• Lando Norris takes long awaited maiden FKS triumph in season opener.• Inem Coker stuns karting world on dramatic Easter Sunday.
The 2012 Formula Kart Stars Rotax Mini Max season opening weekend couldn’t have been much moredramatic if it tried as Kimbolton hosted rounds one and two of the Formula One Management backedchampionship.
On the same weekend that former FKS Mini Max Champion George Russell was nominated as Britain’srepresentative in the 2012 CIK-FIA Academy Championship, 16 young contenders began their collective bidto join Russell on the role of FKS Mini Max Champions and get their hands on one of TAG Heuer’s exclusiveprize watches.
Whilst Saturday’s opening round played out under cool but dry skies at a much modernised Kimbolton,Sunday’s second round couldn’t have been trickier for both drivers and mechanics as intermittent showersmade tyre choice a massive headache and led to one of the biggest upsets in the 17-year history of theChampionship
Formula Kart Stars Rotax Mini Max ChampionshipWith an exciting mix of returning drivers, graduating Cadets and fresh faces more than compensating for theslight drop in numbers compared to previous years the opening round saw Lando Norris (RL RacingDepartment) score his maiden FKS triumph after numerous close calls during his time in the MSA BritishCadet Championship.
Starting from the outside of the front row heat one winner Norris pulled off an audacious outside passingmove on poleman Philip Rawson (AIM Motorsport) going into Stow Corner on the first lap and was neverheaded, leaving the rest to fight over the minor placings. Rawson eventually held off qualifying pacesetterConnor Mills (Chris Rogers Motorsport) and Harry Williams (Coles Racing) for second place while heat twowinner Jack McCarthy (Project One) suffered a spin and finished 15th.
The weather turned Easter Sunday into a lottery but when the chequered flag finally fell the driver holdingthe winning ticket was Inem Coker (Campfield Racing) who not only claimed victory on his FKS debut butalso scored his first victory of any kind in MSA racing following an inspired tyre gamble by team boss MarcCampfield.
Plagued with engine troubles on Saturday that prevented him from finishing a single race, Coker was one ofonly two drivers to start the final on wet tyres and while the rain stayed away for the entire final, the tracknever warmed up enough to allow his slick shod rivals to take advantage.
At one point Coker held an eleven second lead and while heat two winner Mills and Norris, who took poleposition for the heats and won the opening race, were catching him by the end, Coker held his nerve andtook the chequered flag to universal applause with five seconds to spare.
Despite being caught up in a crash at the start Norris could console himself with a slender championshiplead over Mills with ten rounds remaining
ResultsFKS Rotax Mini Max Championship Round 11. Lando Norris2. Philip Rawson3. Connor Mills4. Harry Williams5. Ryan Anderton
FKS Rotax Mini Max Championship Round 21. Inem Coker2. Connor Mills3. Lando Norris4. Stef Charalambous5. Harry Williams