Jay Goodwin has his sights firmly set on a strong end to his Formula Kart Stars (FKS) campaign, after notching up his third podium finish on his best weekend of the season to-date on ‘home’ turf at Three Sisters near Wigan, with a determined and gutsy performance that proved he is every bit able to match the very best drivers in the country.
A self-confessed fan of the ultra-quick Lancashire circuit, local lad Jay was disappointed to qualify just 13th out of the 24 Mini Max class competitors on the opening day in the same series as had first set a certain Lewis Hamilton on-track for future F1 superstardom, and one that now boasts the prestigious official backing of both the sport’s youngest-ever world champion and also its influential ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone.
Frustrated by traffic he might have been, but the highly-rated young Sale-based speed demon also knew that his lap time was unrepresentative of his true potential and that he had more pace than he had been able to show – as battling fourth and eighth-place finishes in his two heat races went to demonstrate, earning him a very respectable starting spot of P4 for the all-important final.
“It’s a really fast track where you’re on-the-edge all the time,” he enthused, “and if you have an accident there, it’s going to be a big one! I’m usually quick at Three Sisters, because I’m a bit ballsy and I don’t get scared.
“I’ve not raced there much this year, but I was quite confident going into the meeting and I knew I was capable of fighting inside the top five or ten. The competition was as tough as it always is in FKS – I’d say it was one of the most difficult weekends I’ve had, to be honest – and I had to try even harder because of my weight, which is a disadvantage at Wigan because you have to keep your momentum up all the way around the lap.
“I made a good start in Saturday’s final up to second, and then pushed along with the others to try to catch the leader. There were about 11 of us battling and I stayed with the front bunch, and as we went onto the last lap I was fifth; I passed one driver into the last corner, and then the two leaders came together. One of them went off, which gained me another position and I ended up third – I was really happy with that.”
Less than four tenths of a second adrift of the winner at the chequered flag and with a fastest lap time a scant 0.15s off the best of the race, Jay’s reward was a deserved one for having intelligently played a waiting game until the field began to sort itself out. Better yet, with only one driver ahead of him in the points standings finishing ahead of him on the track, the Ashton-upon-Mersey hotshot’s third rostrum of 2010 gave him a significant boost in the championship, too.
If Saturday had been a dogfight, though, Sunday would be even more so. Qualifying this time around was at least more reflective of Jay’s real form, as he lined up in seventh spot, barely two tenths adrift of pole position in an ultra-close field – setting him up well for his first heat race.
“I made up a couple of places at the start into fifth, and then I kept just pushing and pushing and pushing until I was third, behind Ryan Norris and Bobby Thompson,” recalled the North Cestrian Grammar School pupil. “Coming onto the last lap we had a big gap behind, and when they both went dead tight into one of the left-handers ahead of me, I went out wide and was able to get the switchback on both of them on the exit, but I then got edged slightly onto the kerb and Ryan got back past me again so I had to settle for second. I was quite pleased with that, though, and I had good pace again which was encouraging.”
A mere five hundredths shy of victory this time, P2 was good enough, although in his second heat Jay would unfortunately pay the price for having pushed so hard earlier on and the previous day, as the tyres on his Evolution Racing mount started to fade quite badly, causing him to rely on rivals to work with him to stay up at the sharp end of proceedings. All-told, seventh was far from a disaster.
The final would, however, transpire to be more of the same, with Jay forcefully snatching second place early on from third on the grid, before finding himself tagged from behind and performing a superb catch to save himself from spearing off into the circuit barriers.
Lacking the ultimate pace to challenge for the top spot in the light of his tyre woes, in an incredible multi-kart scrap, the 13-year-old fell as low as tenth at one stage before pulling off a superb pass around the outside of two of his adversaries into the same corner to regain ground.
He even got edged over the kerb and sent bouncing across the grass during the course of a particularly wild last lap, but bravely kept his foot in and held on to claim eighth at the close – less than two-and-a-half seconds behind the winner in a race that could have gone any which way, with the 13 contenders in the lead pack all blanketed by under four seconds at the flag.
Pleased with P8 in the circumstances – especially given that on the two other occasions that he had achieved a podium in 2010, he had failed to finish the weekend’s second final – Jay left again with a very healthy points haul indeed and having re-appraised his objective for the season-closer at Ellough Park Raceway in Suffolk in mid-October, with the runner-up laurels now feasibly within reach. It may be a tall order, but the Matrix-backed ace is palpably revved up to give it a damn good shot.
“I’m going to go there and just give it everything I’ve got, really try my hardest,” he asserted. “Hopefully we can end the season on a high.”
To keep up-to-date with all of Jay’s latest career news and results, please visit: http://www.jaygoodwinracing.co.uk/
Note: These articles are written and supplied by you the competitors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Championship
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