Fresh from its victories in the Euro Max Challenge and O Plate, Strawberry Racing arrived at Rowrah (25/26 April) for the opening round of the Super One series in a buoyant mood.
With success in Mini, Junior and Senior Max, the Tony Kart squad maintained its electrifying early season form.
Kiern Jewiss underlined his star quality with back-to-back wins in the finals, to put himself at the top of the Mini Max championship’s leader board. The flying Frenchman, Axel Charpentier is currently P2, following his 3rd and 4th place finishes, respectively.
Connor McCarthy also continued to make great strides as the weekend progressed and was rewarded with a brace of 6th positions to mark his scorecard.
“We were looking good for a 1-2 finish in the second final, with Kiern leading Axel,” explained Strawberry’s Team Manager, Warwick Ringham. “Unfortunately, he was driven off the circuit in the last corner, but recovered to take 4th. It was frustrating and disappointing, but he did nothing wrong and he’s off to a good start in the title race.”
“Connor was really solid and I’m pleased with his performance. As for Kiern, he was terrific - absolutely top-drawer.”
Ringham’s smile broadened even further following Junior ace Jack McCarthy’s Rowrah romp: “Jack was fast throughout the weekend. A collapsed bearing the first final put-paid to his chances in the pre-final, but he hung on to 3rd before taking the win in the main final.”
Jack Martin and Josh Skelton raced well in the first final, crossing the line in 8th and 10th place. Skelton completed the top ten again in the second final, but Martin was pushed down the order to 11th at the chequered flag.
Irishman Gary Donnelly was on fire in the Senior ranks. The ever-rapid youngster has regularly impressed in Europe, but remained luckless on his Super One forays. He changed all that with his twin final victories in Cumbria. Equally impressive was Connor Hall. Just two seasons ago, Hall won the S1 Mini Max title with Strawberry, but was only able to make sporadic appearances in the Junior category last year. At Rowrah he came back with a bang – taking 3rd in the pre-final and the runner-up spot in the main race,
Holland’s Leonard Hoogenboom made a decent fist of his intr6oduction to the Super One series with 11th and 10th place results for the team.
“Connor came back, jumped in the kart and was immediately fast. He’s obviously very good,” observed Ringham. “You can’t single out any one of the boys for special praise as they all drove really well, but I would point out that beforehand, Gary hadn’t won a heat in Super One. He got that monkey off his back and then won both finals.”
Just a week before (18/19 April) the Lakeland circuit had hosted the annual ABKC British Open Championship - or O Plate meeting as it is more frequently known.
With its sights on the following Super One opener Strawberry had fielded a strong line-up, boosted by John Stewart. The Newcastle-based driver spearheaded a Strawberry Racing lockdown of the Senior podium, leading home Donnelly and Hall in a convincing display of the drivers’ own qualities and those of the Tony Kart Racer 401 chassis and Cream-prepared motors.
“We’ve enjoyed an unbelievable start to the new season,” said Warwick before adding a note of caution, “We just have to keep our heads down and carry on beavering away. The lads need to maintain their momentum and keep finishing well.”
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