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Oram-Jones smashes lap record at Wigan
29 March 2011
Samuel Oram-Jones broke the lap record last weekend in the third round of the 2011 Manchester & Buxton Kart Club (MBKC) event at the Three Sisters Race Circuit in Wigan.
Sammy, who races in the MiniMax class and who was taking in the event as part of his preparations for next month's round two of the 2011 British Super One Rotax Series at Shenington - and the opening round of the 2011 Lewis Hamilton and Bernie Ecclestone Formula One Management-backed Formula Kart Stars (FKS) series at Rowrah, set the new marker in his very first heat.
The 13-year-old, who incidentally also took his debut FKS win at this circuit last September, started the race from tenth and he had a storming first lap and made up five places. He was then battling for the final place on the podium, before coming home fourth. It was on the seventh and penultimate lap though that he posted the unofficial fastest ever MiniMax lap around the 3S Club Circuit, negotiating it in just 40.81 seconds.
“I've never set a lap record before, so it is special to do this,” Sammy said. “I am really happy to have finally got one. It shows you are quick and means you deserve to be at the front and if you keep telling yourself that you will be at the front. That is what I want.”
Sammy then battled his way up from 21st to eleventh in his second heat, before taking his RL Racing Department Ltd-run kart to second in the third heat after a race long duel for top honours.
In the final Sammy was again running right at the front and was in contention for the win, until he got punted off on the penultimate lap, eventually ending up in 15th place.
“I was running second and it was very open,” Sammy recalled. “Anyone could have won it. But then I came through one of the corners on lap 14 and I just got hit off. There wasn't much I could do.”
Despite that disappointment though, Sammy was still very encouraged, especially as he got that lap record: “Overall I felt it went really well on the Saturday [during testing] and was really good on the Sunday too [during the heats and the final],” continued the Pro Performance affiliated youngster.
“We were just a bit unlucky in the final. Nevertheless the kart was brilliant over the weekend as a whole.
“I am looking forward to Shenington now. I want to try and have a good round and then move up in the Super One Championship.”
RL Racing Department Ltd team owner Steve Armstrong meanwhile believes Sammy should be regularly challenging at the front from this point on.
“Sammy did brilliantly. He drove really well and we were really pleased with his form. He has upped his game and was much more aggressive,” Steve added. “He has taken a lot of positives from the experiences over the last month and has really put that to good use.
“I don't think he will look back now and as long as we get the equipment right for him speed-wise, he should always be in the top-three. He seems to have applied himself a lot in the last few weeks and the speed is clearly there. It was very good for him to set that new lap record too and it was also good for the team.
“We have a weekend off now before going to Kent on April 9-10 for Super One. It would be nice to get our first win together there.”
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