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White goes top after Shenington victory double

13 April 2011

Josh White proved to be in a class of his own during the second round of the 2011 British Super One Rotax Series at Shenington last weekend, winning both his finals to claim maximum points and move to the top of the MiniMax standings.

Josh, who graduated to the MiniMax class for 11-15 year-olds last year - and who will also contest the same category this season in the Lewis Hamilton and Bernie Ecclestone Formula One Management-backed Formula Kart Stars (FKS) series - started the weekend in tip-top form, posting the second best time in his qualifying group, just 0.04 seconds off P1.

The 14-year-old then maintained his front-running performance in his first heat, grabbing third place overall in his RL Racing Department Ltd-run kart right behind the top-two.

“Coming into the weekend I thought I would be able to have a top-three finish and after practice we steadily built up the pace,” Josh said. “I was very pleased with second in qualifying and had I been just a few hundredths quicker I would have been first. If we could have got a bit more of a tow we would have done that.

“Then at the start of the first heat I pushed right away and made up a place and the first three of us then got away from the pack. But as the race went on I dropped back a place and lost the tow. I caught up a bit on the last lap, but they were defending and I just couldn't get passed.”

Josh though was again at the head of the pack in his second heat and he looked set for second until he was tapped into a spin on the final corner of the final lap. As a result he had to settle for ninth.

“There wasn't really a gap,” Josh explained, “but someone went for an ambitious move and we both lost out.”

That meant the Ilkley Grammar School pupil then had to start from seventh on the grid in the first final. However he just put his head down and got on with it and charged back up the order. Indeed despite slipping back initially to eleventh on the opening lap, he was up to fourth by lap 2, and up into first by lap 15, a position he held until he slipped to third on lap 18. Josh kept pushing though, and on the final tour came through to secure his first victory of the year - and his first ever in Super One. He also equalled, just for good measure, the new official MiniMax lap record at Shenington – posting a 43.70 second lap.

“It was very pleasing to win that first final,” Josh remarked. “We were really quick and we finally got the result we deserved.”

His success didn't stop there however, and in the second final he made it a double celebration, taking the lead at the start and then holding P1 for all but one of the 22 laps.

“The second final was really great too,” Josh continued. “I was pushed all the way. Near the end I started defending and it was really hard not to make a mistake - not to go off line or leave a gap. But I knew that we were both miles ahead of everyone else and it was brilliant to make it two wins in a row.”

Josh thus took the maximum 100 point haul from the weekend – runners can only score points in the finals – and that now leaves him at the head of the pack in the battle to become the 2011 Super One Rotax Series MiniMax champion, with 188 points on the board, three more than his closest rival.

“It was a great weekend,” Josh reflected. “The best I have had in a while. We gradually built up our pace and we got the set-up right in both finals and were right on the pace. I felt really good. The kart was just superb. It never went off. It was just set-up perfectly thanks to Steve Armstrong and everyone at RL Racing Department Ltd. They all did a superb job.”

Josh now has a weekend off before heading to Rowrah in Cumbria for the opening round of the 2011 Formula Kart Stars (FKS) series on April 23-24. He will then head to the Three Sisters Race Circuit in Wigan for another FKS meeting on May 21-22, before returning to Rowrah for the third round of the Super One Series on June 4-5.

“I can't wait for the first round of the Formula Kart Stars now,” he added. “I think we will be able to come away from Rowrah with a top-three finish and if we can maintain the speed we had at Shenington we can win it.”

RL Racing Department Ltd team owner Steve Armstrong meanwhile was delighted by Josh's form at Shenington and believes the youngster is on course for a very good season.

“Josh has had the potential there since he started with us this time last year. He is very, very talented and very fast. But this weekend he really came of age and did the business,” Steve added. “He won it properly. He took it from them and wasn't given anything. He was very dominant in the end.

“Hopefully it will open the floodgates for him now and he can then move on from there. I think now he has won those races - and they were very difficult ones - I don't see any reason why he can't go on to win more races and maybe inch away in the championship. Anything can happen of course. But I would put him down as one of the favourites.”

Josh's father, Nick, was also understandably very happy: “We have been knocking on the door for a while,” Nick continued, “A year ago we had only just moved up to the class and it was all new to us.

“But over the last few weeks we have been getting faster and faster with the help of RL Racing Department Ltd and it all came good this weekend. We've just got to maintain this now - and I think with Steve's help, with all his experience, we can.”


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