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RL Drivers Get Warmed Up

9 September 2012

Barely had the dust settled on this year's national championships before Steve Armstrong's RL Racing Department was back in action, getting ready for 2013 at Whilton Mill (27/28 October).

Formula Kart Stars Mini Max champion and Super One Vice-Champion Lando Norris underlined his deserved status with another confident victory, before sending a warning to his Junior Max rivals by triumphing in this class also.

His elder brother, Oli, came back through to finish 9th in his first senior race on UK soil. The race was notable for its high drama - and not a little crashing - in which Oli had become embroiled. Having been pushed well down the order, he fought back into the top ten with a gutsy performance.

New signing Jack McCarthy delighted his new team with two Mini Max heat wins and a 4th place. In both wet and dry conditions he had demonstrated his class, but blotted his copybook with a spin in the main final.

If McCarthy's performance had marked him as one to watch next season, Sandy Mitchell arrival on the Mini Max scene almost overshadowed his new team-mate's. Having sat in a Mini Max kart for the very first time on Saturday morning, Sandy went on to finish 4th in Sunday's final.

Ahead of him on the line was fellow RL driver Flashman Finneran. It was his first ever podium and a clear indication of the progress he has made since joining the team.

Hugo Bentley-Ellis had run as high as 2nd but struggled to generate grip in the tricky, dank conditions of the final. Nonetheless, he doggedly brought his machine home in 7th spot.

Thrilled team boss Steve Armstrong says his young charges have laid down a marker for the coming new season: "It's easy to dismiss the Whilton race as 'just a clubbie' but the boys were competing against top-flight drivers, many of whom they'll be up against next year. For Flashman and Sandy to take a3rd and 4th is very encouraging. Hugo and Jack didn't get the results they deserved, but showed that they will definitely be front-runners - and quite possibly race winners - in the very near future."

He added, "Lando enjoyed an absolute thumping win in Junior Max, against very good opposition. He can build on that will be seen as threat wherever he goes now. Oli was also up against strong opposition and learned the hard way that no quarter will be given in senior Max. But he didn't ask for any and gave as good as he got. He'll be fun to watch in the build-up to the first big race in February."

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