Samuel Oram-Jones put in a steadfast performance in rounds three and four of the 2011 British Formula Kart Stars (FKS) series at Three Sisters in Wigan last weekend and his team finally overcame an elusive problem with his kart.
Sammy, who competes in the MiniMax class for 11-16 year-olds and who also contests the same class in the British Super One Rotax Series, was initially slowed by the same mechanical issue which left him down on power last month during the opening two rounds of FKS at Rowrah. Despite the best efforts of his team the problem has persisted since then and it wasn't until Friday practice that it was finally resolved after a complete engine re-build.
By then however the 13-year-old was already left playing catch-up having missed crucial time to set-up his RL Racing Department Ltd-run kart. In practice on Saturday he was 17th quickest, but he found more speed in qualifying and was up to 12th. His recovery continued in the two heats and in both he battled his way up to seventh.
Sammy then took a very commendable fifth in the round three final of the Lewis Hamilton and Bernie Ecclestone Formula One Management-backed series, despite slipping to eleventh at the start.
“Coming into the weekend we still had the problem we had at Rowrah,” explained the Milton Keynes-based teenager. “We figured out what it was though and I felt much more confident on the Saturday and we got up to fifth in the final after taking two sevenths in the heats.
“The final went really well after the start. I moved forward quite a few places and we got some important points on the board.”
The next day Sammy was eager to maintain the momentum, but unfortunately he found himself hindered by traffic in the second FKS MiniMax qualifying session and had to settle for 15th.
Undeterred, he bounced back in the first heat and finished fourth, making up ten positions during the 18-lap race. Although he couldn't match that in the second heat, he still took ninth, the same position he claimed in the round four FKS final.
“I started 15th in the heats as I just never got a clear lap in qualifying,” Sammy recalled. “But in the first heat we came through to fourth. I was quite pleased with that.