Oliver Myers maintained his position at the head of the Formula Kart Stars’ Junior Rotax class with a fine win at the picturesque Glan-y-Gors circuit in North Wales.Returning to Stars action after a five-week break, the championship-leading Coles Racing ace was determined to turn his consistent front-running form into a podium return, but found his pre-event preparations once again being hindered by weather conditions that could not decide between wet and dry.
With much of the Friday practice sessions being spent switching set-up accordingly, Myers was happy to finish second in one session, but still headed into Saturday hoping for clearly dry conditions. He got his wish in the morning warm-up, where he placed fourth fastest, before the rain returned to make qualifying something of a lottery. Nevertheless, the 16-year old managed to maintain his pace, and repeated the position to guarantee a second row grid slot for both heats.
The first of the day’s races took place on a drying track, making the choice of set-up a little tricky, but Myers and the Coles team clearly hit on a satisfactory solution as he proceeded to gain one place in the course of the 13 laps, taking the chequered flag in third spot. The rain then returned for race two, bringing with it the need for greater concentration, but the Leeds resident kept his head to come home in fifth position, one ahead of his nearest championship rival, securing third on the grid for the final in the process.
The conditions had improved again by the time the Junior Rotax final rolled around, and RDF Building Services Ltd / Turner Butler-sponsored Myers was finally able to show why he had wanted a dry track from the start. Taking advantage of the inside line, he quickly moved into a two-way battle for the lead with a rival, the pair easing away from the chasing pack. After taking it in turns to lead a handful of laps at a time, Myers then surprised his rival with an unexpected move, making it stick by quickly pulling out a gap as his rival found himself falling into the clutches of those behind.
“The battle for the lead was great, and we both took turns at the front before I decided to make my move at a place he didn’t expect,” Myers confirmed, “As the race reached its final stages, I pulled out a comfortable lead and just made sure I kept the kart on the tarmac to claim the win. This is a great boost to my title bid, and I hope that I can keep it up for the rest of the year.”
The youngster’s points haul from round seven moved him back to the front of the championship before dropped scores were taken into account, and just one point off it when they were, but he quickly made amends for that on Sunday by claiming third place in dry qualifying, and heat results of sixth and second that erased any points deficit that existed overnight.
Despite not feeling that he had quite as potent a kart underneath him, Myers headed into the final – where he would start on the outside of row two – in confident mood. Although unable to challenge for positions further up the order, he maintained a top five spot until last lap contact with another driver sent his rival to the back of the field and removed any threat to his own fourth spot. While the incident appeared to be a case of two drivers fighting over position, the stewards saw it differently, excluding Myers from the event and handing him a zero score that could not be used as a dropped result at the end of the year.
“We couldn’t quite find the pace we had had on Saturday and, as a result, we weren’t that racy in the final,” Myers admitted, “Despite that, I was still running in a good points position before the collision. I felt that it was a ‘racing incident’, but obviously the stewards thought otherwise. I was having to drive the kart at the absolute limit to stay with the leaders, unlike the day before, when the kart felt more racy.”
An appeal against the exclusion was overruled, leaving Myers with a tough decision to take regarding what had once appeared an extremely positive campaign.
“Unfortunately, with FKS rules insisting that you can’t drop a zero score caused by a penalty, it kills our championship chances,” he explained, “There are only two rounds left, and we now need to consider whether it would be worth contesting them in the hope that our rivals have a bad weekend, or whether we concentrate our resources on making a concerted attempt to succeed in the other series we are going well in.”