Formula Kart Stars made its first voyage to the Nutts Corner circuit in Northern Ireland in many years for the ninth and tenth rounds of the 2012 season and the massively revamped venue witnessed pint sized Scotsman Dean Macdonald take a major step towards the MSA British Cadet title.
Fast and flowing with plenty of gradient changes, Nutts Corner quickly found favour with the MSA Cadet drivers not only for its slipstreaming opportunities but also for the warm welcome put on for them by the circuit owners, who went as far as providing a bucking bronco for the drivers to test their rodeo skills during Friday nights on-site barbeque.
MSA British Cadet Championship
Team tactics would be the key to timed qualifying and it was Fusion Motorsport who got it right under sunny skies for Saturday’s ninth round with their drivers annexing the top five places on the grid for the heat races.
Early season points leader Enaam Ahmed finished the ten-minute session in pole position, one-thousandth ahead of teammate Tom Wood, driving for the Junior arm of the Fusion outfit. Alex Quinn, Josh Smith and Oliver York completed the top five with Ross Martin (Team Wright) the leading non-Fusion interloper in sixth.
Championship leader Dean Macdonald (Shox Performance) was uncharacteristically off the pace and was only 15th fastest but when the first heat began he was quickly on the move and made it as far as third behind Ahmed and Quinn when the race was red flagged for Hugo Bentley-Ellis’ (Eclipse Motorsport) frightening roll, from which H B-E was fortunate to emerge with nothing more than a scratched crash helmet.
Smith edged out Ahmed on the last lap of heat two with Wood an impressive third and Macdonald fourth and it was the three main title protagonists who started at the front of the grid for the Final in the order Ahmed-Smith-Macdonald.
A fantastic nine kart scrap for the lead made Saturday’s final one of the most compelling of the year with Ahmed getting the better of Smith on the last lap for the win. Macdonald, who was shuffled back to ninth two laps from home, recovered to second on a crazy last lap with York, an overjoyed Teddy Wilson (Wilson Racing Engines) and Martin completing the top five.
Sunday dawned grey and overcast with Smith taking pole position from Zak Fulk (Eclipse Motorsport), Bentley-Ellis, Ahmed, York and Macdonald and the rain held off just long enough for Smith to clinch the opening heat from York, Macdonald and IRL Plate winner and local favourite Adrian Hegarty (Hegarty Racing).
Heat two was wet and Macdonald stamped his authority over the rest, winning by four seconds from Smith and Fulk with Ahmed fourth although Smith’s race one win was enough to give him pole for the final ahead of Macdonald.
But the final was a mere repeat of the second heat as Macdonald took the lead in the early going and never looked back, leaving the rest to scrap over the minor placings as he cruised to his fifth win of the year, increasing his championship lead in the process. Fulk and Martin eventually got the better of Smith for the final two podium positions with Ahmed and Hegarty completing the top six.