* British Cadet glory beckons for Cumbrian racer.
* Motorsport News names youngster as ‘One To Watch.’
Arnside based kart racer Josh Smith is targeting double championship glory in 2012 as he continues his rapid rise up the British karting ranks.
The 12 year-old starlet enters the new karting season as one of the favourites in the ABkC Super One Championship and the Formula Kart Stars MSA British Cadet Championship after a breakout year in 2011 that saw the Dallam High School pupil achieve top ten finishes in both series.
Josh’s performances on the ultra competitive Cadet scene over the past twelve months have also gained him recognition from leading British Motoring Newspaper ‘Motorsport News,’ which named Smith as Number 28 on their annual ‘50 Drivers to Watch’ in 2012.
“I’m pretty amazed, I never expected it,” stated a beaming Josh of his place on the ‘Ones to Watch’ list. “It’s astonishing really and I’m very proud.”
After finishing sixth in last year’s Super One Championship and ninth in the Formula One Management backed FKS MSA British Cadet Championship, the same championship that helped launch the careers of current Formula One stars Lewis Hamilton and Paul Di Resta, Josh knows that the new season presents a fantastic opportunity to join some of his heroes on the MSA roll of honour.
“My goal for this year is to win both Super One and Formula Kart Stars titles and to keep my momentum from last year going,” added Smith, who is now in his final year as a Cadet as he will celebrate his 13th birthday in April. “The whole year was a massive confidence booster as I was racing against the best all year and it was really good to get a couple of wins and get into the top ten in both series.”
Having secured his first heat victories in the MSA Championship last year Josh has so far made good on his promise to continue building on the momentum that he and his Fusion Motorsport team gathered last year by taking a dominant victory in the opening round of the ABkC Winter Series at Glan Y Gors in North Wales recently.
Facing some tough competition from many drivers expected to challenge for British Championship honours in 2012 Smith emerged victorious by just nine hundredths of a second a typically fraught final at the picturesque Glan Y Gors circuit situated in the foothills of the Snowdonia National Park.
“It was great to get my first major final win under my belt and I’m sure more will follow,” continued Smith, who was named as the Cadet ‘Rookie of the Year’ in last year’s Super One Championship. “I’ve got a bit more knowledge than some of the other drivers I’ll be racing against now and when it comes to racecraft I’ve got a few more tricks up my sleeve than they do.”
In a sport where races are often decided by tenths and hundredths of a second Josh remains unfazed despite the intense competition and the fact that he is one of the highest ranked Cadet’s returning from 2011.
“It doesn’t add any pressure you’ve just got to act like you are one of the top drivers and you have to set an example and be the best driver,” concluded Josh. “I’ve got to give 110 per cent all the way.”
Josh’s preparations for the 2012 season continue with the second round of the ABkC Winter Series at the Paul Fletcher International Circuit in Lincolnshire.