After the demise of the Formula Kart Stars, Dean was disappointed that he could not show what else he had to offer. With the Formula Kart Stars going into liquidation this really upset the rest of the year for Dean, as 2 other championships had already started and for him to join in now was going to be impossible to catch up with points. Unfortunately financially it hurt not just Dean but 40 other drivers who had paid their entries upfront.
On a brighter note Dean was asked to join Strawberry Racing (the team he won his 2nd British title with) for the OK British Championships. The championship consists of 3 rounds at Whilton Mill, Shennington & PFI. The winner of the championship will be awarded a free entry into the World Championships in Bahrain running with the works team Tony Kart from Italy. A total prestige prize.
Dean was in high spirits, totally focused mentally & physically. With all his gym sessions etc. he seemed to be well ready for what was ahead. The class is a physical and powerful class with the karts being at least 5 seconds faster than the normal. Dean is one of the youngest in the class having just turned 15 in December, he was up against adults ranging in their 20 – 40′s.
One of the main contenders was Hodgson, a world champion and probably the best in UK at present in his early 20′s. Some already had their money on Hodgson but this did not intimidate or faze Dean. He was going out to do his best but winning was all he wanted.
Practice on Friday was excellent with Dean being one of the fastest but Saturday & Sunday was what counted. Dean qualified 2nd ahead of Hodgson in 4th certainly a good boost for him.
The 1st heat saw Dean & Hodgson pull away from the pack Dean lead for a while & then Hodgson took over but this wasn’t going to stay like this for long as Dean took the lead back with Dean finishing 0.3 tenths ahead and the gap the 2 of them had from the others was 3.16 secs. A truly awesome performance.
With the 1st heat under their belts Dean was confident for the second one. Another thrilling performance saw Dean pull away from the pack to win with a 1.41 sec gap from Hodgson.
Dean all set for Sunday pole position was his for the pre-final. It was a slightly closer final as one of the drivers managed to save his tyres by not finishing a heat giving him an advantage over everyone but Dean held him off to finish 1st with a gap of 0.23.
Final 2 of the day was certainly going to be a close one. After being instructed go out and do his best as tyres were important & Dean was running slightly more worn ones it was certainly anybody’s, but points were important for the championship, At this stage Dean was leading by 6 points but it was only the 1st round. Unfortunately Dean lost the lead to Stilp and had nowhere to go except the grass but he held on and brought it back to 6th but the gap was too and with some defending the gap got bigger.
Overall it was truly an awesome weekend and Dean certainly proved he gets the job done and can compete with the best in the UK and world champions. The 2nd round will be in 6 weeks at Shennington a track that should suit Dean with his build & size as they say a small mans track. We all hope next one is as exciting as the first.
Dean & Hodgson are on 188 points each but due to qualifying Dean leads.