Amidst the sunshine, the special guests, Formula One cars and famous karts on display at Whilton Mill the first season of Cadet Honda racing in Formula Kart Stars came to a thrilling climax with the eleventh and twelfth Challenge events of 2012.
A cluster of 14 drivers and their teams pitched up for the final rounds of the Formula One Management backed Championship including two new faces in Kiern Jewiss (Project One) and Sam Pooley (Gibbs Motorsport) as well as a host of returning names from the previous ten Challenges.
Formula Kart Stars Cadet Honda Challenges
Driving the extremely smartly liveried BRK chassis Mark Kimber struck first in Saturday morning’s qualifying session, outpacing Elliott Harvey (Next Gen Motorsport) and series newcomers Pooley and Jewiss and these four were able to pull away from the rest in the opening heat. Jewiss looked set for victory but Harvey pounced in the closing stages to snatch victory by 0.16secs with Kimber and Pooley next and Rory Hudson (Project One) a distant fifth.
Harvey, Jewiss and Pooley disputed the lead in heat two and once again Harvey was able to keep his nose in front when it mattered to edge out Jewiss by 0.17secs. With Kimber running off course and fading to 13th Pooley, Ronan Graves (Forza Motorsport) and Danny Harrison (Chris Rogers Motorsport) completed the top five.
The 16-lap, 15-minute final was among the most intense races of the year as Harvey, Jewiss, Kimber and Pooley broke away and spent the majority of the race sizing each other up just inches apart. Jewiss appeared to have seized the upper hand only for Harvey to squeeze through going into The Boot with less than three laps remaining. Harvey then defended for the final couple of corners as Jewiss was muscled back to fourth with Pooley and Kimber completing the podium.
All four of Saturday’s major players were overshadowed by Graves, Keaton Samra (Zip All Stars) and Rory Hudson (Project One) in Sunday’s qualifying session as they claimed the top three positions. Jewiss and Harvey completed the top five ahead of Scott Symons (Project One) but Kimber and Pooley were only 7th and 11th fastest respectively and had plenty of work to do in the heats.
Kimber proved he was up to the task, forming part of yet another thrilling three-kart breakaway in heat one, which eventually saw Harvey take the win by 0.12secs from Kimber and Jewiss with Graves fourth although Kimber couldn’t latch on to Harvey and Jewiss in heat two as they slipstreamed away from the rest and recorded another close finish, Harvey ahead again.
Normal service was resumed in the final as Harvey, Jewiss and Kimber eventually broke the challenge of a stubborn Hudson and set about deciding the overall Champion amongst themselves. Jewiss led for large chunks but Harvey looked to have timed his move perfectly again as he swept into first place with the chequered flag approaching.
However on the final lap Harvey left a fraction of a gap to his inside as the leaders approached Ashby’s and Jewiss was quick to capitalise. As they raced out of the corner Harvey tried to hang tough on the outside but bounced over the kerb and into Jewiss who, already alongside, took to the air and landed ahead. Harvey tried to fight back but couldn’t leaving Jewiss to take the win and the overall Cadet Honda title. Kimber completed the podium, mere inches behind Harvey top wrap up a scintillating season of racing.