Almost every kart racer in the country has designs on taking the step up in to car racing. Dreams of F1, Endurance Racing or even Touring Cars start at this level. This weekend the Ultimate Karting Championship visited Warden Law on the outskirts of Sunderland for their season closing Rotax National Trophy – with the promise of tests in junior race cars for two of the racers. Coveted ‘0’ plates for 2023 were also on offer.
The four class meeting offered a raft of prizes in Micro Max and, Micro Rotax Max, but all eyes were on the Junior Rotax and Senior Rotax classes – where the chance to have a day in a Ginetta Junior or GB4 machine respectively was on offer. As expected it would be hard fought.
In the two classes for the younger competitors the battle for the ‘0’ was also intense. In the Mini Max category the Super Heat and Super Final came down to two drivers going toe-to-toe. Finn Leslie and Finley Buck crossed the line in first and second in the Super Heat with the positions reversed in the final.
In Micro Rotax Max Edward Haynes pipped Jenson Chalk to the line ahead of Daniel Minto in the Super Heat, for the Super Final Haynes lost out to Chalk by 1,3 seconds with Minto in third once again a further five seconds behind.
The chance to test a Ginetta Junior with R Racing was on offer for the winner of the Junior Rotax class. The team currently top the championship on the TOCA BTCC bill as defending champions with Aston Millar taking the crown last season and Josh Rowledge currently at the head of the series with two rounds left. Gabe Fairbrother had run at the front all weekend with a heat victory before dominating the Super Heat. The Ultimate R racer looked like the favourite for the final but was involved in some controversy before the race got underway. On the run to the green flag Fairbrother was tipped into a spin causing an aborted start. Rejoining at the back of the field Fairbrother made his way back to pole – taking up the position after the point on the circuit where the cut-off for the process had to halt. Despite dominating the encounter the move resulted in a 10 second penalty which dropped him down the order and handed victory to Ewan Charman who fought his way through to pick up the win.
The big prize for the senior category was the chance to win a GB4 test with Scorpio Racing. The former Formula Renault outfit have run Christian Lester under the Rossoverde Racing banner this year. The cars – the previous generation Italian F4 package – are currently running under British GT and GB3 (formerly BRDC British F3) on the SRO UK British GT bill. It was a deserving win for Daniel Armstrong. After winning heats two and three the Super Heat was a formality, but in the final he was challenged by Jack Lilley with the pair being separated by just over half-a-second as the day came to a close.
One again Warden Law delivered an intense day of racing, and is proving in its rebirth to be a place where names of the future will make their first steps into professional levels of motor racing. It would be fitting to see Armstrong, Charman and other racers from the bill pop up in Motor Racing UK magazine in the future as they climb further up the motor racing ladder.