Never before in its 17-year history has the Formula One Management backed Formula Kart Stars Championship resounded to the distinctive roar of the Honda GX 160 engine but after the first two Challenge events of their debut season in FKS the 14 Cadet Honda drivers who made history at Kimbolton looked to all intents and purposes like series veterans.
Revelling with the incredible levels of data given off by the enhanced Apex Timing/TAG Heuer timing and scoring system that beamed Formula One style sector times and in depth data charts live to the paddock and over the internet the Cadet Honda field, all FKS rookies, put on a stirring show.
Although Rory Hudson was the driver standing on top of the podium on both days, his path to glory was far from simple on a weekend of mixed weather conditions and where any one of half a dozen drivers could have laid claim to victory.
With free tyre bags from Dunlop and contingency awards from class patron and former Cadet Honda racer Alex Albon, the signs all point to a highly successful 2012.
Formula Kart Stars Cadet Honda Challenges
At the end of the opening lap of Saturday’s final it would have taken a brave soul to place a wager on Hudson lifting the first ever FKS Cadet Honda trophy for although the defending Hunts Kart Club Champion had led timed qualifying and won the opening heat, a clash with reigning Welsh Champion Max Wieteska (Global Karting) at the first corner left Hudson in last position.
But as a five kart scrap enthralled the crowd at the head of the field Hudson began picking off drivers one by one and slowly honed in on the leaders. With momentum on his side he went from sixth to first in less than two laps and then kept Elliott Harvey (Next Gen Motorsport) at bay by eight tenths of a second over the final tour to take the win.
Tokyo born driver Yukinori Ishii (Mechtech Motorsport) completed the podium by a scant two hundredths of a second over Danny Harrison (Chris Rogers Motorsport) after earlier claiming victory in a damp second heat with some clinical overtaking.
Save for the one heat that Ishii won, Saturday remained dry throughout but the same could not be said for the second Challenge on Easter Sunday. Already marking himself out as something of a rain master Ishii took pole position in timed qualifying but couldn’t add to his victory tally as Mark Kimber (Ambition Motorsport) and Harrison Huggan (Privateer) opened their FKS victory accounts in the heats.
Come the final however and Hudson was once again the driver to beat, controlling the pace at the front for much of the race after Ewan Bennett’s (Privateer) brave challenge faded and becoming the only driver in any of the five FKS classes race to secure the weekend double with an assured six second victory over Harvey with Huggan completing the podium.