MSA Super 1 Series
Round 1 - Three Sisters - 19th March 2006
Riki races into championship lead
Riki Christodoulou powered into the lead of the Renault Formula A karting championship with two commanding race victories in the opening rounds held yesterday.
His pace left rivals in the UK’s top karting series unable to keep up around the Three Sisters Circuit, near Wigan, one of the country’s fastest kart tracks. On the way, the 17-year-old karter from Sutton Coldfield, picked up an invitation to spend the day with Renault F1 Team, the reigning Formula One World Constructors Champion, when it tests at Silverstone on 27th April. Christodoulou, who is racing in a Vortex-powered Alonso kart, will be hoping to meet the champion Formula One driver who gave his name to Christodoulou’s machine. “I’m delighted to start the championship with two wins, and going on the F1 test is great bonus,” said Christodoulou.
He won the first race after a three way battle with two times Renault Formula A Champion Mark Litchfield (Heage, Derbyshire) and 2003 champ Gary Catt (Sheffield), who is mounting a major international karting campaign alongside four or five rounds of the Super One Renault Formula A championship.
In the second points scoring final of the day, Christodoulou held his lead from pole position taking the inside line into the first corner. Championship rival Mark Litchfield was passed by Gary Catt and dropped to third in the opening laps. Litchfield quickly retook second place, and although he was quicker than the 2003 champion, he could do nothing about Christodoulou’s increasing lead.
The 2004 and 2005 champion, who is gunning for an unprecedented third consecutive title, was crestfallen at his rival’s dominating performance. “Two second places is fantastic for the championship. I did everything I could. I was happy with my performance and the kart’s performance, but his (Christodoulou’s) engine was better,” said Litchfield. “In the corners I could keep with him, on the straights when he put his foot down he was going way from us. Three Sisters is a power circuit, and so is Shenington, so we may struggle there.”
Christodoulou, meanwhile, also has his sights firmly set on the coveted Renault Formula A title, after an error cost him the championship in the final round last year. “I want to win,” he said. “This will probably be my last year in karts. I hope to move to racing cars next year. There was a possibility of racing single-seaters this year but I have some unfinished business in karting.”
Tiffany Chittenden (Chiselhurst, Kent) returned to Renault Formula A in a last minute deal with HRS Motorsport, but struggled having not tested in a kart over the winter. She ran as high as ninth place in the first race, finishing 13th, but retired with a broken exhaust after an accident in the second race.
Renault Formula A championship leader on the podium at Three Sisters
1st Riki Christodoulou (centre), 2nd Mark Litchfield (right) and 3rd Gary Catt.
Renault Formula A Championship provisional points: 1st – Riki Christodoulou 100pts; 2nd – Mark Litchfield 96pts; 3rd Gary Catt – 92pts; 4th – Jason Parrott 85pts; 5th – Jamie Croxford 84pts; 6th – Chris Rogers 81pts.
Three leaders at Three Sisters
Nothing separated the top three runners in Renault Formula ICA kart championship after the first two points scoring rounds held yesterday at Three Sisters circuit, near Wigan. The opening meeting in the six round British Championship series saw three contenders emerge as potential champions, with a batch of other hungry hopefuls close behind.
Fresh from winning the ICA Winter Cup in Garda, Italy, 15 year-old Ollie Millroy (Claygate, Surrey) secured pole position for the first final, and led the race to the chequered flag. He was followed on the opening laps by Richard Kent (Olney, Buckinghamshire) and Matt Truelove (Lincoln), who started from 10th place, but challengers Jason Edgar (Cleator, Cumbria) and Lee Bell (High Wycombe) stormed through the field to take the top three slots. Ollie Millroy is to be interviewed by MotorSport presenter John Hindhaugh on GlobeCast sky channel 0157, alongside the Malaysian Grand Prix comments and opinion channel. The 30 minute interview which was recorded at their London ITV studios last week will be broadcast on Wednesday 22nd March at 8pm.
33 year-old Edgar, a former motorcross racer whose dad, mum and brother have all raced karts, climbed from fifth on the grid to second place. Meanwhile Lee Bell, who failed to start his second heat and began the first final in 20th place, climbed to fourth place in the first six laps, and made a passing move on Matt Truelove into third place stick on the third attempt. Bell, who has moved from Renault Formula JICA to Fomula ICA in time for his 16th birthday this year, moved up to second with a neat move up the inside of Millroy at the end of the main straight halfway through the second race. He was briefly stuck between Jason Edgar and Ollie Millroy and dropped to fourth, but snatched the lead of the race a few laps from the end, after a close four-way fight for race victory.
Both Millroy and Bell are ambitious to take the ICA title after moving from JICA. Millroy said: “It is going to be a battle right to the end of the season. I don’t think anyone is going to walk away with it. I’m aiming to win the championship by collecting points at every round.”
Bell, Millroy and Edgar are all tied for points at the top of the championship table, with Truelove and Kent neck and neck, nine points behind the leaders. Scott Malvern (Ilford, London), who has registered to take part in Formula Renault BARC single-seater racing as well as Renault Formula ICA karting this year, ended the weekend in the top 10 of the championship leaderboard after 12th and 16th place finishes in the two finals.
Renault Formula ICA karting championship leaders
from left Ollie Millroy, Lee Bell and Jason Edgar.
Renault Formula ICA Championship provisional points: 1st – Lee Bell 96pts; 2nd – Ollie Millroy 96pts; 3rd Jason Edgar – 96pts; 4th – Matt Truelove 87pts; 5th – Richard Kent 87pts; 6th – John Joe Walsh 84pts
Rowland impresses at Three Sisters
Oliver Rowland’s bid for the Renault JICA karting championship got off to a flying start with two well-measured wins in the points scoring finals of the opening meeting held yesterday.
Rowland (Penistone, Yorkshire) and his leading rivals in the top British Championship kart series for 13-16 year olds drove mature strategic races, using aerodynamic ‘tows’ and even pushing each other down the main straight at Three Sisters circuit, near Wigan.
Making the racing cliché of driving nose to tail a reality, the leading drivers overtook two at a time down the straight, making a merry go round of the leaderboard and taking advantage of the fact that two JICA karts travelling together are quicker than one.
However it was Rowland who emerged with the upper hand in both races where the leader would be relegated to third place time and again only to move ahead in convoy with the second place driver. The double victory more than matched his expectations for the race, following an accident in the Valley section of the Three Sisters circuit during a heat. “I was hoping for a win. We had to work together to get past, pushing each other down the straight. Jack (Harvey) left a gap on the last lap and I took it.” His two wins also secured Rowland an invitation to attend a test day with Renault F1 Team in April. He said: “It’s wicked! I hope to meet Alonso. Formula One is the main aim for most people in karting, so it will be great to go behind the scenes.”
Behind him Jordan Chamberlain (Newport, Gwent), was second in the first final and third in the second points scoring race. Richard Bradley (Blackheath, London) won the heats, and came third and fifth in the two finals, while Jack Harvey (Lincoln) was fourth in final one and missed out on victory in the closing stages of final two.
Renault Formula JICA Championship provisional points: 1st – Oliver Rowland 100pts; 2nd – Jordan Chamberlain 94pts; 3rd – Jack Harvey 92pts; 4th – Richard Bradley 89pts; 5th – James Godbehere 84pts; 6th – Scott Jenkins 83pts.
Full Race Results from Round 1...
Photographs courtesy of Chris Walker - www.kartpix.net
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