Walker hails "best ever start" to British Championship Jonathan Walker got his bid to lift the British Super 1 SKF title underway with a brace of second place finishes at Shenington in Oxfordshire last weekend (13/14 March). In gusty...
Walker hails "best ever start" to British Championship
Jonathan Walker got his bid to lift the British Super 1 SKF title underway with a brace of second place finishes at Shenington in Oxfordshire last weekend (13/14 March).
In gusty conditions that had many spectators wondering if it was possible to have a non-surgical facelift by wind power alone, Jonathan put in a solid, if unspectacular, performance during timed qualifying to record the sixth-fastest lap time.
In the first of the two heats he took an encouraging fourth place, despite not being entirely comfortable with his kart's set-up.
"I've recently switched to a Fernando Alonso chassis and this was only my third time on it. All our technical data relates to the old kart, which had completely different characteristics to the Alonso," he explained.
A controversial coming together with another driver in the following race earned the AMT Racing Team driver a visit to the stewards and a subsequent disqualification from the heat. Nevertheless, his earlier finish was good enough to put him on the second row of the grid for the first of Sunday's two finals.
After initially losing ground at the start, Jonathan clawed his way up to second place - before being pushed back to third. On lap seventeen (of twenty four) he moved back into second and was successfully holding off the chasing pack.
In the main final, an almost carbon copy of the pre-final was enacted. Jonathan started well, but as the field streamed into a fast left-hander, he found himself being shuffled backwards.
"It took me two laps to get into a rhythm and find a way past the guy in second. His kart had phenomenal brakes so I had to produce something a bit special to out-brake him and wriggle past. Once I'd done that though, I just got my head down and tried to catch the leader."
Unfortunately, the early exchanges behind Mark Litchfield had allowed the former champion to build up an unassailable advantage over the rest of the field, including Walker. Despite making up some ground, the gap was too great for Jonathan to mount a serious challenge, as Jonny later confirmed. "I put several good laps in to try and catch Mark, but by then he had it in the bag. I'm satisfied with my two second places though. In fact, it's the best start to a season I've ever had. So yes, overall it's a good result - but naturally, we'll try and better it at the next race and the ones after that".
The next round of the championship takes place at Larkhall in Lanarkshire on 24/25 April.
-source: jonathan walker