Crash.Net Stars News
Belgian Mini Max double for Russell
18 August 2010
Just two weeks after making history in the MSA Kartmasters Grand Prix by becoming the first driver to win three GP titles in a row in three different classes George Russell retook the championship lead in the Formula Kart Stars Mini Max class with a double victory in rounds seven and eight of the series at Genk in Belgium.
Russell only qualified sixth fastest in timed qualifying for Saturday's two heats but wasted little time in moving to the front on both occasions, passing erstwhile championship leader Adam Glear, who held a ten point advantage over Russell coming into the weekend, in heat one and passing polesitter Brett Ward in heat two.
On both occasions Bobby Thompson put Russell under pressure in the closing stages but never got close enough to make a concerted effort at taking the lead.
From pole position in the final Russell once again had to deal with a tenacious Thompson who, in his bid for a maiden FKS triumph, snatched the lead away from Russell in turn one on lap five. Russell fought back two laps later thanks to a great slipstream on the start/finish straight and remained in front over the second half of the race despite Thompson's best efforts.
Glear completed the podium from Oliver Myers, Josh White, Sam Marsh and Lemuel Pay.
Russell paced Sunday's dry qualifying session from Jay Goodwin and went on to win the first heat, once again from Thompson and Goodwin although Goodwin was later [penalised for jumping the start. That would be the last time the drivers went out on slick tyres as the heavens opened before the second heat, drenching the track and the drivers.
But Russell was unfazed and drove away from the rest of the field to win by nearly eight seconds from Thompson, Myers and Seth James as Glear struggled with the wet weather set-up on his kart and could only finish eighth.
In the final Russell and Thompson were in a class of their own, putting more than ten seconds between themselves and the rest of the field in truly atrocious conditions. Russell had the advantage of clean air in front of him whereas Thompson had to contend with a constant spray from the rear of Russell's kart.
Despite the lack of visibility Thompson was at his fighting best, constantly putting Russell under pressure and never allowing the leader to relax. But after losing two wins to Glear in the closing stages of the previous weekend at Glan Y Gors Russell wasn't going to let another win slip and put in a super-quick final lap to finally break Thompson's challenge.
Thanks to his weekend double Russell now regains the championship lead while Thompson's best FKS weekend to date keeps him in the title hunt. George Li Wright put in a charging drive from tenth on the grid to finish third with White, Goodwin, Ward, James, Jed Jeffries, Nikita Sidorov and a disappointed Glear completing the top ten.