Sheffield’s Strawberry Racing team’s young drivers were in the thick of the action in the sixth and final rounds of the SSM Super One Rotax/Honda series at the PF international circuit in Lincolnshire.
The Formula Senior Rotax final was dominated by Strawberry Racing’s Championship-leader, Joseph Reilly, who from pole position enjoying a lights-to-flag victory easily sealed the title.
But he had to work for it, as at the start Reilly was being chased down by KR-Sport rival, Doncaster’s Matthew Hirst, and then Luke Knott but Reilly took the flag 0.17 seconds ahead.
A delighted Reilly said: “It’s been really hard after four years out of a kart seat. I was under pressure, and just wanted consistent finishes. I had good pace, and a good final, so I was pleased.”
Hirst, a rookie to the national Super 1 series, lost his initial second place, and then fell out of fourth with a visit to the grass verges. But he managed to recover to sixth, and finish as top rookie.
The Handsworth-based team’s championship leader, Dean MacDonald, in the Formula Minimax category started as he meant to continue on the front row for the final.
But MacDonald was swamped on the opening lap, dropping back to sixth, in the early laps. He fought his way up to third which was just enough for the title.
Rotherham’s Thomas Turner, run by Tooley motorsport, was top rookie, from sixth on the grid working his way up to fourth mid-race, only then to get mobbed, falling back to 14th place at the flag.
He received the Top Rookie Trophy, and ended the season sixth overall, runner-up the rookie category.
Strawberry’s Kiern Jewiss, second-placed in the Formula Honda Cadet championship, started the final on the front row, and was running in second place but was hung out to dry at the first hairpin, putting him down in sixth.
Dropping off the pace as the race progressed, three laps later Jewiss was punted wide at the second hairpin losing further positions, to finish eighth.
That put paid to his championship chances as he failed to score a vital six points, meaning he disappointedly finished runner-up instead.
Jack McCarthy, fourth in the championship, started the Formula Junior Rotax final on the front row for Strawberry, taking the lead at the start, before dropping back slightly.
He then spent most of the race dicing at the front with rival Lucas Vaus, briefly taking the lead in the closing stages, eventually taking the flag in third place, and ending the season fourth in the championship.