More than OK: Kimber confirms his star quality
Strawberry Racing ace adds MSA British title to Junior Max World crown
Mark Kimber clinched the 2017 MSA British Kart Championship by taking 2nd place in the penultimate round at PFI (8-10 September 2017).
Far from being a cakewalk to the title, Kimber faced added opposition from visiting drivers preparing for the CIK World Championships at the Lincolnshire circuit, a fortnight later (24-25 September). He was 5th-quickest in timed qualifying for Saturday’s Round 5 of the championship, but had to content himself with 10th in the first final. In the following race Kimber took 7th, edging him closer to the title.
On Sunday (10 September) Russia’s Pavel Bulantsev surprised the ‘locals’ when he topped the timesheets in qualifying. Mark took 4th spot, while his nearest rivals – Joe Turney and Oliver Clarke – found themselves further down the order. Bulantsev, competing with Sweden’s Ward Racing, converted his pole position advantage into a comfortable lights-to-flag victory, with Kimber passing a brace of karts to cross the line in 2nd place and put the championship beyond Turney and Clarke’s grasp. Turney’s hopes took a blow when he was given a time penalty, while Clarke showed spirit to claw his way up the order to 10th.
Putting his celebrations on hold, Kimber joined the fray for the following final and sensibly avoided trouble in the tricky conditions to score a safe 8th, with Clarke and Turney completing their season-long campaigns on the sidelines. As part of the raft of prizes he received from the Super One Series, Mark was delighted to receive the prize of a full factory works drive with the TonyKart Racing team at the World Championships, also held at PFi (on 23-24 September).
Giving a great account of himself, the Solihull teenager featured in the main final, ultimately scoring 17th place on his debut at this level.
“Mark did fantastically well,” commented Strawberry Racing Team Manager, Paul Spencer “He’s used to racing on the big stage and knows how to win under pressure, as he proved when he won the Junior Rotax world title, but he was amongst the best of the best in the OK World Championships. He has a big future ahead of him.”
“Mark’s set his sights on racing GT cars and ultimately wants to compete in the famous Le Mans 24 Hour race,” added Spencer. “On this form, I wouldn’t bet against him achieving that goal sooner rather than later.”
For details of the complete range of OTK karts and opportunities to race with Strawberry in 2018, call Warwick Ringham on 0114 269 6215. You can also email him via firstname.lastname@example.org