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West Norfolk’s Oliver clinches sixth-place finish

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An second-round engine seizure put paid to a promising start from Oliver Ridout in the opening round of the 2018 Superkarting season.

The problem has ruled him out of competing in the first round proper of the British Superkart Championships at Oulton Park tomorrow.

But the weekend had started off so well for the West Norfolk Rugby Club player who was competing on his home circuit of Snetterton.

Being first on to the circuit for the free practice session was a leap into the unknown for Ridout with temperatures hovering around freezing and the snow blowing into his face as he travelled down the Bentley straight.

His practice came to an abrupt end when he spun out on the grass and stalled as he attempted to pass a slower kart.

The tricky weather conditions continued for the qualifying session, but Ridout was posted eighth on the grid and fourth in class for his opening outing.

Ridout made a fantastic start, gaining four places off the line, turning into the first corner in third.

As the first lap progressed he dropped back a few places to the larger-engined 250cc machines, but remained fourth in class for the first lap-and-a-half.

Andrew Connor demoted Ridout to fifth and before a good battle with last year’s team mate Tim King.

A mistake at Agostini gave King the upper-hand, but Ridout still came home in a pleasing sixth position.

Another good start in the second race of the afternoon saw Ridout maintain his position.

He was involved in jostles with both Neil Robinson and Kev Gray who eventually passed him before his engine seizure struck.

Ridout hopes to make a racing return at the Easter weekend meeting at Cadwell.

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