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Feb 12, 2013 - 05:59 PM
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Strawberry Racing Scores Historic Rotax Winter Cup Double
Posted by: newsla on Feb 12, 2013 - 05:53 PM
Support Series News
Strawberry Racing Scores Historic Rotax Winter Cup Double

Strawberry Racing dominated the fifth edition of the Rotax Winter Cup at Campillos (4-10 February), with its drivers taking 1st and 2nd place finishes in the junior and senior categories.


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Having previously won the event an unprecedented four times, team manager Warwick Ringham confessed he was running out of superlatives to describe how he felt after winning again: “What can I say? Every year the pressure is on us, so much so, that winning is almost a relief. Of course, I’m delighted for the four lads on the podium but all of our drivers performed extremely well.”

He added: “Until the week before Campillos, most of them hadn’t sat in a kart since the Grand Finals (28 November – 1 December, at Portimao, Portugal). So went out there and just let them all drive round and have fun. You could see how much Harry has matured since he won the Grand Finals, so he was able to step up to the senior equipment and match Harrison’s pace straight away. Even so, they were putting some outrageous passes on each other as they played out on track. Our Juniors - Connor Hall and Guan Yu Zhou - were also quick, as expected, but they were kept honest by our new drivers Darren Keane and Yuri Vips.”

Jessica Backman impressed when she arrived in Andalucia in the early hours of Saturday morning and, having missed Friday’s timed qualifying session, had to go straight into the heats from the back of the grid. Her brother, Andreas, was the team’s sole representative in the DD2 category. Sadly, a bent brake disc blighted his chances of a good finish in the main final, having delivered a series of strong performances in the preliminaries.

In the junior class, Connor Hall maintained the form he showed at the end of last season, as did Guan Yu Zhou. The pair duly gave strong performances in the pre-final to finish 2nd and 5th respectively. Juri finished in a creditable 10th with Darren, still getting to grips with the European style of racing, a fine 14th.

Hall proved to be the class of the field in the 14-lap final, as Zhou fought his way through to the runner-up spot. Juri and Darren gained more poisitive experience as they took the chequered flag in line astern, finishing 13th and 14th.

A nail-biting finish in the senior final was assured, after 2012 Winter Cup champion Scott reeled in the leader, Webb, and attacked. Harry defended, but neither would give their team-mate an inch. Ringham and his team could barely watch as Harrison had to take to the grass to avoid a collision. Webb was given a warning flag for the robust defence of his advantage but won the race fair and square, with Scott refusing to give up his crown all the way to the finishing line.

“What a way to signal your arrival in seniors!” said Ringham. “Harry was just magnificent and what a way for Harrison to sign off his karting career, before going into Formula Ford, with another thoroughly deserved podium.”

Grand Final victor Charlie Eastwood also finished well inside the top ten, with 7th place and Jessica Backman also earned praised for her eventual 16th place.

With a vacancy created by Scott’s departure to single-seaters, Ringham announced the arrival of Kyle Fowlie into the squad: “Now Kyle’s with us, we must have one of the strongest line-ups we’ve fielded,” explained Warwick. “Omar Ismail, Ben Hingely and Max Aitken also signed with us in the closed-season, making our junior team a very exciting prospect indeed.”

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