LGM | Paul Fletcher International | 1st October 2017
This weekend Joseph returned to a familiar stomping ground to compete in the final round of the Little Green Man Tour at PFi. Near Grantham, in the Lincolnshire countryside, Joseph has shown he is a master of this circuit many times.
Heading into the weekend Joseph was leading the championship by one point and needed a race win to secure the elusive championship title. The opening practice round on Sunday proved he had the pace to complete the task at hand, fastest by 0.74 seconds, all was going to plan.
As the rain fell Joseph headed out for the first timed qualifying session of the day, confident in his abilities in the rain. His pace was evident especially in the first two sectors however he was pipped to the post in the third sector resulting in a second place finish.
The rain continued for the first of the two heats making grip a big factor in the race. Joseph started on the outside of the grid for heat one – not a great place to be – and was edged down to third for the first corner. By lap three he had made the place up, unfortunately by this time the front runner had built up a sizeable lead. Joseph was able to chip away at the gap in the remaining laps but ran out of time to make a real challenge for the lead.
Heat one’s result meant a repeat of starting positions for heat two, the dreaded outside of the track. The rain had stopped by this point and grip was returning to a greasy track. This time Joseph was able to hold his position into the first corner and by lap two an inspired move put him in first. The pack were hot on his heels and in the next lap he was surrounded, dropping to fourth place. Undeterred, he made a place up over the next two laps and was now charging toward the leader. Patiently waiting until the penultimate lap, a perfectly timed move gave him first which he held to the line.
The results of the previous sessions meant Joseph would be starting second in the rolling start. As they were released Joseph was forced to take an outside line dropping back to fourth. It was clear that this was going to be an exciting race with the top four all showing tremendous pace. In the next lap Joseph gained a place to slot in right behind the teammates of first and second. Joseph swapped places with second briefly but could not hold it for long. With the two teammates ahead giving each other a tow things were not looking good for Joseph. His racing instincts took over as he darted up the inside capitalising on a mistake by second place, putting him in second and breaking the tow.
Joseph’s exit out the final corner – of the same lap – was perfect giving him great pace down the home straight. This allowed him to get the inside line into turn one moving him up to first.
All he had to do now was hold the lead and the title was his. The next few laps saw Joseph swat away numerous attempts on his lead unfortunately one was successful and the pair got ahead. Second place made a move on his team mate into turn one and Joseph went with him. This gave Joseph second and a new leader for him to chase.
Joseph was all over the back of the leader in the final lap and it looked like he was going to be able to steal first. But, disaster! The final corners saw the rest of the pack descend upon him and he had no option other than to take the slower outside line resulting in four karts passing by him, including his championship rival, dropping him to second in the standings.
Joseph returned to the pits contemplating what was almost his. Friends, family and sponsors reminded him that what he had achieved was remarkable. Second place in a championship class that was completely new to him this year is a hugely impressive result, giving great foundations for a successful future.
Joseph and his family would like to thank all of his sponsors and supporters for what has been a hard fought season.