Karting ace Wood stretches FKS title advantage in Northern Ireland
Donington Park-backed karting ace Tom Wood enjoyed another sensational weekend in the F1-supported Formula Kart Stars series, to extend his championship lead at Nutts Corner circuit in Northern Ireland.
Tom had competed at the track in 2012 as a young cadet racer, and was confident ahead of the weekend on a circuit he knew well.
Tom was third fastest in Saturday’s qualifying session, behind two Irish guest drivers who benefited from their local track knowledge to set the fastest times. Putting his third place start berth to good use, Tom climbed to second place at the start of the first heat, and began pulling away with race leader and guest driver Sam McDonnell. Halfway through the race, the second guest racer Daniel Harper caught and passed McDonnell and Tom and passed both, with Tom finishing third.
Starting from third in heat two, Tom suffered a bad get away with loading from behind. With another kart getting caught on Tom’s rear bumper, he dropped to fifth but worked his way back to finish third once more.
Another difficult start in heat three saw Tom shuffled from second to fourth, but fought back magnificently to get himself into the battle for the lead, which he took on lap five. Holding his place at the front for the next four laps, Wood was caught and passed by local racer Harper, and claimed second place.
Heading into the day’s final, Tom started from third and made a good start to hold his position. With the local racers McDonnell and Harper squabbling for the lead, Wood was able to catch and pass McDonnell to finish in a superb second place.
Buoyed by his strong performance on Saturday, Tom went into Sunday’s round six high in confidence. With weather conditions deteriorating, qualifying was held in very wet conditions, and despite showing strong speed, Tom was sixth fastest overall.
After making a few set up changes, Tom made a great recovery in the first heat of the day to take a strong fourth place after passing Jac Maybin and Tom Douglas.
Starting fourth in heat two, Wood was pushed wide on the opening lap and dropped to seventh place. But he delivered an outstanding drive in the wet conditions to claw his way into the top three at the finish.
Making a strong start to heat three, Tom slotted into second place and began pulling clear of the chasing pack. Local man McDonnell had built a gap at the front though, and Tom was unable to catch him, but stormed across the line in second place despite the very challenging conditions.
Another strong start in the final followed, to run in second place. Pulling a gap from the rest of the field, Tom aimed to challenge McDonnell but the local man again had a cushion. Halfway through the race, Wood was caught and passed by Harper, but having built a sizeable margin to the rest of the field, Tom was able to take third place in torrential rain, to take his sixth podium of the championship. With the guest driver ineligible for points, Tom’s results ensured he took a maximum score from the weekend, to extend his championship lead.
Tom Wood commented: “I love this track and enjoyed the weekend immensely. The two local drivers know the track well, and I think I put up a good fight. I’m really enjoying Formula Kart Stars and it’s brilliant that Sky Sports F1 were filming again. I’m so happy to represent Donington Park and also to stretch my lead in the championship. A special thank you to Piers Sexton for helping me to achieve such great results.”
Tom is competing in the British Kartmasters Grand Prix at PFI Circuit this weekend. For more information on Tom’s racing, visit www.tomwoodracing.com.