Ellough-based RL Racing Department’s drivers Lando Norris and Sam Marsh made the most of their home advantage to seize the FKS points initiative in their respective classes last weekend (19/20 May).
In-form Lando is arguably the Mini Max driver of the moment, and in team owner Steve Armstrong’s words “was supreme in Round Three’s final,” as he claimed the win. Armstrong added: “He did a great job to take victory in a close-fought race and in a class that had been very competitive throughout the day.” Describing Norris’ decisive move he said: “A terrific lunge saw him take the lead and from there he was never headed again.”
Lando’s team-mates Gaby Weyer and Flashman Finneran also enjoyed a positive day and the ever-improving pair finished 5th and 10th respectively. Sunday’s timed qualifying session saw the buoyant Norris record the fastest time before dominating the heats. He lead the final from pole position, but as the chequered flag was readied saw he was passed with barely a minute to go on the clock. Knowing that the runner-up spot would give him the championship lead, he intelligently opted to cede the win. Gaby built on her strong performance the day before with a fine 7th in Round 4, with Flashman also dropping down two places on the previous day’s finishing position to cross the line 12th.
Inspired by his younger brother’s success, Oli Norris also stepped forward into the Junior Max limelight with a string of superlative performances on Saturday. From qualifying to the final, he was never out of the top two. Steve Armstrong believes Oli’s experience in last week’s Rotax Max Euro Challenge also had an effect: “He surged to the front (of the field). I think the harsh reality of the Euro Max senior racing the week before toughened him up. A lot of effort from his team also contributed to his climb the order and he will, we hope, now carry that progress on to the Super One round at Glan Y Gors this coming weekend (26/27 May).”
Oli’s team-mate Sam Marsh was the driver who pipped him to the win. “Only a slight blip in confidence denied Oli the victory over Sam,” Steve observed. “They had a race-long battle which was both nerve-wracking and a fantastic spectacle. Sam had to work hard in the heats to keep him honest and I take satisfaction in how the team improved his performance and that of the kart, enabling Marsh to take the fight to Norris and win – just.”
Armstrong admitted that “Sunday was harder.” As the competition heated-up, so did the number of on track incidents, leaving Sam to start from P7 on the grid for the final. A collision at the start dropped him down the order, but a superb recovery drive lifted him to 3rd as he started the last lap. Desperate tactics from his rivals saw him pushed down to 7th – but it was enough to hand him the series lead.
Norris endured no such dramas and went on to claim the second step on the podium, prompting a proud Armstrong to say: “Oli’s strong 2nd on Sunday cemented the excellent progress he has made.”
In contrast to Oli’s fortunes, reigning FKS Mini Max champion Josh White endured a gruelling weekend. Appropriately though, the ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’ ambassador demonstrated the grit that his county is renowned for. Despite struggling for pace throughout the weekend he battled on and was rewarded with 7th on Saturday and a highly respectable 4th on Sunday, keeping him in the title hunt.
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