By Karting1 ~ July 10th, 2012. Filed under: Announcements.
- Sandy Mitchell sweeps the board at Larkhall.
- Whole field impresses in tough conditions.
Having established themselves as extremely worthy additions to the Formula Kart Stars paddock the Cadet Honda drivers moved across the border to Scotland for the fifth and sixth Challenge events of 2012, set to take place at the short but extremely quick 852-metre Larkhall circuit in Lanarkshire.
With TV crews from Sky Sports following some of the youngest competitors in the Formula One Management backed Championship on Saturday for a series of vignettes set to air on Sky Sports News on the weekend of the British Grand Prix, the four stroke racers showed no signs of nerves as once again they drew praise from the entire paddock for their driving in some truly horrendous weather conditions.
Perhaps inspired by the Scottish bagpiper who led the drivers out onto the track, FKS debutant Sandy Mitchell (Project One) emerged on the top step of the podium in both finals although his path to victory was far from simple.
Formula Kart Stars Cadet Honda Challenges
Foreboding clouds gave an indication of the type of weather that was to come as the Cadet Honda field headed out for timed qualifying on Saturday although the track remained dry for both subsequent heats and it was Mitchell who led qualifying until falling foul of the track limits rule and had his times annulled, promoting Challenge Four winner Danny Harrison (Chris Rogers Motorsport) and FKS returnee Ewan Bennett (Project One) onto the front row.
However it was Chris Lulham (Ambition Motorsport) who won two highly competitive heat races, edging out Harrison and a charging Mitchell in heat one and Mitchell and Yukinori Ishii (Mechtech Motorsport) in heat two to take pole position for the final. Mitchell would start alongside Lulham on the front row with Connor McCarthy (Project One) an impressive third ahead of Harrison.
The skies were still dark as the drivers headed out for the final on slick tyres and Mitchell swiftly moved into a narrow lead over the chasing pack. But as the leaders completed lap two the heavens opened and within a minute the track was drenched. Showing maturity way beyond their years the whole field coped admirably with the conditions with Mitchell opening up a sizable lead before the officials stopped the race, leaving Lulham and eight year-old Jean Sammut (Ambition Motorsport) completing the podium.
Sunday’s qualifying session and opening heat were held in dry conditions before the rains returned again for heat two and the final. Lulham and Ishii set the same time in qualifying with Lulham getting pole position by virtue of having a slightly quicker second fastest lap and the pole sitter proceeded to dominate the first heat with Mitchell and Harrison more than four seconds behind at the chequered flag.
Conditions had deteriorated for heat two and once again it was Mitchell who shone through the gloom as he won by nearly six seconds from Lulham and noted wet weather expert Ishii but Lulham’s heat one victory was enough to give him the nod for pole position for the final.
Sadly for Lulham though he wouldn’t get a chance to take the start for the final as both he and his teammate Sammut missed the closing time for parc ferme and weren’t permitted to start the race, leaving Mitchell and Ishii on the front row. With the track still wet Mitchell exploited his local knowledge perfectly to lead from start to finish and complete the weekend double by an astonishing 17-seconds. Ishii and Harrison enjoyed a spirited dice for second place, which went to Ishii with everyone else more than half a minute behind the flying Scotsman.
FKS Cadet Honda Challenge 5
1. Sandy Mitchell
2. Chris Lulham
3. Jean Sammut
4. Yukinori Ishii
5. Danny Harrison
FKS Cadet Honda Challenge 6
1. Sandy Mitchell
2. Yukinori Ishii
3. Danny Harrison
4. Wesley Mason
5. Ronan Graves
- Scotsman Dean Macdonald doubles up to take MSA Cadet points lead.
- Sky Sports News cameras to showcase MSA Cadet contenders.
The 2012 Formula Kart Stars MSA British Cadet Championship reached the half way point of its 2012 season with a first visit to the Summerlee Raceway at Larkhall in five years and while the fast and flowing Scottish circuit may have been new to some of the 34 contenders, it was a driver with extensive experience of the 852-metre venue who walked away with all the silverware.
An incredibly warm welcome from the host club, which included a traditional Scottish Bagpiper to walk the drivers out onto the grid, was sadly not matched by the weather as rain became a more prominent factor as the two-day meeting wore on.
Looking to follow in the footsteps of former FKS Cadet Champions and current Formula One drivers Lewis Hamilton and Paul Di Resta, the MSA Cadet contenders were also being followed by a camera crew from Sky Sports, who filmed Saturday’s fifth round for a series of upcoming vignettes set to air on Sky Sports News over the British Grand Prix weekend.
MSA British Cadet Championship
Scotsman Dean Macdonald (Shox Performance) arrived at his home circuit sitting three points behind championship leader Enaam Ahmed (Fusion Motorsport) but thanks to a perfect weekend in which he won both his heats and the final on Saturday and Sunday he left Larkhall on Sunday night with an 18-point lead over his nearest rival.
Macdonald took pole position for Saturday’s fifth round and led almost every lap of both his heat races with only Zak Fulk (Eclipse Motorsport) able to stay within striking distance as he raced to a pair of runner up finishes. Ahmed edged out Macdonald’s fellow Scot Ross Martin (Wright) to win the third heat (which didn’t contain Macdonald) to minimise the damage to his points lead but he couldn’t prevent Macdonald from sealing pole position for the final.
With rain pelting the track Macdonald led the way with Fulk once again shadowing his every move and after a few exchanges Macdonald was able to stay ahead throughout the lap that mattered most to take the chequered flag by a mere 0.03-seconds.
The wet weather arrived earlier in the day for Sunday’s sixth round with only qualifying and heat one escaping the wet stuff. Macdonald took pole again and beat Ahmed in his first heat and Sam Faulkner (Zip Young Guns) in his second race. Sandwiched between those two results was a maiden win for FKS rookie Jamie Sharp (SAS Motorsport) who was the only driver to gamble on wets just as the rain arrived at the start of heat two.
Macdonald was imperious in the final, leading all 19-laps to win by almost seven seconds and complete a total weekend clean sweep, much to the delight of a sizeable group of his supporters. The scrap for second place wasn’t decided until the last couple of metres as Josh Smith (Fusion Motorsport) out-dragged Cameron Roberts (Eclipse Motorsport) coming out of the last corner to snatch the place.
MSA British Cadet Championship Round 5
1. Dean Macdonald
2. Zak Fulk
3. Josh Smith
4. Cameron Roberts
5. Ross Martin
MSA British Cadet Championship Round 6
1. Dean Macdonald
2. Josh Smith
3. Cameron Roberts
4. Enaam Ahmed
5. Max Bird