Josh White crowned Champion at Ellough Park

West Yorkshire-based teenager wins the 2011 Lewis Hamilton and Bernie Ecclestone Formula One Management-backed Formula Kart Stars (FKS) series MiniMax class

Josh White successfully secured the 2011 British Formula Kart Stars (FKS) series MiniMax title during rounds eleven and twelve at Ellough Park in Suffolk last weekend.

Josh, who went into the final FKS meeting of the year, with a very comfortable 64-point cushion in the MiniMax class for 11-16 year-olds, began by topping the times in first official practice on the Saturday.

The West Yorkshire lad then set the pace again in qualifying, his pole position lap, a 44.70 seconds - which turned out to be the quickest MiniMax class time of the entire weekend.

The 15-year-old continued to dominate in the heats too, leading both from start-to-finish in his RL Racing Department Ltd-run kart. Those results were enough to clinch the championship and subsequently the team decided not to take part in any of the following races, this decision was taken reluctantly, as had Josh picked up an exclusion in one of them it could have handed his title rival a lifeline, as while competitors can drop their four worst heats and two worst finals, they cannot drop any exclusions.

The next day though, Josh still got to do a lap of honour, ahead of the round twelfth final of the Lewis Hamilton and Bernie Ecclestone Formula One Management-backed series, where he sported the coveted #1 on his kart.

“That was great to do,” Josh said. “Before the weekend I had a few nerves, but to be honest I was more excited than anything. I was just thinking I have got to be as fast as I can. I pushed to the limit throughout and it was good to be fastest through just about all of the sessions I competed in.

“After the second heat though we had won the championship and so we had to play it safe. That is why we sat out all the rest of the races. It would have been nice to have done them, but it was just too risky.

“If I had been disqualified from one of those for any reason it could have proved very costly.”

In the end, Josh concluded the 2011 FKS season with 1845 points on the board - 45 more than his closest rival: “At the start of the year I was aiming for a top-three placing in the championship,” Josh continued, “so to win the title is great. It has been a very good season for me and we have picked up quite a few wins - including doing the double at Wigan. I’d like to thank RL Racing Department Ltd - and my dad for taking me everywhere. It is a really fantastic feeling to be the 2011 FKS MiniMax Champion.”

Josh will now conclude his year by racing in the inaugural PF Continental Cup this coming weekend (October 1-2), where he is hoping to be able to run with the #1. He then heads to Three Sisters in Wigan two weeks later (October 15-16) for the seventh and final round in this year’s British Super One Rotax Series. Josh is currently third in the Super One MiniMax standings - 31 points behind the leader - and he is eager to conclude that series on a high.

“It will be fun to go to PF and try out the new track there. Hopefully we can win that race as well,” Josh stated. “We also have Three Sisters to look forward to. I love that circuit. It is very fast and flowing and we have had great pace there this year. I haven’t been beaten there for quite a few races and so feel very confident.”

RL Racing Department Ltd team owner Steve Armstrong meanwhile believes Josh is a very deserving champion.

 “It has been a very good year for Josh,” Steve said. “We are all very pleased. He has been very, very dominant in FKS against some strong competition and he is a worthy winner. He has won a lot of races and he has also done a few doubles too.

“I made the decision not to race after the second heat on Saturday. Josh would have liked to have carried on. However if you race once you have won the title, with the way the rules are, it is a risk. We have all worked really hard this year to win the championship and it just wasn’t a risk I was willing to take.

“Josh still showed his class in the races he did take in. He poled it on Saturday in qualifying and comfortably won both heats.

“Now we will take in the inaugural PF Continental Cup and Josh can just go for it there.

“We also have the final round of Super One next month too. It is a little more difficult for Josh to win the Super One title. But we are good at Wigan and will just go there and give it our best shot.”

“It was quite nerve racking coming to Ellough Park,” added Josh’s father, Nick. “Last year Josh found it quite hard and so even though we had a 64-point lead the pressure was on.

 “He was almost unbeatable though - and would have been had we carried on after the second heat on the Saturday. It was a bit unfortunate we couldn’t do the other races, but in the end we had to do the safest thing.

“I want to thank Steve, James [Fugett] and all at RL Racing Department for the fantastic job they have done this year.

“It has been a real team effort and without them I don’t think Josh would be where he is.”

Anybody that would like to help Josh further his success in 2012 should contact Nick on +44 (0)7973 159334.