Foster-Jones celebrates historic Super 1 championship victory

Foster-Jones celebrates historic Super 1 championship victory

21.10.2009: The plaudits rained down on Robert Foster-Jones after he snatched the British Super 1 championship in a sensational showdown at Fulbeck in Lincolnshire, last Sunday (18 October).

The plaudits rained down on Robert Foster-Jones after he snatched the British Super 1 championship in a sensational showdown at Fulbeck in Lincolnshire, last Sunday (18 October).

Knowing beforehand that nothing less than victory would suffice if he was to stand a chance of winning the title, the Ricky Flynn Motorsport driver produced a scintillating performance in the first final to blow things wide open.

From pole position, Foster-Jones got a clean getaway, with his title-rival, Ben Cooper, slotting into second place. At this point, a second-place would have been sufficient to give Cooper the championship and inspired a brave piece of quick-thinking from Robert.

He slowed down, to back the pair into the clutches of the chasing pack. With several drivers sensing that they too could improve their championship positions, Cooper came under attack, and in some superb racing began to drop down the order, leaving Foster-Jones to consolidate his lead and ultimately take the chequered flag with Cooper crossing the line in fifth.

The gathering twilight produced anxiety in the RFM awning prior to the second final. Delays in the programme meant that it was running late and there were several calls for the title-deciding race to be cancelled. Had this happened, Cooper would have been crowned as champion. However, with minutes to spare the karts rocketed out onto the circuit and the paddock emptied, as drivers, mechanics and spectators thronged the grandstands - unaware that they were about to watch one of the most exciting races in the history of the sport.

From the start, Cooper literally attacked and forced his way past several drivers, including Foster-Jones who was pushed off the circuit and fell to the rear of the field. By the time Robert had clawed his way into second position, Cooper had opened a sizeable lead. So big in fact, many thought it insurmountable. Not so, to Robert.

A blistering series of laps took him up to Cooper’s tail and an incisive manoeuvre saw him seize the initiative. Rattled, Cooper backed off to avoid the risk of clashing with Foster-Jones. Again, all he needed was a second-place finish, but must have experienced déjà vu as once more, Robert slowed the pace down allowing the field to bunch up behind them.

The tension on the sidelines was electric and with the underside of the karts sparking on the kerbs, it seemed that even the air could ignite. What did explode was the on-track action. Cooper went for an over-optimistic lunge, squeezing Foster-Jones over a high kerb and up onto two wheels. Reigning champion Mark Litchfield seized his chance, along with Londoner Richard Bradley, to take up first and second as the two main protagonists regained the track. Robert recovered to third place, whilst Cooper finished further down - but was later excluded for contact driving

“That was most exciting race I’ve seen in my life” said Gordon Finlayson, of GFR Engines. “It was unbelievable, outrageous, amazing. The hairs are standing up on the back of my neck just thinking about it,” he added, whilst other onlookers described Robert’s tenacious drives as “awesome”, “spectacular” and as “one of the most thrilling moments in British motorsport history”. The renowned chassis manufacturer Tim Gillard was moved to tell Rob’s team boss, Ricky Flynn “That was the cleverest and best piece of driving I’ve seen since Terry Fullerton’s performance in the 1976 World Championship final.”

A delighted and very proud Flynn commented, “It was a masterful drive. Robert showed what a class act he is and that he’s ready to go to the next level. He was head and shoulders above the rest”. 

Foster-Jones himself said, “I’ve had some fantastic races and taken some illustrious victories but this was the pinnacle of my karting career. They were two epic finals. This was my last event in karts before I go into cars [Formula Renault UK, with Manor Competition] and I can’t tell you how much I wanted to go out on top. I had to deliver on every level – not just on my driving ability but also on how I coped with the pressure, showed my hunger to win and how I could think on my feet in the heat of the moment.”

Commenting on the praise from all quarters of the sport, he added “The response from distinguished members of the karting community has just been incredible. It’s very flattering and a little bit humbling.”

Robert will make his motor racing debut at the end of this month in the opening round of the Formula Renault Winter Series at Snetterton in Norfolk, on Saturday 31 October and Sunday 1 November.

Visit www.robertfosterjones.com to learn more about him and his racing career.


Adam Jones at 100cc PR

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/karting-foster-jones-historic-super-1-championship-victory-fulbeck---71768.html

21.10.2009 / MaP

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