Several new additions to the Formula Kart Stars Cadet Honda grid and some returning regular contenders helped boost the grid numbers for the seventh and eighth Challenges of the inaugural season for the increasingly competitive four-stroke class.
Some unseasonal weather aside, the only thing more impressive than the picturesque surroundings of the Glan Y Gors circuit in North Wales was the standard of racing put on by some of the youngest drivers in the Formula One Management backed Championship as they left everyone guessing as to who would emerge victorious right until the final corner on both days.
Formula Kart Stars Cadet Honda Challenges
As rain pelted the undulating mountainside venue double Kimbolton Challenge winner Rory Hudson (Project One) set pole position in Saturday’s timed qualifying session ahead of Mark Kimber (Ambition Motorsport) and FKS debutant Harry Gooding (Project One) but Hudson chose to run wet tyres for heat one on a drying track and it soon became clear that slicks were the correct weapon of choice.
Hudson gamely held on to the leaders for most of the race but eventually slipped back to fourth as Elliott Harvey (Next Gen Motorsport) and Connor McCarthy (Project One) claimed the top two positions. Harvey added to his tally with another win in heat two, holding off Kimber and Jean Sammut (Ambition Motorsport) with Hudson fourth again and it was Harvey and Hudson on the front row of the grid for the final, which would be held in dry conditions.
The 19-lap final was all action from the moment the lights turned green as Harvey stoutly defended his lead from a group of eight pursuing karts. Time and again Hudson and Kimber nosed ahead but on each occasion Harvey fought back swiftly and eventually took the chequered flag by nine hundredths of a second to seal his second Challenge win of the year as the top nine finishers flashed across the line within 1.3-seconds of the winner.
Confidence boosted by his triumph the previous day, Harvey began a dry but blustery Sunday with pole position in timed qualifying and followed it up with a narrow win in heat one from Kimber and Sammut. Heat two didn’t run to its full distance after Kimber and Ewan Bennett (Project One) crashed at paddock bend, thankfully without injury and when the results were counted back it was Hudson who was narrowly ahead of Harvey, helping him secure second on the final grid alongside the Saturday winner.
For much of Sunday’s final the race was a mirror image of Saturday’s nail biter with Harvey repelling repeated assaults from a group of six pursuers. However on this occasion Hudson made one of his attacks stick and he crossed the line first to score his third Challenge win of the year with Harvey in hot pursuit.
Just a fraction behind the top two McCarthy took advantage of a late clash between Kimber and Danny Harrison (Chris Rogers Motorsport) to seal his first podium finish of the year one round after a frightening steering wheel failure wrote his chassis off at Larkhall.
For full race results from Glan-Y-Gors please click here