Milton Keynes-based youngster takes two top-five finishes and posts a fastest lap at Whilton Mill
Samuel Oram-Jones has jumped up to fourth in the KF3 championship standings following the second round of the 2012 British Super One MSA TKM Series at Whilton Mill last weekend.
Sammy, who has graduated to KF3 this season, one of the top British and international foundation level karting categories, was right on the pace in practice at the Northamptonshire-based circuit and was bullish going into qualifying. However set-up problems held back the Milton Keynes-based youngster, although he still secured a place in the top-ten, ending up ninth out of the 25 competitors, thanks to a 44.25 second lap.
In the heats, Sammy was back on it, and he set the fastest lap in heat 1 in his Millennium Motorsport-run kart, eventually finishing fifth, despite getting hit at the start by one of his rivals. The 14-year-old had another difficult start in heat 2 as well, and was pushed right to the back. However he recovered well and stormed back to claim 13th.
“We were very quick in practice,” Sammy said. “Then in qualifying we didn’t get the set-up quite right. That was a shame but we got it sorted afterwards for the heats.
“In the first heat I got hit at the start and then had a crash. I still got fifth though, and was quickest on track. I think I could definitely have been in the top-three, but for the start. The second heat was also tough. I had a crash and we had a problem with the kart because of that. It was quite hard as a result, although to come back and finish 13th was encouraging.”
The results in the finals mirrored those of the heats, although this time he started with a 13th in final 1, before ending the weekend with another strong fifth place finish in final 2. The latter result was especially impressive, given he had to drive most of it with a broken steering column.
“I had a problem in the second heat because the bolt holding the steering wheel on snapped and the only thing keeping it in place was a piece of tape,” Sammy explained. “When I turned there was a massive delay and I could only turn very sharply. I lost a lot of time because of that and so to still finish in the top-five was pleasing.
“As for the first final, I made a good start, but in the second corner one of my team-mates hit a kart ahead, which in turn spun in front of me. I had nowhere to go and lost a lot of places.
“In general however, I think the weekend went pretty well. We scored good championship points and I think I can still do very well in Super One this year. Millennium is doing a really great job with the equipment and I can’t wait for the next event.”
Sammy will now continue his campaign in the 2012 British Super One MSA TKM Series at the end of June, when the championship heads to Larkhill in Scotland (June 29-July 1). Before that though, he will take in the third and penultimate round in the 2012 WSK Euro Series, racing at La Conca in Italy the weekend prior, June 23-24.
“We may have a bit of a break now in terms of racing,” Sammy continued, “but we will still be busy and we have quite a bit of testing planned before La Conca. I have not been to that track before, so it will be quite a hard weekend, although we will have two days testing before to get use to it. We will be aiming for a top five in both finals there.”
Sammy’s father and manager, Emil, meanwhile is happy with the way his son is progressing in his debut year in KF3.
“Sammy was fast all weekend at Whilton Mill and all-in-all it was pretty encouraging,” Emil added. “There was disappointment in one of the heats and in the first final, but he made significant recoveries in both, and in the second final I think if it wasn’t for the broken steering column, we would have been right up there fighting for a podium.
“We have to remember this is our first year in KF3 and having arrived in ninth place in the Super One championship, we leave in fourth, so we are quite happy about that. Now we are going to focus on some testing at PF International and we have a test in Scotland from May 25-27, as well as an official test in Italy from June 2-3 for the Under 18s. We want to keep moving forwards and keep progressing.”