Going into 2018, the Senior championships changed in the UK and Senior Rotax and Senior X30 became the classes to race for British Championship seeded numbers.
Turney entered both classes, taking the respectable grids within his stride and performing outstandingly at each event.
In Senior X30 Turney was racing previous world champion Oliver Hodgson and was frequently beating him and other talented drivers throughout the series. Going into the final round of the championship, Joe only had to pull a handful of points on Hodgson to secure the title and managed to do so on the first day of racing. Senior X30 British Champion was not a title Turney was expecting amongst such a talented field but his unwavering speed and skill throughout ensured that he was duly rewarded with the title.
In Senior Rotax Turney was set to win the title with incredible driving displays in each meeting. The title was however taken from him by only a couple of points in the final round due to a collision at the Clay Pigeon round earlier in the season when he was driven over and forced him to retire. This severe lack of points was ultimately to deprive Turney of a double British Championship winning year. Nonetheless the title of vice champion in Senior Rotax is an immense result and a testament to Turney’s consistency and skill.
In Europe, Joe entered the X30 Euro Series for a chance at gaining another European title after his BNL championship win in 2016. Undoubtedly one of the frontrunners and main competitors for the title, Turney’s luck was to end when he was brutally deprived of the title upon breaking down on the formation lap of the final in Wackersdorf due to a spark plug failure.
Forced to swiftly move on from his championship heartbreak with important races just around the corner, Turney travelled to the British Karting Grand Prix at PFI for a chance at finally earning the title. Entering into the Senior Rotax and Senior X30 races, Turney had a busy weekend if racing to ensure he had a chance at victory. The Senior Rotax final came first and Turney put on an incredible display to take the win, becoming Kartmasters champion for the first time - a prestigious and well-respected title. The Senior X30 final was next, with some immense racing against former Kartmasters champions Barnicoat and Hodgson. Turney went for a move on Barnicoat on the last lap for a chance at becoming a double Kartmasters champion in a day, though this was not meant to be and he crossed the line in 3rd. Nonetheless, many remarked that the X30 final was one of the best races karting had ever seen amongst three Kartmasters champions.
Turney also entered into the BNL championship, a favourite to race since his 2016 championship win and with his Dad by his side as mechanic. Joe stormed the championship and in the final round in Genk led the finals on both days by over six seconds - achieving maximum points for the meeting, fastest lap and the Benelux Championship title for the second time in his career, this time in Senior Rotax.
Joe travelled straight from Genk to Le Mans, France, for the Iame International Finals on the back of a two week title rampage in which he became senior British and BNL champion for the first time. The International Finals was Turney’s chance to compete for the highest title available in the Senior X30 class, World Champion. The week-long invite-only event against the best drivers in the karting world tested not only Joe's driving ability but his personal strength. After qualifying tenth out of 144 drivers, having been held up on his flying lap, Turney's heat results varied with multiple wins contrasting results as bad as 14th and 21st due to unfortunate luck on track. Nonetheless, an extraordinary drive in the pre-final from 14th position to 6th set Turney up for the winner-takes-all finale, demonstrating his prowess to the rest of the field. An enthralling final race, packed with numerous changes for the lead and world-class overtakes, saw Joe cross the line victorious by one-hundredth of a second claiming the title of World Champion. The title is one Joe could only have dreamed of achieving when he started racing as a cadet in 2011, but is one he ultimately could not have deserved more. Turney’s exceptional talent, demonstrated throughout his racing career, has remained throughout the heartbreaking luck and championship title wins. To become World Champion is the epitome of Joe’s ability as a driver and is a title he will never forget.
Thanks must go to KR Sport team boss Ash Orchard as without his support Joe would never have been able to race as he has throughout the past few years. Thanks also go to Martyn Smithers who has remained Joe’s confidante since his first race in 2011 and has provided immeasurable help and support to help Joe become the champion he is today. A special mention also goes to Louis Green, Joe's mechanic for much of the year, who has done a fantastic job throughout!
Funding ultimately remains Joe’s biggest limitation. As World Champion Joe could be moving to the next step in his racing but money is his barrier to success. Do you know someone who could partner this talented driver, share his publicity, his successes, his journey and enjoy some great racing? If so please get in touch, email@example.com.
2017 saw Joe move into Seniors at 15 years old to race some of the best drivers in the world.
Racing in 2017 was quieter for Joe as his GCSEs were held in the summer, which meant more time spent on gaining important academic qualifications. Joe achieved incredibly respectable grades which then saw him admitted to the MSA Academy in the autumn.
To keep race fit Turney ran out in X30 Senior for much of the season, though he did not pursue a seeded number as this was not the focus of his season. The faster OK class, which was the official MSA British Championship class, was Joe’s preferred choice.
Turney took an immediate lead in the OK championship table but this was not to last with engine performance issues at Shenington and eventually a seize to finish off difficult two rounds where drivers were missing races to save tyres and manipulate points. Nonethless in timed qualifying at Shenington Turney equalled the fastest lap ever recorded from any class at the circuit with a stunning 39.94s lap however as it was not set in a race but in qualifying it cannot be recorded officially.
Going into the final round at PFI the series promoters allowed a large number of guest drivers which, although great to race, altered the outcome of the championship with one guest wiping Turney out in final two on day one. There was also the issue of one championship driver getting two push starts from track marshalls which no other driver was permitted to receive.
All of the above conspired to rob Turney of important points and ultimately the MSA Champion 2017 title, however taking the vice champion title in his first year in senior racing was a fantastic achievement and indication of what Turney had to offer in the class. So much for a quiet year…!
2016 saw Joe being stretched further by changing class again into Junior Rotax, no one could have imagined the year would end with him being a double Champion and getting two tickets to compete in the World Finals in Sarno Italy.
The season started well for Joe but funding kept him away from the British Open. He took podiums regularly and was showing that he had real potential to be among the top seeded drivers in the UK.
With UK racing going well it was decided to put Joe out in Europe in the Belgian, Netherlands and Luxembourg Championship series (BNL). Competing in the six rounds Joe showed real class, mastering the new tracks with limited track time and delivering round after round and eventually being crowned 2016 BNL Champion and getting his ticket to compete in the World Finals. To do this in a maiden season is a significant acomplishment.
Back on home soil the British Championships were going well with slightly below par tyres delivering a slightly disappointing Shenington round but even worse ones causing real problems at PFI.
The final round was filled with drama as Joe's tyres grained in quali and deteriorated rapidly in the two heats. He went into race day with the worst tyres he has ever had to use. Never to be defeated Joe maximised his equipment as he always does. He knew he couldn't attack in the same way but he was able to maintain his position and finished 6th easily enough to give him the championship win and becoming the British Champion 2016 with the coveted no1 plate.
Taking double championships is extremely rare and it is a measure of the talent of the driver and the hard work of everyone begind the scenes at KR Sport that creates an environment where winning is possible.
Joe has numerous opportunities and offers but funding remains his limitation. Do you know someone who could partner this talented driver, share his publicity, his successes and enjoy some great racing? If so please get in touch, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joe moved into the highly demanding Rotax classes where the speeds are greater, the racing harder and the demands on the drivers on an off the track become even harder. The minimax field for 2015 was acknowledged as being one of the finest and most competitive for years.
He returned to work with Martyn Smithers at KR Sport which is owned by Ash Orchard. They are Rotax World Champions and widely respected as being one of the best teams in the UK. Joe had to work exceptionally hard in his first season to match the drivers who have had years in the junior classes before him.
None of this phased Joe who got straight down to racing and won the second round of the British Championships. Despite being the victim of some faultless crashes continually pushed and ended the season with a double victory and was seeded 5th in the UK.
He also competed in the British Kart Grand Prix and came a highly respectable third. Unfortunately funding prevented us from entering the Open Championship.
Funding remains our real limitation, can you help or do you know anyone who can help? Please make contact of you feel you can help this young sportsman deliver his potential.
2014 was a good season for Joe. He raced in Super One and despite suffering severe power issues for around a third of the season and operating on a limited budget he was seeded 10th in the British Championships and 7th in the National LGM series. He finished his cadet career with Next-Gen Motorsport under the guidance of David Bellchambers. Joe has learned immensely during his time in cadets and has too many people to thank than can be listed here but it is right to mention Gary Chapman, Martyn Smithers and David Bellchambers.
2013 delivered many race wins including becoming the Shenington 2013 iame cadet champion, the Superprix Champion and the Winter Series Champion at Shenington. Joe made the step up to Super one and as a novice finished highly in many rounds and races. He finished the year with a seventh place in the British Open Championship at the superb PFI track in Grantham. Racing at National level prevented Joe from participating in many local club championships but it was critical to put him out with the very best drivers.
Joe pushed hard early in the year and supported by his team learned very quickly. Not only did he close in on the top performing drivers he started beating them. As the year progressed he became one of the front running club drivers consistently winning heats and taking fastest laps.
Towards the end of the year his talents were spotted by Clive Temple of Cranfield University of Motorsport and was appointed an Associate Driver, a great honour for such a young driver.
He rounded off 2012 with back to back wins to seal a superb year, to be a driver with race wins in his first full year of competitive karting is remarkable.
Joe was spotted at Daytona MK by ex F1 driver Anthony Davidson. He saw Joe as he drove in and parked up and watched him for a while, he commented on how naturally talented and instinctive he thought he was, he later tweeted that Joe was "One to watch for the future." Joe took his ARKS test shortly afterwards.
When Joe took his ARKS test he once again impressed another authority in Karting, this time UK, European and World Championship karting driver Gary Chapman who described Joe as an "Immense talent." Gary signed Joe immediately for his racing team, there Joe met Martyn Smithers not only was a great partnership formed but the roller coaster ride that is MSA karting began. Joe immediately impressed winning four out of five possible novice trophies only denied the fifth due to an error by another driver.