Glastonbury karting star Oli Norris came back from a tough start to the weekend to claim ninth place in the Rotax Junior Max class at the Kartmasters Grand Prix at the PF International circuit in Lincolnshire.The ADD Motorsports supported racer had a problem in free-practice and the loss of set-up time hurt him as he went into qualifying. Despite starting on the back foot, Oli did better than he expected to, setting the 14th fastest time in the session.
As the heats got under way though, he knew it was going to be a tough and challenging weekend. In the first race he failed to finish. In the second heat he dropped back a handful of places from his tenth place starting position, eventually crossing the line in 16th after some hard contact throughout the race.
In his final heat Oli put in a storming drive after dropping back to 25th place after being forced off on the opening lap. He managed to work his way back to 13th place before the chequered flag came out.
His results in the heats meant that he would line up in 27th place for the pre-final. Oli knew that he would need a really good result for his starting slot for the grand final. A sensational drive from 27th to 18th meant that he had a great chance at a top ten result.
As the lights went out for the start of the main event Oli got a fantastic start and as the field crossed the line at the end of the first lap he was up to ninth place. Over the course of the 17 laps he battled hard, making places and then dropping back, before he crossed the line in ninth place. This gave him a hard fought and well deserved top ten result, at what is arguably the toughest event on the UK karting calendar.
Despite the well-earned result, Oli was disappointed that he wasn’t in a position to challenge the top five, knowing that his late meeting pace was one of the fastest.
“It was a very tough final,” he said. “I’m a bit disappointed that we didn’t find our pace until later in the weekend as I know I could have challenged the top five. He speed I had in the final was great and if had been able to start further towards the front it would have been better,” he added.
Oli doesn’t have time to think about his results for long though, as he gets straight back into the Formula Kart Stars Championship battle next weekend, with a trip to Nutts Corner in Ireland the destination for the latest round. Oli is currently seventh in the Rotax Junior Max points and know that he needs to carry his pace across the Irish Sea to pick up some solid results.
“I have to make up some points next weekend,” he said. “I haven’t raced there for a few years and the track has been extended and has a slightly different layout now. It will be interesting to see how they’ve improved it. We’ve got a test day on Thursday so I’m looking forward to getting to grips with it,” he added.