McCarthy wins back-to-back Super One titles
Jack McCarthy has confirmed his reputation as one of the UK’s most exciting motorsport prospects by winning the 2016 Awning Company Super One Rotax Max championship – just a year after winning the Junior equivalent.
The Strawberry Racing driver believed he had done enough to clinch his historic double when he scored a brace of 2nd-place finishes at the series finale on 25th September. However, with two drivers appealing the results from a previous round, Jack’s party had been put on hold until the outcome had been resolved. On Monday 10 October, the Motor Sports Association (MSA), published its judgement which in turn confirmed McCarthy as the 2016 champion.
The news reached Jack while he was in lessons at school, where he couldn’t celebrate his latest success – not without risking a detention.
“My Dad texted me, basically saying: ‘You’ve done it, the MSA has confirmed you’re the champion’ which came as big relief but I had to stuff my phone back in my pocket before my teacher spotted me. It’s a bit of an odd feeling, knowing that you’re a champion again but can’t say anything because, ironically, you’re in a Media lesson.”
“Of course I’m delighted, especially as I think I’m possibly the youngest driver to win the Senior title, but there won’t be any big celebrations. I’ve qualified for the Rotax Grand Finals at Sarno, later this month (22/23 October), which is effectively the World Championships and it will also be my last race in karts, as I’m aiming to graduate to cars next year, so I’d love to win it. Then you’ll see me celebrate!”
At Britain’s premier karting circuit, PFI (Paul Fletcher International) near Grantham in Lincolnshire, Jack and his closest rival for the title – Yorkshire’s Josh White – had been poised to take their season-long title fight down to the wire – the Super One series’ very last race of the season.
Having locked out the front row for the first of the two points-scoring finals, McCarthy and White were virtually inseparable. That was until super-fast Welshman Josh Collings, entered the fray.
In the first final, Collings managed to wriggle past the duelling pair and opened up an impressive margin over the scrapping White and McCarthy. As the race entered its final stages Jack was shadowing Josh but, with an outstanding manoeuvre, he managed to turn the tables on his rival. McCarthy attacked on the fast run into PFI’s notoriously tight first hairpin. As both braked heavily to make the corner, White defended the inside line but scrubbed off speed as he defended the inside of the corner. In contrast, McCarthy had kept his revs up by allowing his kart to run wider through the turn and powered into 2nd place. White fought back, but could find no way past as they charged towards the finishing line. However, White’s 3rd place ensured that the very last race of the entire championship would be a title-deciding shootout.
Although it was another suspense-laden humdinger, the trio finished in the same order with Jack’s team and family believing he had made history as the youngest driver to lift the senior title.
Albeit that Josh and jack were tied on equal points, the title went to the latter by virtue of him having a better total score over the seven rounds. The confirmation of the final championship standings depended on Collings’ MSA hearing as he and fellow racer Ben Davis appealed their exclusion from round five of the championship for a technical infringement, for which both were excluded from the event and forfeited all their championship points for the round.
“The delay in hearing what the outcome of the MSA court hearing did put a little dampener on things but we all raced hard and cleanly and I felt that I’d done enough to win the championship fair and square on the day. I started the year by winning the British Open Championship and now go to Italy as the Super One champion also, that’s actually a great little confidence boost before the action gets underway at Sarno.”