Glastonbury kart racer Oli Norris had a frustrating exit to the latest round of the MSA Super One Rotax Junior Max Championship at the weekend when he crashed out of the second final in treacherous wet conditions.
The ADD Motorsports supported driver went into the penultimate round of the series at the PF International circuit in Lincolnshire in good form, after taking a great result at the FKS meeting just two weeks earlier.
In free practice Oli made great progress and set the fastest time in the final sessions in the run-up to qualifying on Saturday. He took sixth place in his session, giving him 15th overall in the incredibly competitive Junior Max category.
In the first heat he managed to work his way up to eighth place. In the second race he again made inroads into the guys ahead, taking tenth position, which was promoted to ninth after the race.
His results meant that he would line up 12th for the finals and at the start of the opening race he immediately made up two places. He dropped back one place on the next lap but then took another two a couple of laps later.
He held onto ninth place for much of the race before moving up another position with just a handful of laps left to go. The pack Oli was in was fighting hard and in the closing stages he traded places with a handful of drivers and eventually crossed the line in tenth place. He was then again promoted to ninth when another racer was excluded.
For the second final Oli was hopeful of making his way onto the podium as the heavens opened and the circuit became wet. His free-practice pace in the wet was very good.
At the start of the race though he was forced wide and dropped back a handful of places. He began to battle back through the field and made up a couple of places and had settled into a good rhythm in the worsening conditions.
At the mid-way point though he was caught out and as he went off the circuit he made contact with the barriers, causing his kart too much damage to be able to continue.
Oli was understandably disappointed not to have returned to the Super One podium, but knew that the conditions had made it difficult.
“I thought that I could get into a position to fight for a podium finish when it started to rain before the second final,” he said. “The conditions got worse as the race went on and it was very slippery at certain parts of the circuit. There was some contact here and there during the early stages of the race too as everyone was trying to find grip.”
“I’m disappointed that I didn’t finish, of course. But I know that the pace is there. It’s been incredibly tight in the Junior Max category all year. There’s just one Super One round left to go now and although I can’t win the title I am in with a chance to be in the top six, which is where I said I’d be happy with at the start of the year.”
“I’m just going to go out in the final round and aim to try get as many points as I can in both finals. I’ve been on the podium this year and a win, or two, would be a great way to finish the year,” he added.