|Strawberry Racing is celebrating a unique double after lifting the Junior and Senior Euro Max crowns at Salbris last weekend (12/13 September). In the senior category, Joseph Reilly led team-mate Luke Varley across the line in the final round of the Euro Max championship - but it was the latter who triumphed overall. Josh Webster sealed the first major title of his career with third place in the Junior Max grand final.|
After the heats, the team was delighted to see that two of its stars had qualified for the first of the day’s two Senior Max finals in third [Reilly] and sixth [Varley] - with team-mates James Greenway and Barrie Pullinger in fifth and fifty-seventh, respectively. Despite a quality field, Varley and Reilly would turn both encounters into two-horse races.
Luke took a crushing win the in the pre-final, taking the chequered flag over two seconds ahead of Joseph and was almost assured of the title. In the main final, Reilly reversed the order - although Varley ran him close throughout the fourteen, nail-biting laps. Unfortunately, after a crash had put him out of the running in the first final, Greenway was left with the task of fighting his way back up the order in each final and would eventually finish in eleventh place.
Whilst disappointed for Barrie and James, team manager Warwick Ringham could not hide his delight at Luke and Joseph’s one-two in the championship’s final positions, “It’s just fantastic!” he said. “To be honest, I think it was the right result. We’ve won all bar one final and overall, did the best job. Everyone put in a huge amount of effort and we’ve got our just rewards. I’m also proud to say that James was able to take seventh in the championship, so we’ve got three drivers in the top ten. That’s not bad. Barrie has learned a lot and will be much stronger in next year’s series.”
After Josh’s podium, his hugely-supportive family immediately started their celebrations, “They were ecstatic!” says Warwick. “They were all jumping around and who could blame them? Do you know, when he won the title, it was just four days shy of being exactly three years since he competed in his first ever race. That’s quite an achievement. I’m over the moon for him and his family, he deserved it.”
Ringham was also at pains to acknowledge the contribution of those who made a key contribution to Strawberry’s run of success in 2009, “I would particularly like to thank Steve, Tim, Heather and Richard at Ogden Motorsport, Paul Chambers and Dave ‘Dodge’ Gregory. Plus all the mechanics, who often work long hours in difficult conditions without complaining.”
He added, “I don’t think any of the team has had a chance to celebrate yet. We loaded up the truck, drove back to Sheffield, prepped all the karts and now we’re off to PFi [in Lincolnshire] this weekend [19/20 September].”
With the Euro Max and GP titles already won, the team has turned its attentions to adding the British Super 1 Rotax senior title to its haul. Luke represents Strawberry’s best chance of succeeding, whilst Joseph and James will be keen to improve their own places in the final standings.
Josh has an excellent chance of finishing in the junior top three, although Warwick predicts a tough weekend for all his young charges, “I think we’ll be fast at PF, but there’s a lot at stake. I suspect we’ll see a lot of drama and action because you’ll have a mixture of people with lots to lose, or nothing at all. If we survive the heats, qualify near the front for the first final, I think we’ll be in good shape to go from there.”
Opportunities to race with Strawberry’s KF and Rotax teams in 2010 are now available. For more information, please call Warwick Ringham or Paul Spencer on 0114 269 6215/0114 288 9933 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about the championship-winning Tony Kart EVR chassis, visit www.strawberryracing.co.uk