OKJ British Open, Rowrah, Cumbria
Another season of Championship racing beckons, so it’s off to the fantastic Rowrah circuit in Cumbria, which has always been a favourite of Will’s. With the unpredictable weather and beautiful scenery it’s a pleasure to come back every year. The weather for this year’s event looked to be fairly unsettled as a wet weekend was forecast, but it’s the same for all; no real problems there. The only disappointment being the low numbers entered for the OKJ class, but with some good drivers entered it was still going to be competitive. Friday testing went very well for Will and he was very quick all day in the wet conditions, and carried this on in Saturday morning’s 3 sessions. On Saturday afternoon there would be qualifying and 1 heat with the second heat and Finals on Sunday.
In qualifying Will had a good session and finished in 2nd place. He said the tyres never came on and the pressure was maybe a bit low for the short qualifying session. A front row start was ok and we had more time in hand with the right pressures. In heat 1 the first few laps saw a good battle between pole sitter Morgan Porter and Will with the lead changing several times. On lap 5 Will retook the lead and began to pull away for a comfortable victory by 1.2 seconds. In heat 2 Will took the lead by lap 3 and again managed to pull away from his pursuers to win by 2 seconds with fastest lap by 2 tenths of a second giving him pole for the pre- final.
Will made a great start in the pre-final and pulled almost a second lead on the first lap. However going into the second hairpin Will pushed too hard and spun off into the bark and couldn’t restart the kart. This would mean starting from the back in the second Final, but Will was very determined to win the race and he had a very positive attitude going into the Final. With 15 minutes of racing ahead in the Final it was going to be anything but plain sailing. Will made a fantastic start and was up to 4th by the end of lap 1 and up to 3rd by lap 3; the chase to the leaders was on. It took Will 6 laps to catch and pass Oliver Clarke for 2nd, leaving him one and a half seconds behind the leader Morgan Porter with around 8 laps to go. It took Will just 4 laps to close down the leader and once behind Will made his move for the lead at the second hairpin. He was alongside coming out of the corner when unexpectedly Porter turned turned into Will taking them both off into the barrier. It’s a great shame that Will’s attempt at winning 3 O Plates in a row should end in such a way. On the positive side it made the decision about what class to race in this year much simpler. Will is moving up to the Senior Class in X30.
Not a great way to end his junior career, but overall Will has really enjoyed his junior karting, and is now relishing his new challenge.
Supplied by William Pettitt Racing