• Sam Marsh and Bobby Thompson take Formula Kart Stars Junior Max honours.• Championship still too close to call after four rounds.
There is no doubting the strength and depth of the 2012 Formula Kart Stars Junior Rotax class and whereas several recent class champions in the Formula One Management backed Championship have been runaway winners it seems certain that this year’s title battle will go right down to the wire.
Although the Ellough Park weekend only marked the second of six 2012 race weekends there was more evidence to suggest that whoever emerges with a ticket to the Autosport Awards in December, an engine from JAG and a TAG Heuer watch probably won’t be confirmed until the final weekend of the year.
Tight, twisting and technical with an abrasive track surface, Ellough Park offers a unique challenge on the FKS calendar and the host circuit pulled out all the stops with MINI Challenge team Lohen on hand to present the trophies.
Formula Kart Stars Junior Rotax Championship
Sam Marsh (RL Racing Department) sauntered to a double FKS victory at Ellough in 2011 and with his team’s intricate local knowledge he was pegged as the man to beat heading into the weekend.
Marsh did make it four consecutive FKS wins at Ellough (including his 2010 Mini Max triumph) in Saturday’s third round but his reaction as the took the chequered flag showed just how hard he had to fight.
Only ninth fastest in qualifying Marsh watched Shaun Arnold (Danny Cruttenden Motorsport) and his RL teammate Oliver Norris share the heat wins but after moving into second place behind Norris on the opening lap of the final Marsh eventually found a gap and took the lead. Norris continued to pressure Marsh right until the chequered flag fell but Marsh held on to take his second win of the season with Luke Whitworth (P1 Racing) completing the podium.
Marsh may have been able to turn a poor qualifying performance into a victory on Saturday but he couldn’t repeat that feat in Sunday’s fourth round as the day belonged to Bobby Thompson (Vital Motorsport).
With Marsh languishing in eighth place on the grid for the heats Thompson quickly dispatched pole man Oliver Myers (Coles Racing) to win the opener from Arnold with Myers third and while Myers gained a measure of revenge in heat two, re-passing Thompson with three laps remaining to take the win there was no stopping Thompson in the final.
From pole position Thompson serenely motored away from the rest as soon as the green lights flashed and didn’t put a wheel wrong thereafter to take a dominant (and popular) six second victory, the first of his FKS career.
For much of the final the fight for second place was a great spectacle but the final lap turned rather fraught for many drivers. Norris capped the best weekend of his career with another runner-up effort with FKS debutant Oliver Pidgley (P1 Racing) completing the podium.
Marsh finished a disappointed eighth but has still moved into the championship lead although Thompson is now just one point behind him.
FKS Junior Rotax Championship Round 31. Sam Marsh 2. Oliver Norris3. Luke Whitworth4. Shaun Arnold5. Bobby Thompson
FKS Junior Rotax Championship Round 41. Bobby Thompson 2. Oliver Norris3. Oliver Pidgley4. Josh White5. Matthew Arnold