Robert Foster-JonesRobert Foster-Jones scored a surprise but thoroughly-deserved last gasp Super KF victory in the final round of the European Kart Championship yesterday (2 August), at Essay in northern France.

After three blown engines had earlier compounded his woes and did much to sum up his season’s fortunes, the Ricky Flynn Motorsport driver lined up on the grid for the final race of the European Championship, almost in last place. But despite his mathematical chances of winning the overall title being over, Rob dug deep to produce, possibly, the performance of his career.

“I had nothing left to race for, other than my pride,” he said modestly afterwards.

Starting from nineteenth position he passed seven karts in the first corner. He then deposed two further drivers to complete the opening in lap in ninth place. Foster-Jones climbed steadily up the order to eventually find himself in second place and catching the leader, ‘Flying Finn’ Aaro Vainio.

On the last lap, the pair was nose to tail. Vainio, going for the race win and the overall championship victory tried to defend from the advancing Englishman. Arguably the best driver in the world using the front brakes, Robert waited until the penultimate corner to out-brake his rival.

Knowing that a crash could cost him the title, Vainio defended his line but made sure that should an attack come, he wouldn’t risk a collision. Seeing his chance, Robert needed no further asking and scythed down the inside to snatch the lead. Vainio tried to re-pass but Foster-Jones held his line and nerve to score a deserved and sensational victory.

“Fantastic!” was how he described the race and his return to the international podium. “I got what I deserved. I’ve had a lot of bad luck all year with engine failures and other issues that have been beyond my control. Every time something like that happens you just have to pick yourself up, move on and try harder. I and the team have done that all season and we’ve earned this victory. To win from pretty much last place is just fantastic.”

His team boss, Ricky Flynn was quick to praise his talented young star, saying “He drove exceptionally well. He delivered the drive of his life. From the start all the way to the chequered flag, he didn’t put a foot wrong. Everyone knows he’s good and this [result] proves it.”

Robert’s triumph saw him finish in fifth place overall in the European Championship standings and he and his RFM team believe it will be the spur to go on and compete for the British Super 1 and World Championship titles.

“We’ve turned a corner. Robert has trained harder and is now physically stronger and mentally tougher than at any time in his career before. We’ve also changed things to help him and we’re back to winning ways. We’re back on victory road,” Flynn said with notable conviction.

You can watch his superb race to the top step of the podium on Eurosport 2, next Monday 10 August from 7pm.

As his prize for winning the Bridgestone Cup in Italy last October, Rob is flying out to the Hockenheim circuit in Germany to test a Formula BMW racing car later this week.

Photo by Chris Walker /Kartpix.