timed qualifying, and Tom lacked the grip he needed, but an outstanding drive on the last lap meant it earned him P4 overall.

Starting from P4, in Heat 1 on a very wet track, Tom didn’t have a good start on the outside, and got shuffled into 6th, but soon took 5th. Again the driver behind got past Tom and although he managed to pass him again, the leaders were able to pull a gap. In the closing stages the kart wasn’t working as well, and he was caught and passed, to finish 6th over the line.

In Heat 2 again starting from P4, he got a good start, on a drying track and got into 3rd, and by lap 2 went into the lead. Going into a corner too hard, Tom hit a wet patch and half spun. This cost him dear and he dropped down the field into 12th. He kept calm, and putting in some very fast and consistent laps, he finished over the line in 6th. Not the result he wanted but still a great recovery.

The track was dry for  Final 1 and after a great start from P5, Tom got straight into 3rd. After being  passed by two drivers and dropping to 5th, he made a brilliant manoeuvre to get up into second place, and started to pull the leader in, at the same time pulling a gap from the chasing pack. After catching the leader, Tom opted to finish a safe second, to ensure a front row start in P2 for  the Final.

Tom felt the kart had good pace and after the lights changed at the start of Final 2, Tom couldn’t get the engine to start. A disaster! which was a repeat of the O Plate Final the week before. Eventually it fired up, and from 18th had a huge task, with the leaders a long way ahead. After clawing his way back to 9th, he had a big gap to close to 8th, which he did in the last couple of laps, and after the lead pack started battling,  he was  almost within reach of joining them. Just not quite close enough, but still a stunning drive from Tom.

Tom said ” It was really disappointing to have the repeat problem,which hopefully we will sort for the next race. The kart felt good and I had very good pace. I’m really looking forward to the next round in a couple of weeks.”

Despite losing valuable points in the Final, Tom lies in 3rd overall in the Championship, a fantastic start to his first season in the Minimax class.

 

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ABkC British Open Plate 2015

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Photos courtesy of  Kartpix.net

 

The Rowrah circuit in Cumbria hosted the 2015  British Open Plate at the weekend.

The weather was kind, with plenty of warm sunny conditions, but turning cloudy and a lot cooler on Sunday, for the O Plate Final.

It was P1 for Tom, in timed qualifying, with a brilliant drive, which put him Pole position for his two heats.

In heat one, Tom got off the line well, and together with his team mate pulled a gap on the field. They held the gap for a couple of laps, but after a mistake from his team mate, the pack was able to catch up. A battle then ensued between 7 drivers, and Tom was tagged from behind.This slowed him up, and caused Tom to lose momentum, and he dropped to 9th, and struggling for pace. He then fought hard  and took 8th place, and in the closing stages, got to 7th. Not having the pace to close the leaders down, Tom was caught, and finished 8th over the line.

In heat 2 After a brilliant start, Tom pulled a gap and lead the race, but was soon caught and passed, due to lack of grip. Tom dropped to 5th.  The 4th place driver and Tom, tried to catch the leaders, but couldn’t close the gap. Tom made a pass and took 4th, but was then passed again.  With 2 laps to go, he took 4th place and defended his position from a group of drivers behind him to the line.

The Pre Final started well from P2, and Tom slotted in behind the leader. He then took the lead for two laps. He was then passed and was back to second. The chasing group managed to catch and pass Tom and he was jostled back to 8th, with the leaders pulling a big gap. Tom fought back with some fast consistent lap times, and took 3 drivers on one corner, getting back up to 5th. The gap was too big to catch the top three, and he settled for 5th. Still a good result.

Tom was P5 for the O Plate Final, and as the lights changed Tom couldn’t get the engine to start. Left sitting on the grid, with the field disappearing , his engine fired up, and Tom took the chase. Some superb driving and rapid pace from Tom, saw him catch the back of the field. Throughout the 15min race, he made some brilliant overtaking manoeuvres, and climbed to 5th in the closing stages. Although one of the fastest on track, Tom ran out of time, to be able to catch 4th place, and finished a superb 5th. What a drive !!

Tom said after the race “It has been a good weekend, with some great pace. I had a couple of grip issues in the heats, but got on top of that. It’s a shame my engine wouldn’t start in the Final, but the kart felt great in the race, and I did all I could to gain as many positions as I was able to. A big thanks to RL Racing Department, especially to my mechanic Ryan this weekend. Dad had a well deserved rest.”

ABkC O Plate

 Photo by Kartpix.net

 

 

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Tom has full support from Donington Park

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Donington Park, who have been supporting Tom for a number of years, have given him a tremendous opportunity, to further his racing career. Tom will compete in the F1-backed Formula Kart Stars (FKS) series in 2015, with the support of the world  famous circuit.

Formula Kart Stars is a British based karting championship, which is supported by Bernie Ecclestone and Formula One Management (FOM). Double F1 World Champion Hamilton is a patron of the series and raced in the category on his way to F1 while Hamilton’s father Anthony, now a highly regarded driver manager, is also a keen supporter.

Tom will compete with full backing from Donington Park, which will see the circuit’s logos appear on his kart and racing overalls. Donington has supported Tom promotionally for several years, with  him also acting as the ambassador of the circuit’s ‘Little Racers’ kids club.

Donington Park Managing Director Christopher Tate said: “After recent seasons of promotional and moral support, we are now able to make a substantial contribution to Tom’s racing at this higher level in 2015. We have great respect and high hopes for Tom Wood. He is a future star.”

Tom commented: “I can’t thank Christopher Tate and the team at Donington Park enough for the terrific backing they are giving me in my kart racing, and I am very proud to be associated with such a prestigious circuit. To be able to compete in FKS will raise my profile with people who can help me to reach my ultimate goal – Formula One.”

For more information on Formula Kart Stars go to www.formulakartstars.com. For more information on events at Donington Park, visit www.donington-park.co.uk.

 

 

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TVKC Winter Series Club Minimax Vice Champion

Tom Wood

Photo courtesy of Chris Walker @.kartpix.net

 

The last round of the Trent Valley Kart Club Winter Series Championship was held  at PFI.

Sundays timed qualifying was held at a cold and windy track. Tom was P2 with one lap to go, but without other drivers near to tow up to, he was unable to improve his time and finished P5.

In the Pre Final, Tom got a bad start off the line, and on the first lap dropped to 9th. On lap 3 he climbed to 6th, putting in some very fast lap times. By lap 8 Tom was lying in 4th place, but was unable to make up further places, and he crossed the line P4.

The Final started on a wet and windy circuit. Tom got a good start, holding 4th, but after an impact from another driver was knocked wide, almost being spun. This lost him 3 positions, but a determined drive from Tom saw him climb back up to P4, but he was unable to get close enough to the leaders to make a challenge. Still a brilliant result. Tom finished the Winter Series as Minimax Vice Champion. A truly impressive start to the year.

 

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Tom wins at Rowrah

 

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Tom attended the Rowrah club meeting  in Cumbria earlier this month.

The race programme  included 3 heats and a Final.

Heat 1  After a poor start, with the driver in front not getting off the line, Tom had to drive around him, losing time on the leaders. After starting to close the gap, Tom managed to get to 4th place over the line, gaining fastest lap. Unfortunately, Tom was penalised for a false start and given a five place penalty.

Heat 2 Tom lead the race for four laps. His team mate then took the lead.  Tom made a great move on the last lap, to take a strong win, and gaining another ‘ fastest lap’.

Heat 3 Starting from P9, Tom had another strong drive, and on lap 4, he took the lead. He then lead for another 6 laps to take a brilliant win.

Starting from P2 in the Final, Tom took the lead on the first lap and pulled a gap on the rest of the field. Putting in consistently fast laps, Tom was able to keep a gap from the chasing group. He took the chequered flag to take a well deserved victory.

Tom commented after the race ” I’m really happy with the win here at Rowrah. The kart felt good and my mechanic Dad and team did a great job again.”

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