Lando Norris maintained his domination of the Formula Kart Stars Rotax Mini Max category at the weekend, taking his third victory in as many rounds. The win increases his championship lead at the half-way point in the season. The ADD Motorsport supported 12 year-old got his weekend off to a flying start by setting the fastest qualifying time on Saturday morning. At the start of the first heat he was caught out and lost places. He soon bounced back and fought his way into the lead, taking his first victory of the meeting.
In the second heat he started well and soon got into the lead and pulled away. Lando looked comfortable at the head of the field, but on the fourth lap it started to rain. With the whole field on slick tyres it made driving very tricky. As he was the first driver round he came into one corner and found there was no grip and spun. It took him a long time to finally get back onto the track from the grass where he re-joined in seventh place.
His dramas weren’t over yet though, as another driver locked up a couple of laps later, running into him and causing his engine to stop. By the time he got it re-started he was back in 13th place.
In the final he dropped to sixth at the start and had to fight his way up through the field. He moved into third place early on and stayed there for most of the race, before taking second spot with four laps to go, keeping it to the chequered flag.
On Sunday he qualified in fifth place which he wasn’t too unhappy about, as it gave him an inside line on the grid.
A good start in the first heat allowed him to go with the leading pair and before long he had managed to move to the front. As he started the final lap he was tapped from behind, forcing him to miss a corner and cutting his engine again. He re-joined the race but had to settle for ninth place.
In the second heat he was able to make his way to the front early and pull away from the rest of the field. As the weather got worse visibility also deteriorated and race control put out the safety flags, stopping any over-taking. However, the driver behind Lando failed to see them and passed him, dropping him to second place.
A few laps later the circuit went green again and Lando was frustrated at losing a place under caution. It was soon corrected though, when his rival was black flagged. As he struggled for grip Lando then lost the lead with just three laps left to run. On the final lap he made a very bold move from a long way back at the final hairpin, claiming another victory.
In the final he got a good start and immediately moved to the front. A few laps later though the caution flags were once again displayed, wiping out his lead. As the race re-started Lando had to start defending. With two minutes of racing left he lost the lead and had a four lap battle with a rival to try and win the place back. At the fourth time of asking he managed to make the same hairpin move from earlier stick.
However, it wasn’t over yet. As he came onto the final lap he was hit from behind again, dropping him to second place. The driver who had made the error waved him back through, knowing he would be penalised if he didn’t. It left Lando with just one corner left to defend before taking his third win in as many meetings in the Formula Kart Stars Series and increasing his overall championship lead.
“It was a really good but really tough weekend,” said Lando. “I didn’t expect to be as quick as I was after the testing on Friday, so it was good to be able to challenge from the moment we hit the track on Saturday. I had to work hard for every point and I was left a bit frustrated on more than one occasion after being tapped off the track.”
“But overall it was a great meeting,” he added. “I’m really, really happy to be leading the championship at the half-way point in the year and I’ve got a big gap to the guy behind me. I just need to keep getting the results and keep the lead. But, I know I’ve got a great chance of winning the championship now,” he said.