Luke Watts secures 5th in TVKC Winter Series

March 11, 2017

Karting

It’s known as the ultimate warm up to the Super One and LGM Series and last weekend Luke secured 5th place in the IAME Cadet Championship! It was no easy task and took Luke’s best ever result to get there…

IAME Cadet

A total of 41 IAME Cadets arrived to PFI for what was labelled the ‘official LGM shakedown’ with the series kicking off at the next TVKC club meeting.

Luke had been flying throughout practice and had set himself a target of challenging the Fusion team. He got off to a great start when he classified 11th in qualifying, it wasn’t perhaps what he was quite capable of, but it was far from a bad start.

Sunday morning Luke was greeted with terrible weather and a track that now looked tricky to negotiate. However, Luke got off to a good start in heat one with a 5th place.

Heat two conditions got worse but Luke got better! The 9-year-old and only driver in the Global Karting team to be running in the class charged through from 7th in the grid to take the lead after just one lap! Luke looked ultra-confident in the worsening conditions and went on to win by 2.79 seconds taking the fastest lap along the way.

This left Luke perfectly placed for the final on the inside of row two with Taylor Barnard and Josh Irfan making it an all Fusion front row. But that was all about to change…

As the final got underway Luke wasted no time in passing Irfan and began to push Barnard away from the pack. This had been the first time Barnard had been challenge all year and whilst he seemed flustered the rest of the field were left scratching their heads as Luke pushed Barnard into a comfortable one second lead.

It then came to the final few laps and a decision was having to be made by Luke, pass Barnard and risk a battle or settle for 2nd. With Luke now in with a chance of a great championship finish he chose the latter and took a thoroughly deserved 2nd place to confirm himself one to watch this season!

Luke moved from 10th to 5th in the championship finishing just 19 points behind 2nd place! Who said Global were a Honda team?

Honda Cadet

There were similar numbers in the Honda Cadet grid with 44 drivers entered and all the strong drivers and teams present.

Luke was quick in practice and even quickest at times! Come qualifying he was able to finish 4th in his group which left him 9th overall.

In terms of the racing in Honda things couldn’t have got off to a better start despite the tricky conditions. Luke caught and passed polesitter Theo Micouris before going on to catch and pass Vice British Champion Oliver Bearman! Luke gained himself a 1.48 second lead and took victory setting the fastest lap.

Heat two got off to an absolute disaster as Luke dropped all the way back to 21st on the opening lap, but he was once again the fastest on track and in just 9 laps he gained 17 places, gaining an average of almost two karts per lap! Astonishing.

So, despite that glitch Luke would start on the front row alongside his teammate Lucas Ellingham.

The Honda Final was largely a five-kart battle for the lead which contained Luke, Micouris, Bearman, Ellingham and Oliver Greenall. For the first six laps Luke sat in 4th before moving past Ellingham to take 3rd. However, Ellingham came straight back past before the Global pair both passed Rigby with Bearman there for the taking on the last lap! Unfortunately, this was where Luke’s challenge for the win would end with an incident dropping him to 9th. It was a shame as Luke was on for a double podium at least! However, the result did move him up to 16th in the series.

Summary

Overall it was certainly Luke’s best weekend in karting. He took three fastest laps and two wins in four heats and became the first driver to make Barnard worried. His recovery in Honda heat two was nothing short of epic and Luke has confirmed he is certainly good enough to challenge for a top ten finish in Super One!