Glastonbury based kart racer Oli Norris had mixed fortunes in the latest rounds of the Formula Kart Stars Championship at Larkhall in Scotland over the weekend. The 15 year-old ADD Motorsports supported racer claimed major points in round five on Saturday, moving him in to second place in the series. Oli thought that he would be a few tenths of a second off the outright pace after testing on Friday. However. he managed to qualify in fourth place on Saturday morning, putting him in with a chance of fighting for victory right from the start.
He made light work of winning the first heat of the weekend, but the second wasn’t quite so straight forward. He dropped to seventh place at the start of the race and had to work hard to move up to the front. With just two laps left he was pushed off the circuit, re-joining in fourth place. On the final lap, as the three guys ahead defended the inside line at one of the hairpins, Oli boldly went down the outside, passing two of them.
As he tried to come out of the corner he was once again forced onto the grass, meaning he crossed the line in third place. However, the two drivers ahead were then removed from the results after their individual moves on Oli, giving him another victory and maximum points up to that point in the weekend.
The final was a wet race and Oli knew that he wouldn’t have the pace to maintain the lead. He tried as hard as possible to stay ahead, but by the mid-way point he had fallen back to eighth place. He managed to claim back two places on the last lap, giving him a well deserved sixth place at the flag.
Sunday was a completely different day for the Millfield School student. He was fast in qualifying, claiming second on the grid, albeit on the outside row. At the start of the first heat he made a blistering move for the lead and held onto it. With just a minute of racing left to run the weather turned and it started to rain heavily. As he struggled for grip he lost places and eventually took eighth spot.
Heat two was also wet and the RL Racing Department team got the set-up on Oli’s kart spot on, allowing him to chase the leading pair off the line. He settled into third place and started looking for a way past when one of the guys ahead had a mechanical problem. A few laps later and the new leader then also lost his chain, promoting Oli into a comfortable lead which he kept all the way to the line.
However, in post-race scrutineering it was found that there was a paperwork problem with his kart, meaning that his results had to be taken away. It was a double blow for Oli as the championship regulations also state that he has to class the zero point finish as one of his scoring rounds, which he knows will hinder his title charge.
The result put him last on the grid for the final and an incredibly fired up Oli began to scythe his way through the pack from the moment the lights went out. He got as high as fourth place by the mid-way point, which he admitted he would have been happy with. But, he was then tagged not once, but twice, dropping him to eighth place.
Despite the frustrating end to his weekend, he was still able to take a lot of positive away from the weekend and knows that he is in with a real chance of lifting the FKS Rotax Junior Max title.
“It has definitely been a frustrating second half to the weekend,” he said. “It is especially difficult after the heat two result. But we accepted it and will learn from it. I was very pleased with my pace in the final on Sunday. I would have been happy to have taken fourth place and the points, but to get fired off twice was very disappointing.”
“The results of the second final have been appealed so they’re not final yet. As it stands from the end of round five on Saturday I’m second in the championship, which is fantastic. I know that will change after today, but it has proved that I’m one of the drivers in with a chance of the title.”
“I’m confident that we can win a lot more races, we just need to be consistent. We’ve had some great results since the start of the season and I can still push to win the championship,” he added.