• Formula Kart Stars Senior Rotax Challenges begin in style.• Sam Ward and Josh Collings lead the way.
Traditionally a proving ground for Junior drivers, the Formula One Management backed Formula Kart StarsChampionship opened its doors to Senior Rotax drivers for the first time since its formation in 1996, the same year a certain Lewis Hamilton made his name in the series’ Cadet ranks, and 16 drivers answered thecall to participate in the first two Challenge events at Kimbolton over the Easter Weekend.
A pleasing mix of Junior graduates, returning FKS ‘Old Boys’ and complete Championship rookiescomprised an exciting grid and with MINI Challenge team Lohen Ltd offering an exclusive Senior Maxscholarship at the end of the year as well as the incredible offer to race in the Bahamas Speed WeekRevival in December on everyone’s mind, there was a real air of excitement as the Seniors lined up for thefirst time.
One other thing in the air on Sunday at least was rain, which added an extra dimension to an alreadychallenging weekend and after one day of dry racing and another of mainly wet racing it was clear that theinaugural FKS Senior Max class had real strength in depth.
Formula Kart Stars Senior Rotax ChallengesReigning FKS Junior Max Champion James Singleton (Coles Racing) signalled his statement of intent onSaturday morning with pole position in timed qualifying but as his kart stuttered at the start of the openingheat it was left to his Coles Racing teammates Sam Ward and Charlie Turner to lead the way home.Singleton gained redemption in heat two win a confident win but starting alongside Ward on the outside ofthe front row of the grid for the final was always going to be tricky and when several karts collided Singletonemerged last of all. Leading the way initially was Dan Stocks (Cook Motorsport) but he was eventuallypassed by Ward and tumbled down the order. Ward went on to win on his first foray into FKS since his daysas a Cadet with Singleton staging a fine recovery to second. Andrew Rees Reynolds (Adrenalin Racing)secured what he described as the best result of his career with third.
The 1000-meetre Kimbolton track, complete with revamped paddock area, was a far different proposition onSunday with showers peppering the circuit throughout the day making choosing the right tyre a majordifficulty.
Mastering the conditions best of all was Josh Collings (CRG UK) who recovered from a technical problem inqualifying that left him last on the grids for the heats to score a decisive victory thanks in no small part to anextremely effective line through the greasy first corner.
Saturday winner Ward was the last driver to fall victim to Collings and he bravely gave chase but fell 1.3-seconds short with Ryan Norris (TMR Developments) completing the podium. Poleman and double heatwinner Singleton finished fourth with Colombian driver Nicolas Morales (Vital Motorsport) ending his firstnational level race in the UK with a deserved top ten result.
ResultsFKS Senior Rotax Challenge 11. Sam Ward2. James Singleton3. Andrew Rees Reynolds4. Charlie Turner5. Ethan Patterson
FKS Senior Rotax Challenge 21. Josh Collings2. Sam Ward3. Ryan Norris4. James Singleton5. Lincoln Newby