Just a few short weeks after CRG driver James Singleton stamped his authority on the ABkC Senior Rotax Winter Series at Paul Fletcher International CRG UK driver Josh Collings and Coles Racing’s Charlie Turner ensured that the CRG name stayed on top of the podium with a pair of stunning victories with Formula Kart Stars and the Dragon Kart Club respectively.
The familiar black, silver and orange CRG livery has been a constant fixture on the top step of karting podiums all across the UK in 2012 and that trend continued at the opening weekend of the inaugural 2012 Formula Kart Stars Senior Rotax Challenge at Kimbolton and then at the major pre Super One Dragon Kart Club meeting at Glan Y Gors.
CRG UK driver Collings showed the wet weather prowess of the 2012 CRG Senior Rotax chassis in the second FKS Challenge event at Kimbolton, winning the final in emphatic style despite having to start the heats from the back of the grid.
“I thought we had the pace to win as the kart was fantastic in the wet,” commented the young Welshman, who was making his Formula Kart Stars debut. “When the track was at its wettest I was really pleased with the grip in the kart.”
After missing the majority of timed qualifying Collings was faced with starting at the back of the grid for the two heats but his pace in the greasy conditions was clear for all to see as he charged through the field to earn finishes of sixth and fourth and set himself up with a starting spot on the outside of the second row of the grid for the 15-minute final.
Some diligent set-up work from Daryl Henderson and wise words from coach Jason Parrott saw Josh head into the final with a kart that he knew would last the distance and a trick up his sleeve that would prove decisive in his quest for victory.
“When I was walking the track with Jason [Parrott] on Sunday morning we noticed that there was a lot of grip on the inside of the first turn in the wet,” recounted Josh with a smile afterwards. “So I started experimenting with that line in heat two and it worked even though it isn’t the usual wet racing line around that corner. I found that as long as I could get alongside the driver in front coming out of turn one I had the inside line going into turn two.”
Josh made a steady start to the final and carefully avoided the usual turn one shenanigans before setting about picking off his rivals one by one with his unique turn one line. Saturday Challenge winner Sam Ward was the first to fall victim to the flying Welshman before he set his sights on fellow CRG pilot Singleton, who had been in sensational form all weekend.
However not even the reigning FKS Junior Rotax Champion could hold off Collings On this occasion and on lap eight of 16 Collings was through and into a lead he would hold until the chequered flag flew.
“I passed Sam [Ward] and tried to pull away as the kart was still coming on,” added Josh,” who confirmed his win with the fastest lap of the race. “I got my head down, concentrated and made sure I didn’t make any mistakes and I was able to catch and pass James [Singleton] as well. It feels really good to win although I was getting a bit nervous towards the end. The CRG was fantastic and I am very happy.”
Coles Racing driver Singleton could easily have made it a weekend double for CRG had it not been for an unfortunate incident at the start of Saturday’s dry final that left him running in 16th place at the end of the opening lap. Having set pole position in timed qualifying and taking a lights to flag victory in the second heat Singleton charged through the field to finish in second place, setting fastest lap en route to a well deserved podium.