Formula Kart Stars came into 2010 looking to build on their relationship with Formula One Management, now entering its second season. There was also a new championship and raceday format and a new venue in the form of Suffolk's Ellough Park.

With twelve rounds over six doubleheader weekends coupled with the new timed qualifying, heats and finals format the series was forced to trim maximum entry numbers in three of its four classes with the proposed KF2 class being scrapped for the second successive year.

The MSA British Cadet Championship still had a bumper entry, including seven of last year's top 15 seeded drivers while Mini Max, Junior Rotax and KF3 were restricted to a maximum entry of 30, a figure which KF3, for the first time in three years, failed to achieve.

New class sponsors in the form of Tag Heuer, Joe Bloggs and control fuel suppliers 1-Fuel by Shell and new relationships with the Race Drivers Academy and the MSA's own elite scheme joined British sportscar manufacturers Ginetta, KEP Printers and JC Motorhomes on the list of series supporters.

Series director Carolynn Hoy, at the helm ever since the championship was launched as the McLaren Mercedes Champions of the Future in 1996, elected to start the season at the popular Cumbrian venue of Rowrah, nestled deep in the Lake District. Taking a gamble on the notoriously fickle British weather, the series started its season under largely dry skies.

In the MSA British Cadet class opening weekend honours were shared between Fusion Motorsport teammates Nathan Aston and Tom Harvey on their numerically superior Zip chassis. Aston, who hails from nearby Dalston used his extensive local knowledge to good effect and was dominant on Saturday, taking pole position and winning both his heats before narrowly defeating Connor Jupp in Saturday's final.

Harvey struck back on Sunday, passing Northern Ireland's Trevyn Jay Nelson with half a lap remaining to win a closely fought final that saw the top 17 finishers cross the line within ten seconds of the winner after more than 15 minutes of racing.

The driver Aston, Harvey et al are trying to emulate in 2010, reigning MSA British Cadet Champion George Russell, made his FKS Mini Max debut at Rowrah, his preferred move into KF3 being scuppered due to the MSA's new age regulations.

Signing for Warwick Ringham's crack Strawberry Racing outfit Russell took a little while to settle in his new class, which showed that, if anything, it was more wide open than the typically manic Cadet field.

Finishes of sixth and a fortuitous second perhaps wasn't ideally what Russell was looking for from the opening two rounds but, encouragingly, the Wisbech based driver displayed race winning pace for the majority of the weekend.

The two winners from Rowrah, Ryan Norris (TMR Developments) and Adam Glear (Wavertree Motorsport) both had their work cut out in two spectacular finals. Liverpudlian driver Norris kept Glear and Oliver Myers at bay in a blanket finish on Saturday while Glear, stepping into outgoing champion Jack Barlow's seat, took advantage of a penultimate corner crash between Norris and Sam Marsh to take victory on Sunday ahead of Russell the consistent Myers.

While Glear was picking up where Barlow left off in 2009 in Mini Max, Jack was taking his first FKS steps in Junior Rotax. Complete with new sponsorship from Freem UK and a new team in the form of Dan Holland Racing Barlow arrived at Rowrah riding a wave of confidence following successful early season outings in the Florida Winter Tour and the Rotax Winter Cup but he, like everyone else in the Joe Bloggs Junior Rotax class quickly found they couldn't live with P1 Racing's Ash Hand.

A frontrunner in 2009 taking several wins as well as the Kartmasters Grand Prix title Hand was simply unstoppable all weekend with only exclusion in the second heat on Sunday preventing him from winning every race. Despite having to start from the back of the grid in Sunday's final Hand was ahead when the red flags waved for Dominic Gorrett's accident.

Vital Motorsport's Josh Parker emerged from the weekend second in the title race to Hand after a (distant) second place on Sunday and an inherited heat two win on Sunday. However when Parker's kart cut out on the rolling lap on Sunday's final he lost a golden opportunity at taking the win.

The other driver to show flashes of winning form was Hand's teammate Fraser O'Brien who lost a certain second place in Saturday's final when his chain came off and then finished a fighting third in Sunday's final behind surprise package Jacob Hunstone. Barlow had a rollercoaster weekend that included a contentious exclusion from Saturday's final for making contact with Jessica Hawkins and then an eighth place in Sunday's race after he was tipped into a first turn spin and fell to last.

With outgoing champion Alex Albon focusing on a season in mainland Europe in 2010 the Formula Kart Stars KF3 Championship struggled to attract a full grid with only 16 of the 30 places taken on the original entry and but a dozen appearing at the opening rounds. However the team that guided Albon to his 2009 title, Mick Barrett Racing and the team that propelled Roy Johnson to the British Cadet title in 2008, Fusion Motorsport, were both well represented and provided three quarters of the field between them.

There was no shortage in strength on the driving front either with a good mixture of class rookies and experienced personnel returning and, unsurprisingly, the two opening rounds were won by experienced names.

Jacob Stilp (Fusion) and Xavier Warburton (MBR) took the winners laurels at Rowrah although Warburton could have rightly claimed both wins after being the dominant factor for the majority of the weekend.

In Saturday's final Stilp was able to capitalise on a mistake from Warburton, which saw the double heat winner try and stay on the outside of a three wide situation in the early laps of the final and end his race in the gravel. Warburton finally got his win on Sunday, but not without a fight from Stilp, who left the weekend as the points leader.

The remaining podium positions of the weekend all fell to class newcomers as the man expected by many to shine, MBR's Ben Barnicoat, struggled. Mini Max graduate Charlie Robertson and Alex Gill, third in last year's MSA British Cadet Championship rounded out the podium on Saturday with Matthew Graham, the man who finished one place ahead of Gill last year, finishing third on Sunday.

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