Samuel Oram-Jones displayed remarkable speed again last weekend in the opening round of the 2011 British Super One Rotax Series at Whilton Mill and was third fastest overall in the second final.
Sammy, who races in the Super One MiniMax class for 11-15 years - and who will also contest the same category in the Lewis Hamilton and Bernie Ecclestone Formula One Management-backed Formula Kart Stars (FKS) series this year - started the weekend by posting a very respectable top-ten time in qualifying, ninth overall in a highly competitive field that included over 30 runners.
The 13-year-old, who was also juggling his on-track commitments by doing some filming for a programme about him to be screened on the launch night for new HD TV Channel TRACE Sports, then finished eighth in his first heat in his RL Racing Department Ltd-run kart, despite problems with the set-up.
“It had started raining [before the start of the heat] and we had to change everything,” Sammy recalled. “But then it stopped and we had to change everything back again! That meant the tracking was out and the pressures were wrong. I also had a bent track rod, but I still managed to stay in the top ten. So it wasn't too bad.”
Sammy then had further back luck in his second heat and was handicapped by brake problems leaving him down in 18th at the chequered flag.
“At the start we got hit off and pushed wide,” he lamented, “and then the brakes got stuck on halfway through. We couldn't brake properly and so just dropped to dead last.”
Sammy stayed positive however, and fought his way back up to twelfth in the first final from 20th on the grid. He then looked set for seventh in the second final, but was hit on the last lap and demoted one place to eighth. His speed though was of real encouragement, and in addition to being third fastest overall in that last race, he was also impressively quicker than all seven runners that finished ahead of him.
“I thought by the end of the weekend we were very quick and we reached our goal,” Sammy reflected. “The kart was set-up the best it could have been. It was perfect and regardless of the problems I had in the heats, I was happy.
“I was third fastest overall in the [second] final and I know for a fact with a slipstream and a few more laps I could have easily come through the pack.