• Strong Junior Rotax field lives up to expectations in first two rounds last weekend• Sam Marsh starts year on top but debut win leaves Shaun Arnold smiling on Sunday.
The 2012 Formula Kart Stars Junior Rotax class is arguably the strongest line up of talent seen in the seriessince Formula One Management Ltd, Bernie Ecclestone and Lewis Hamilton began supporting thechampionship in 2009 and it became abundantly clear in the very first qualifying session of the season atKimbolton that whoever emerges with a ticket to the Autosport Awards in December, an engine from JAGand a TAG Heuer watch will certainly have earned it.
Twenty three drivers, including no less than half of last years top ten drivers, lined up at the home of theHunts Kart Club for rounds one and two of the 2012 season with many drivers continuing to compliment theAlfano Alspy data logging system used on all karts as well as the much improved paddock facilities at thevenerable 1000metre circuit.
Formula Kart Stars Junior Rotax ChampionshipAfter his perfect performance in the final two rounds of the 2011 season, number two seed Sam Marsh (RLRacing Department) picked up where he left off on a cold but dry Saturday, winning the opening round of theseason with room to spare after fighting his way past Oliver Myers (Coles Racing) in the final.Earlier Marsh had fought back from a number of problems in the first corner of the heats where his status asfastest man in timed qualifying seemed to make his kart a target for those behind. After fighting back toseventh in the opening race Marsh won heat two despite twice being the victim of some robust tactics in thechaotic opening metres of each race.
With Marsh sauntering off to win by three seconds the real excitement was for second place, which fell toheat one winner Myers but only after a titanic struggle with Luke Whitworth (P1 Racing) who completed thepodium mere inches ahead of a train of eight karts including reigning FKS Mini Max Champion Josh White(RL Racing Department).
In greasy conditions the start of Sunday’s final saw the majority of the field come to grief. Poleman and heatone winner Bobby Thompson (Vital Motorsport) emerged from the first turn in front as fellow front row starterand heat two winner Steven Handford (Coles Racing) came to grief.
But Thompson was no match for Shaun Arnold (Danny Cruttenden Motorsport), who deftly avoided the firstcorner carnage, reeled in the leader before making his move and then driving off into the distance to recordhis maiden FKS triumph by more than four seconds.
Thompson equalled his best ever FKS finish in second place but was later docked three seconds for cuttingthe first corner, demoting him to third behind early season points leader Myers. Saturday winner Marsh onceagain found himself on the receiving end of first corner contact and could recover only as far as 11th.
ResultsFKS Junior Rotax Championship Round 11. Sam Marsh2. Oliver Myers3. Luke Whitworth4. Shaun Arnold5. Josh White
FKS Junior Rotax Championship Round 21. Shaun Arnold2. Oliver Myers3. Bobby Thompson4. Jake Walker5. William Fletcher