• Sam Ward wins both FKS Senior Rotax Challenge events at Ellough Park.• Charlie Turner and Ryan Norris race their way into the Lohen scholarship shootout.
Exam commitments may have taken their toll on the Formula Kart Stars Senior Rotax entry for the third and fourth Challenge events of the 2012 season at Ellough Park but the quality more than made up for the lack of quantity as the oldest drivers in the Formula One Management Ltd backed Championship put on two days of close, hard fought and clean racing for a very appreciative crowd.
Forced to make a single set of slick tyres last the whole weekend around Ellough’s sinuous, technical and above all, hard wearing track layout the Senior Max drivers had to drive with one eye on the competition and another on the state of their tyres.
Clearly the combination of the Alfano Alspy data logging system and the live TAG Heuer timing and scoring system has helped create a very level playing field and with the Lohen Ltd MINI Challenge FKS Senior Max scholarship shootout team looking on intently, they will surely have been impressed.
Formula Kart Stars Senior Rotax Challenges
Kimbolton Challenge winners Sam Ward (Coles Racing) and Josh Collings (CRG UK) both had to play second fiddle to Charlie Turner (Coles Racing) and Ryan Norris (TMR Development) in Saturday’s timed qualifying session while Turner went on to take his first win of the year in heat one, beating Ethan Patterson (Vital Motorsport) to the line by one second with Norris retiring with a snapped chain.
Norris made amends in heat two, winning comfortably from Turner and Lincoln Newby (Independent) but in the final it was Ward who forged his way to the front from seventh on the grid, his tyres slightly fresher than everyone else’s after a heat two DNF.
Leading comfortably at one point Ward was gradually reeled in by a charging Norris and Turner but some stout defence over the final few laps saw him hold on by four tenths for his second Challenge win of the year. Turner grabbed second from Norris in the closing moments and earned himself a place on the Lohen Scholarship shootout in the process while the top seven finishers were separated by less than three seconds after 22 hard laps.
Ward inherited pole position in Sunday’s timed qualifying session after original pole sitter Norris fell foul off the tyre rotation rule and was relegated to the back of the grid for the two heats and he took full advantage of his ascension to pole to lead heat one from start to finish, successfully rebuking a sustained challenge from AIM Motorsport teammates Callum Pointon and Jordan Lewis.
Norris threw caution to the wind in heat two, taking advantage of a collision between Ward and Collings to snatch the lead from Pointon and record a remarkable last to first victory, one which helped put him on the outside of the front row of the grid for the final.
Pole sitter Pointon led the field to the start of Sunday’s Challenge final but from third on the grid Ward took less than a lap to take the lead as Norris lost ground. By the time Norris scrabbled past Pointon Ward was four seconds in front and despite putting in a series of stunningly fast laps he couldn’t completely close the gap to the leader and Ward earned his third FKS Challenge win in four attempts by a fraction over one second.
FKS Senior Rotax Challenge 31. Sam Ward 2. Charlie Turner3. Ryan Norris4. Josh Collings5. Jordan Lewis
FKS Senior Rotax Challenge 41. Sam Ward 2. Ryan Norris3. Callum Pointon4. Josh Collings5. Charlie Turner