Dean Macdonald (Shox Performance) became the final driver to win the MSA British Cadet Championship using the venerable Comer engine as the curtain came down on the 2012 Formula Kart Stars season at a sun blessed Whilton Mill circuit near Daventry.
On an emotional weekend where the Formula One Management backed Championship pulled out all the stops with a fantastic array of displays, activities and special guests it was Macdonald who was the real star as he became the first Scottish born driver to win the MSA Cadet title since Paul Di Resta in 1997.
Macdonald can now carry the coveted 1 Plate for the remainder of the 2012 season and into 2013 should he stay in Cadet and in addition to the famous FKS Steering Wheel trophy, he also gets a ticket to the annual Autosport Awards in December, the MSA Night of Champions in January as well as a coveted TAG Heuer watch.
MSA British Cadet Championship
Macdonald arrived at Whilton Mill with a 40 point advantage over Enaam Ahmed and Josh Smith (both Fusion Motorsport) and although he knew he could wrap up the title on Saturday, nothing was guaranteed.
The size of Macdonald’s task became apparent in timed qualifying when Fusion drivers annexed the top five places on the grid, led by Alex Quinn and Oliver York with Ahmed, Tom Wood and Smith next in line and Macdonald only tenth and the pressure only increased in the first heat when some tactical gamesmanship from Macdonald’s rivals saw the pint-sized Scot drop to 22nd place at mid distance.
As Smith narrowly beat Ahmed, Wood and Tom Gamble (Eclipse Motorsport) to the chequered flag MacDonald staged a stunning late fightback to gain nine places on the final lap and come home in 10th and there was nearly a similar disaster for Macdonald in heat two when he caught the rear bumper of another kart and briefly took to the grass coming out of the tricky downhill off-camber Ashby corner.
However Macdonald muscled his way into the lead and watched as Smith and Ahmed struggled home 8th and 18th respectively as he took the chequered flag first ahead of Cameron Roberts (Eclipse Motorsport) and Sam Faulkner (BKC Racing) to put himself back into a position where he could win the title in the final.
Starting in third, directly behind poleman Smith on the grid Macdonald once again had to counteract some tactical driving from his rivals, briefly dropping as low as 8th before fighting back to take 2nd on the final lap. As Smith led the field home to record his second win of the year Macdonald defended solidly on the last lap to cross the finish line and earn enough points to seal the title with one round to spare.
With the title secured Macdonald watched Sunday’s racing from the sidelines but there was still all to play for between Ahmed and Smith for second place overall.
Ahmed began the day with a slender advantage but Smith secured pole position and then won the opening heat race with York acting as rear gunner and Ahmed only third. Ahmed regained those lost points in heat two, despite being passed on the last lap for the win by Zak Fulk (Eclipse Motorsport), leaving it all to play for in the last race of the year.
Five drivers broke away in the final; Smith, Ahmed, York, Quinn and Fulk as the only non Fusion interloper and Smith retained a chance of second place overall until half a lap to go when he rode over the rear bumper of York’s kart, giving Ahmed the lead from Fulk. However Fulk was saving his best till last and dived to Ahmed’s inside with two corners to go to claim his first victory and send the Comer era out in style. Ahmed took second in the race and second in the title chase with York and Quinn next and Smith only seventh.