The Italian Kart Grand Prix will launch the FIA Karting European Championship, for the OK and OK-Junior categories from April 20th to 22nd at the Sarno circuit and will be a long-awaited rendezvous for RGMMC Group’s debut as CIK-FIA Competitions Promoter. The event is already looking promising with an entry higher than last year and constant confrontation is expected between the established stars and young hopefuls of the discipline.
The FIA and RGMMC Group wanted to make an impression by introducing new denominations for the CIK-FIA Championships for the general public and the media. Highly expressive and easy to memorise, the names “FIA Karting European Championship” and “Kart Grand Prix” will be used to promote an overall increase in audience. In addition to these first visible changes, the Sarno event will reveal the other updates to the 2018 season programme.
This year, the CIK-FIA European Championships for the OK and OK-Junior categories are organised over four events from April to August, in Italy, Great Britain, Germany and France. The first meeting shows the popularity of the series already with 85 entered in OK and 82 in OK-Junior, growth of more than 15% compared to 2017. 36 nationalities will be represented, with strong Italian participation, 27 drivers, ahead of Great Britain and Spain, with 16 drivers each, then France and Finland, 13 drivers each, and Germany and Russia, 10 drivers each.
In OK, the most experienced champions such as Pedro Hiltbrand (ESP), Tom Joyner (GBR), Danny Keirle (GBR), already holders of world titles, plus Nicklas Nielsen (DNK), Lorenzo Travisanutto (ITA), Noah Milell ( SWE) and David Vidales Ajenjo (ESP) are in danger of having to battle the younger generation of Dexter Patterson (GBR), the reigning Junior World Champion, Jonny Edgar (GBR), the previous Junior European Champion, as well as Callum Bradshaw (GBR), Harry Thompson (GBR), Hugo Sasse (DEU) and Zane Maloney (BRB) among a large number of other talents to be discovered.
The OK-Junior category, open to drivers aged 12 to 14, is filled with more talented hopefuls than ever before. Those with at least one year of experience have some advantage over newcomers. This is the case for Gabriel Bortoleto (BRA), Zak O’Sullivan (GBR), Dino Beganovic (SWE), Kirill Smal (RUS), Hadrien David (FRA), and Paul Aron (EST). However, we can count on a few rookies to disrupt the established stars, with drivers like Gabriele Mini (ITA), Taylor Barnard (GBR), Dilano Van’t Hoff (NLD), Jak Crawford (USA) and Thomas Nepveu (CAN). Note that two former Formula 1 drivers, Jarno Trulli and Juan Pablo Montoya, have chosen this category to train their sons, Enzo and Sebastian respectively.
The 36th edition of the Tuto Super One Series kicked off at the weekend at PF International with racing for the Rotax, X30 and Cadet classes in variable weather.
The Rotax classes have been rejuvenated by a new two-day race programme with Qualifying and Heats on Saturday and Finals on Sunday. Senior Rotax has gone from zero to 69 drivers, necessitating C and B Finals, while there were full grids in 177 and Junior Rotax and an increase in Minimax entries. Along with the always-healthy X30 and Cadet grids, altogether there were 301 entries.
The next round will be at Whilton Mill on 27th-29th April for the same classes.
MSA British Cadet Kart Championship
Qualifying on Friday evening saw Maxwell Dodds take pole ahead of William MacIntyre then Dodds and Arvid Lindblad won a heat each.
In a damp Final 1 Lindblad was on pole next to Dodds with Freddie Slater 3rd, and Lindblad led much of the race on his own before Slater caught up and overtook in the second half. Lindblad retook the lead with a lap to go and just managed to hold off Slater on the last lap. Harley Keeble was fastest and up to 3rd, with Dodds behind him.
In Final 2 it was now wet and there were many rolling laps before a red flag for the Race Director to have a word with the drivers. Lindblad held the lead from Slater with Dodds taking 3rd and a lead pack formed including the trio and Luke Watts. Dodds led half the last lap before Slater passed with a corner to go at the Mike Wilson complex.
MSA X30 Junior National Championship
Joseph Taylor took pole in Qualifying just ahead of Tom Edgar and Alex Lloyd but Axel LaFlamme took pole for Final 1 with a win and a 2nd in the heats, the other two wins going to Reggie Duhy and Clayton Ravenscroft.
Final 1 was almost dry and LaFlamme started on pole before being attacked for the lead by Ravenscroft, Duhy and others. Ravenscroft managed to get away while LaFlamme dropped back. Dragan Pinsent and Taylor fought for 2nd before Luke Whitehead carved his way through leaving Pinsent 3rd.
By Final 2 it was wet again and Ravenscroft pulled out a gap from pole ahead of Pinsent and Whitehead, who had swapped places. Pinsent was faster towards the end but not close enough to challenge on the last lap.
MSA X30 Senior National Championship
Oliver Hodgson took pole 0.2s ahead of Derek Morgan and went on to win both heats ahead of Lewis Malin and Levi King.
Hodgson led Final 1 all the way while Owen Byatt came through from 6th on the grid to finish 2nd ahead of King but too far away to challenge.
In a fully wet Final 2, Hodgson led initially away from pole while Byatt went off at the first corner. Elliot Harvey took 2nd and Morgan Porter 3rd, with Harvey starting to reel Hodgson in. Harvey overtook and got away with six minutes to go but Hodgson again pulled him back to regain the lead, with Harvey dropping back in a spin on the last lap with his throttle sticking open.
ABkC Honda Cadet National Championship
Theo Micouris took pole in the dry but cloudy Qualifying ahead of Sebastian Bloch. The heat wins went to Alfie Rigby, Micouris and Daniel Guinchard with Rigby taking pole for Final 1 as he also had a 2nd.
Rigby started Final 1 on pole with Micouris next to him and Kean Berta 3rd, but Micouris came down the hill in the lead, a second ahead of Berta. As the race went on, Berta was pushing Micouris in the slow corners and got into the lead with three minutes to go. Micouris, now fastest, swiftly fought back and pulled out a bit more of a gap. The battle for 3rd included Rigby, Bloch and Sonny Smith where there was contact at the first hairpin which shuffled things and Smith took the final podium position.
In Final 2 Rigby took the lead at the start, but under pressure from Bloch and Berta. Bloch took the lead and tried to get away while Berta and Rigby fought. There was contact between the two halfway through with Berta losing places, and Oliver Greenall moved up to 2nd from Rigby. Archie Walker came through to 3rd, even threatening Greenall but later received a bumper penalty, giving 3rd back to Rigby, behind Bloch and Greenall.
ABkC Minimax National Championship
Myles Barthorpe was the poleman after Qualifying ahead of Sam Gornall and Max Edmundson then Barthorpe and Edmundson took a heat win each.
From pole Barthorpe led throughout Final 1 while behind him Marcus Littlewood came through from 6th on the grid to take 2nd before being dislodged by Max Edmundson two laps from the end with Archie Kitching also coming through to take 3rd.
Littlewood made a good start in Final 2 but he spun, causing chaos in the pack on the wet track. Poleman Barthorpe held the lead with Edmundson pushing before Edmundson also spun. Sean Cuss was fastest and was putting pressure on the leader Barthorpe but Barthorpe just held him off on the last lap. Cuss was penalised after the race giving Edmundson back 2nd and 3rd to Ellis Puleio.
ABkC Junior Rotax National Championship
In Qualifying James Lowther took pole ahead of Guy Cunnington then it was straight into the heats where Lowther stayed ahead with two 2nds and the wins went to Cunnington and Oakley Pryer.
Lowther led away from pole in Final 1 and after initially getting away, Cunnington reeled him back in and overtook on lap 5 with Kai Hunter following him through. Hunter and Lowther battled for the rest of the race with Cameron Thomson lying in ambush, but Cunnington won 1.7s ahead of Lowther and Hunter.
In Final 2, Cunnington started on pole but Lowther took the lead at the start. Thomson was 3rd and initially fastest but the positions stayed the same until the end on the wet track.
ABkC Senior Rotax National Championship
The biggest class of the weekend saw Joe Turney take pole 0.06s ahead of Charlie Turner while heat wins went to Rhys Hunter twice, Jason Lockwood, Joe Turney and Tommy Foster. Turney was well down the grid after a penalty in the first heat.
By the time the Senior Rotax karts went out for their first Final it was damp but the drivers were still on slicks. Hunter was on pole next to Ben Davis with Foster in 3rd. Hunter got away at the start with James Johnson and Turner behind him. They were spread out for a while, but Turner reeled Johnson in and Johnson came under pressure from James Lingard who took 3rd with a minute to go. Johnson just about managed to regain the position while Myles Apps pressured Lingard. Hunter won 1.44s ahead of Turner with Johnson 3rd.
Final 2 was fully wet and at the start Johnson took 2nd on the first lap behind Hunter. Johnson slid off after four minutes racing with Bradley Barrett now 3rd behind Turner. Fastest man on the track Turney was reeling in the leaders and with three minutes left on the clock was attacking Hunter for the lead while Barrett was attacking Turner for 3rd. Turney took the lead and went on to win by 3s for his second podium of the day, following his 3rd place in X30 Senior.
ABkC Rotax 177 National Championship
Oliver Smith just pipped Louis Large for pole in Qualifying then Large won both heats followed by James Moorcroft in one and Smith in the other.
Large led all the way in Final 1, pulling away from Jamie Dzyra who was 2nd until a coming-together with James Beacroft in 3rd put him down to 12th and Beacroft out of the meeting with a bent kart. This left Lucas Vaus 6s back in 2nd and Jason Wilson 3rd.
Poleman Large held the lead at the start of Final 2 with Chris Thomas up to 2nd. 2nd on the grid Vaus was off at the start but was to restart two laps later, as every meeting counts in this class. Charlie Whaley took 3rd before going off onto the back straight, giving the place to Smith, but now far back from the leaders. Dzyra and Alexander Luck then tussled for the final podium position, with Luck taking it but 9s behind Thomas.
Mini X30 Support Race
Joshua Rowledge topped Qualifying a quarter-second ahead of Joshua McLean and the two took a win each in the two heats, giving Rowledge pole.
One of the most tightly fought battles of the weekend took place in Final 1 with Rowledge, Rashan Chigorimbo, Ivan Lomliev and McLean all taking turns in the lead and McLean crossing the line first, but several penalties in the lead pack gave the win to Lomliev from Aaron Walker and Jessica Edgar.
In Final 2 Rowledge made a good start to take 3rd on the fast lap from 14th on the grid and took the lead three laps in with Edgar taking 2nd halfway through. McLean finished 3rd on the track, but he and leader Rowledge were both penalised for their bumpers so Edgar won ahead of Matthew Higgins and Lomliev.
MSA British Cadet Kart Championship
Final 1: 1 Arvid Lindblad (Synergy), 2 Freddie Slater (Synergy), 3 Harley Keeble (Synergy), 4 Maxwell Dodds (Tonykart), 5 Luke Watts (Tonykart), 6 William Macintyre (Synergy)
Final 2: 1 Freddie Slater (Synergy), 2 Maxwell Dodds (Tonykart), 3 Arvid Lindblad (Synergy), 4 William Macintyre (Synergy), 5 Sam Shaw (Tonykart),6 Harley Haughton (Synergy)
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What a fantastic event this is epitomising what a great sport ours is when drivers of all abilities, from an ex British Cadet Champion to someone driving in their first competitive event ever come together to honour a young man who many had never met to raise money for research into the disease T-cell Prolymphocytic leukaemia which took him from us far too young in 2011. A particularly nasty and rare disease. Paul was a young man who loved Karting, loved life to the full and in return was much loved and respected.
A full entry too for the seventh running of the event at Whilton Mill International. Shame about the weather. Or was it?
As the grid formed up for the first the track was still wet from the early morning rain and with a stiff breeze blowing in from the North West it would remain cold all day with further intermittent showers keeping the track wet all day. There would be plenty of spinners!
Jon Maycock on pole from Pete Cowan on the two by two grid followed by the two Pawlicks, Greg and Phil. Next up Rich Cooper and debutant Sally Dalton from Ian Blake and Joe Borg with the hugely experienced, and event favourite Niki Richardson, starting ninth alongside James Coleman. As the lights turned green and feet hit the loud pedal the new Sodi four strokes lit up there rear tyres as the field streamed into the first corner ( OK, it’s a bit of poetic licence but you get my drift ). But carnage ensued with Karts spinning on the treacherous service and taking out others. Indeed, all round the first lap we had drivers falling off as ambition outweighed talent. All of which left Rich Ward, starting from grid eleven, leading the field across the line at the end of the lap with Kostas Kyritsis second having started on grid sixteen. Greg Pawlik remained third but a lap later would be down to sixth. He would eventually finish ninth. At the front Ward pulled out a huge lead from Kyritsis who had Richardson closing in. As the race wound down Kyritsis closed in on the leader but Ward had just enough in hand to take the win by a little over three tenths. Richardson crossed the line third but then found himself slapped with multiple penalties for kerb crawling dropping him to seventeenth and promoting Blake into third ahead of Adam Pughe, up from grid sixteen, and Johnny Goddard who also set the fastest lap of the race. He was also the only driver to dip below one minute twenty. Hmm..
Dan Sykes on pole from Owen Burton with Ross Kayman and Chris Bell on row two. Daz Teal and Ed Barrs next up from Dan Marshall and Andy Priest with Bing Yan and Jack Mitchell completing the top ten. A better start this time from the field as the rain had abated a little. But the conditions still caught a few out. Burton got the better of Sykes off the line to lead up the hill with Kayman intent on second. He and Sykes suffered half spins and dropped back promoting Bell into second by the end of the lap with Teal up to third and Mitchell into fourth having kept himself out of trouble. Next up was Marshall from Kayman with Karl Spencer into seventh from grid nineteen after an incredible first lap. A lap later and he was into sixth. Three down and Burton had taken over at the front with third, fourth, fifth and sixth remaining static. Rhianna Purcocks moved up to seventh at the expense of Kayman who a lap later fell out of the top ten. And that was how it remained to the flag, Bell taking the win over three seconds to the good and setting the fastest lap of the race.
James Montgomery on pole from Simon Pughe with event organiser Dan Underhill next and Brandon Williams alongside. Stuart Germon on row three with Martin Joyce alongside and Nick Divers and Jan Krautter on four from Karl Frankham and Jon Curry. Montgomery failed to take advantage from pole getting caught out by the conditions, a half spin and subsequent delay dropping him to eighth by the end of the lap. Pughe dropped to fourth but it was a fast starting Williams who caught the eye to lead by the end of the first lap from Underhill. Germon, Divers, Krautter, Frankham and Curry were all early spinners promoting James Saunders into fourth from grid eleven. Joe Richardson and Sam Dimelow both benefitted from the first lap chaos moving up to fifth and sixth from grids fourteen and eighteen respectively. Chris Daines was into eighth from grid twelve. Two laps run and Williams was already stretching a gap at the front as Underhill spun out of second resuming at the rear of the field and promoting Saunders into second. Williams continued to pull away at the front whilst Saunders gave vain chase. The two of them though were well clear of the battle royal for third between, Dimelow, Daines and Richardson, the three of them swapping places all round the lap. Pughe was still in touch but had Karting Magazines Piers Prior closing in rapidly. Williams took the win over four seconds to the good from Saunders who was himself over five seconds clear of third which fell to Dimelow with Daines next from Richardson. Sixth went to Prior who took the spot on the final tour setting the fastest lap in the process with an astonishing 1 minute 17.957 second lap. Comfortably the fastest lap of the day and an ominous warning to rest of the field.
Ward on pole from Rob Moore with Martin Owen and Craig Johnson on row two. Row three, Adam Pughe and Shaun Carter from Andrew Hill and Dave Thomas. Karl Spencer and James Holland completed the top ten. Ward got away cleanly from pole followed by Moore but behind these we had a clutch of spinners. Owen, Johnson, Carter, Hill and Thomas all fell foul of the conditions whilst Pughe got delayed. By the end of the lap Ward had slipped to second usurped by a charging Spencer who was up from tenth into the lead. But only very briefly as Ward slipped back past up the hill. Chris Bell was another to take advantage and was into third from grid fifteen with Holland next from Moore. Ed Barrs was another rapid starter moving into sixth from grid seventeen whilst Jack Mitchell climbed from the back of the grid to seventh. A lap later he would be into sixth but then tangled with Moore and dropped to the back of the field. Half distance and Ward still led from Spencer, Bell and Moore whilst Niki Richardson was into fifth having worked his way up from grid twenty. Ward took the win just over three tenths up on Spencer for his second win of the day. Richardson took third slipping by Bell on the last lap with Barrs completing the top five. Mitchell set the fastest lap of the race on the final tour.
Jonny Goddard on pole from Tom Dix followed by Dylan Kayman and Joshua Sergeant. Kyritsis and Jared Kayman on row three from Rhianna Purcocks and James Elliott with Jonathan Lissetter and Dan Sykes completing the top ten. Dix got the jump on Goddard to lead at the end of the first lap but once again the rest of the front rows got overexcited and spun themselves out of contention allowing Lissetter and Purcocks into third and fourth respectively with Bing Yan and James Coleman next up having started right at the back of the nineteen strong field. The front four rapidly began to pull clear of the rest of the pack now led by Coleman as Bing Yan dropped back to tenth in the space of a lap. Teal was putting pressure on Coleman slipping by at two thirds distance. At the front Goddard slipped by Dix for the lead with one lap to go whilst the top four ran line astern but a little spread out. So Goddard crossed the line to take the win. He celebrated by executing a beautiful three hundred and sixty degree spin as he crossed the line. It might have earned him a perfect ten on an ice rink but in this case he received a one lap deduction dropping him to fifteenth. Silly Billy Jonny. But he did have the satisfaction of setting fastest lap. A win then for Dix with Lissetter second from Purcocks. Teal was next with Pete Cowan completing the top five.
James Saunders on pole from Chris Daines. Second row, birthday boy Glen Beard with Joe Richardson alongside. Dante Dhillon and Henry Miles on row three from Dan Truman and Sam Dimelow with Will Hirsch and Piers Prior completing the top ten. Saunders and Daines led the field away but both Beard and Richardson made tawdry starts and fell back. Miles, Truman and Hirsch all spun away their chances allowing Prior to make the most of their demise to move himself into third by the end of the lap behind Saunders and Daines with Dhillon fourth ahead of Dimelow. Beard ran sixth with Brandon Williams right on his bumper after moving up from grid fifteen. Surprisingly the order stabilised at the front apart from Dimelow who spun out of fifth, dropping to seventeenth. With two to go, barring incident, the front four looked to have cemented their places. And so it proved, Saunders taking the win and setting the fastest lap of the race with Daines over two seconds adrift in second and Prior a further two seconds back in third but well clear of fourth placed Dhillon. Richardson was next having forced his way by Williams at the top of the hill. A move which saw a very annoyed Williams drop to fifteenth and suggest that Richardson should learn how to overtake.
Front row starts this time for Jonathan Lissetter and James Coleman with James Elliot and Niki Richardson on row two. Dave Thomas and Joe Borg on three from Ian Blake and Andrew Hill on four and Sally Dalton and Kosta Kyritsis on five. Lissetter and Coleman got away cleanly to lead the field round the first corner but Elliot spun down the order along with Thomas and Borg allowing Richardson a clean run on the leaders to run first by the end of the lap. Coleman fell away but was still fifth by the end of the lap behind Richardson, Lissetter, Blake and Kyritsis whose first lap time was only bettered by the flying Richardson. Richardson continued to dominate setting the fastest lap of the race and edging further away from second placed Lissetter as Blake and Kyritsis fought over third swopping places several times whilst Pughe kept a watching brief in fifth. Double heat winner Rich Ward was up to sixth having started from grid twenty and looking very determined to gain the maximum from his final heat. No one though was going to catch Richardson who ran out the winner over four seconds to the good on second which went to Blake. After battling with Kyritsis over third he and the latter settled down and reeled in Lissetter in second. Kyritsis made a move for second but couldn’t make it stick running both he and Lissetter wide allowing Blake to profit. Kyritsis took third with Lissetter a philosophical fourth ahead of Pughe. Sixth went to Jon Maycock who mugged Ward for the place on the last lap. They’d both started on the back row but whilst Ward had made spectacular early progress Maycock had worked his way steadily through the field. Fine drives from them both.
Steve Hicks on pole from Jack Mitchell with Piers Prior and Bing Yan on row two. Will Hirsch and Andy Priest on three and Sam Dimelow and Dan Marshall on four. Dan Truman and Ed Barrs completed the top ten. As the lights turned Green it was Prior who made the better start to force his way ahead by the time the front runners exited the first corner chased by Hicks and Mitchell. Hirsch again spun away a healthy grid slot as did Priest and Truman. By the end of the lap Prior was several lengths to the good from Mitchell in second and Hicks third ahead of Dimelow and Marshall. With two down Prior had extended his lead but Hicks was back into second ahead of Dimelow and Mitchell with Joe Richardson up into fifth from fifteenth. Half distance and the top five remained the same but a lap later Mitchell was down from fourth to sixth. Prior continued to run untroubled at the front but Hicks was coming under pressure from Dimelow and finally succumbed on the penultimate lap. Dante Dhillon crossed the line third having made steady progress up from grid thirteen. Unfortunately he’d picked up penalties dropping him out of the top ten and promoting Richardson into third ahead of Hicks with Mitchell fifth from Daines who set the fastest lap of the race.
The final qualifying heat of the day and James Holland on pole from Jon Curry. Karl Spencer and Karl Frankham on row two and Rhianna Purcocks and Jan Krautter on row three. Nick Divers on four from Jared Kayman with Martin Joyce and Shaun Carter completing the first five rows. Once again the inclement weather caught out the front rows. Poleman Holland spun along with fellow front row man Curry. Spencer, from third, avoided them to lead by the end of the lap with Purcocks in his wheeltracks. Frankham spun out of fourth with Krautter falling from sixth and Kayman, Joyce and Carter all being delayed. Those at the back of the grid took full advantage. Brandon Williams was third by the end of lap one having started on grid fourteen. Dan Underhill climbed from grid sixteen to fifth behind Divers who had stayed out of trouble moving from grid eight to fifth. Simon Pughe was sixth, from eighteenth ahead of Rob Moore, up from grid nineteen, and James Montgomery, up from grid twenty. Spence continued to set the pace but Williams was into second from Purcocks. Half distance and Holland still led but a lap later and he was down to second as Williams powered his way by. Purcocks remained third but under pressure from Underhill whilst Divers spun out of fifth. Williams continued to pull away and set the fastest lap of the race on the final tour taking the flag by almost five seconds from Underhill who took the place from Purcocks on the last lap.
Pole for Ross Kayman from Joshua Sergeant with Stuart Germon and Andrew Hill on row two. Dan Sykes and Bing Yan occupied row three ahead of Rich Cooper and Andy Priest on four from Martin Joyce and Dave Thomas. Just one to qualify for the B final. Kayman led the field away with Sergeant slotting in behind but Germon got mugged coming down the hill into Inkermans for the first time and was eighth by the end of the lap and looking out of the running. Hill fell back too as did Bing Yan and Cooper whilst Joyce was up to third from Carter. Martin Owen too made a great start up to fourth. Kayman continued to pull away at the front but Sergeants second place ended as he spun down the order. Germon meanwhile was beginning to recover and was back into fourth by the end of the second tour. A lap later and he up to second and setting about chasing down the leader. Owen was fourth from Joyce with Hill and Bing Yan next. Kayman continued to lead but Germon, now running in clean air, was chasing him down setting the fastest lap of the race on lap five ad pulling well clear of the pursuing pack. Kayman looked to have plenty in hand though. But Germon was reeling him. But would he have enough laps to mount a challenge? It didn’t look like it but as they headed up to Christmas corner at the top of the hill he had moved considerably closer. As they rounded the corner Kayman snapped into a spin. In a heartbeat Germon was through into the lead and pulling clear. Kayman resumed in third but couldn’t get back on the pace. Germon ran out an easy winner by over fourteen seconds at the flag whilst Owen crossed the line third ahead of Kayman with Joyce fourth and Bing Yan fifth.
Rob Moore on pole from Simon Pughe with Jonny Goddard and Jack Mitchell on row two. Nick Divers and James Holland next from Dan Underhill and Dante Dhillion. James Montgomery and Dan Marshall completed the top five rows. With just one to qualify the prospects were good for a great race. Or carnage. Moore got away well but it was Goddard who anticipated the lights best and by the end of the first lap he had pulled several kart lengths clear of Moore in second. Pughe’s chances of a win had evaporated on the first lap as he spun out of contention. Dhillon had made an epic start moving from eighth to third with Mitchell fourth and Divers fifth. Holland and Underhill both spun to the rear of the field putting them out of contention. Coming down the hill into the left hander before the back straight and Goddard was pulling ever clearer but as he turned in he was carrying too much momentum and spun backwards into the barrier. Silly Billy Jonny. Moore took over at the front. An exciting moment for him.
Too exciting as it turned out. As he turned left into the first part of the boot he too spun out of the lead. Did no one want to win this race? Dhillon took avoiding action and Mitchell immediately took over at the front with Dhillon behind. Maycock too took advantage. Having moved up from grid eleven to sixth on the first lap he was now into third ahead of Divers, Beard and Truman. With three down Mitchell continued to lead from Dhillon and Maycock. Down the order Moore was back up to seventh but then he spun again. Further back Underhill was beginning a recovery drive. Having dropped to seventeenth at the end of lap one by lap three he was up to twelfth. Mitchell and Dhillon remained at the front but Marshall was into third but too far behind the leaders to mount a serious challenge. With two to go Mitchell looked to have the race won despite having to defend manfully for much of the latter stages of the race. Sadly for the leader the officials decided he had clattered the kerbs once too often and he was called in for a drive through penalty costing him the race win. Given the conditions it seemed a touch harsh. Dhillon couldn’t believe his fortune and reeled off the final lap and a bit to take the win by over nine seconds whilst Mitchell still had enough of a lead over third to remain second. He also set the fastest lap of the race. Maycock took third with Underhill fourth after a sensational comeback drive. Beard was fifth from Marshall with Henry Miles seventh. Divers, Truman and Germon completed the top ten.
Pole for Rich Ward with Piers Prior alongside. Ian Blake and James Saunders on row two from Joe Richardson and Karl Spencer on three. Row four, Jonathan Lissetter and Rhianna Purcocks with Kosta Kyritsis and Daz Teal completing the top ten. Despite being on pole Ward said before the start that he was concerned that he would get speared off at the first turn. Prophetic words. Sure enough as the field streamed up the hill with Prior to the fore the poleman had gone missing. Spencer, Lissetter and Purcocks also lost out whilst Brandon Williams, starting from grid twelve was up to second ahead of Saunders by the time the field reached the back straight for the first time. Niki Richardson too had got off to a flyer. Starting seventeenth he was up to fifth behind brother Joe as they turned onto the back straight with Joe glancing anxiously behind. Down the straight and into the boot James Saunders ran wide across the grass. Joe R made it safely by but James came back onto the track at the top of the boot just in front of Niki. Into the final corner and Niki looked to have made the pass but James cut back on the exit of the corner running Niki wide and almost into the tyres. James crossed the line fourth but Niki came back at him to get ahead and was just in front as they headed up to Christmas corner at the top of the hill. But James wasn’t done. He dived up the inside and the two of them rounded the corner side by side.
But Niki had the line for the kink. It did him no good however as James edged him onto the grass and into a spin which saw them both come to a halt in a shower of mud and a cloud of steam. James was adjudged the aggressor and penalised whilst Niki resumed down in fourteenth and seemingly out of contention. As the rain began to fall again Prior continued at the front driving consistently and pulling clear of Williams with Joe R seemingly cut adrift in third. Blake was fourth but making no impression on the leaders with Kyritsis fifth and B Final winner Dante Dhillon sixth having started twenty first! With four laps run he was into fifth as Kyritsis suffered a spin dropping him to eleventh. Prior continued to lead from Williams but Joe R suddenly began to make inroads on the gap to second setting the fastest proper lap of the race on the eighth tour. I use the word proper as the results show Rich Ward setting the fastest lap with a sub one minute time nearly twenty seconds better than the rest of the field. Rocket Rich was running all on his own near the back of the field when he misjudged his braking point for Inkermans. Rather that spin he went straight on, missing the tyre barrier, and pulling back onto the straight having missed three corners completely!
Last lap and Prior looked to be home and hosed unless he made an error. Williams too looked to have enough in hand to take second but Joe R wasn’t in the mood to settle for third and dived under Williams at the boot showing the latter that he did know how to overtake. Brandon fought back into the last corner but Joe knows how to defend too and took second and leading Heavyweight. Blake took fourth, only a couple of seconds back but ten seconds up the road from Dhillon who was a very lonely fifth some ten seconds ahead of sixth place Niki R. Ed Barrs took seventh with Cowan next just ahead of Kyritsis. Adam Pughe completed the top ten.
The race though, and the crown of PLD 2018 Champion belonged to the man from Karting Magazine. A very accomplished drive in the conditions and although he’s been round Whilton Mill many times it was only the second time in a four stroke. A very worthy winner.
Whilst we applaud Piers for his win and his generous decision to auction off his winner’s prize, a Jack Dex Racing (JDR) test day with tuition in an MS X30, this was a day when everyone at Whilton Mill was a winner. Thanks go to all the drivers for putting on a great show in the difficult conditions. To all those who generously donated the prizes. To all the marshals and staff at the circuit. To the spectators who braved the wind and rain. To Alpha timing and Chris Simpson for the live feed and most important of all, to Dan Underhill for organising such an amazing event. Paul would be very proud of you for making sure that his memory lives on in such a great cause. At the time of writing Dan believes that the event has raised circa, an incredible £4500. A record amount.
Thank you everyone for your incredible generosity.
A fantastic comeback in Belgium! Sun, rain, sun, drizzle …
The drivers of the IAME International Open have seen all the colors on the occasion of one of the flagship events of the 2018 IAME International Series, back to Karting des Fagnes in Mariembourg (Belgium) after three years of absence. Capricious weather conditions that did not cool the Warriors engaged in this great karting party very “international” with 20 countries represented. After cutting the Castelletto asphalt three seasons in a row, it was time for the IAME International Open, previously the X30 Challenge Europa, to return to Wallonia for a pascal week-end in the name of quality and diversity. With twenty nationalities on the grid, the peloton could proudly claim its “international” status, something to delight the organizers of the event: “It’s always very special to set up the Open.
We had the cream of European drivers and it was on the track with very tight sleeves and weather conditions muddled the cards at the outset. In the end, the atmosphere was excellent all weekend, I had feedback from many drivers and stable owners who congratulated us on the quality of the organization. Everything was perfect, except perhaps the weather, rather contrasted, but we are in Belgium, after all! ” After a brief passage of rain on Friday, history to upset the qualifying, the sun was in the game for Saturday before the return of the drops on Sunday morning, and a thinning in the afternoon. Changing conditions that did not prevent sumptuous debates on the track.
X30 Mini: Lecertua pulls out of the game
As is often the case, the X30 Mini (8-12 years old) category has offered a great fair of podiums with several drivers who are candidates for the title of International Open Champion. From Friday, Kimmy Abraham (DimoKart), the Belgian Mini 2017 champion, took pole position in the wet before dominating the three qualifying heats the following day. Race 1, however, saw Estonian Ruben Volt (Dan Holland Racing) take the lead after a fierce duel. Lorens Lecertua (Ravet Racing), discreet on Saturday, was on the podium in front of an unlucky Amaury Meertens (MGR Racing) early in the race. The Race 2 was even more indecisive with a surprise guest, the Luxembourger Maxime FuronCastelain (VDK Racing), who snatched his first success of the weekend against Lecertua and Simon Lacroix (Ravet Racing), author of a solid up from tenth place on the grid. After a course almost without fault, Kimmy Abraham missed his flight to finish at the foot of the podium in front of Volt. After a difficult Race 1, Amaury Meertens was unlucky again, clinging to the tumult of the first turns. With his double-podium (2nd and 3rd), Lorens Lecertua won the international title of the category ahead of Ruben Volt and Maxime Furon-Castelain.
X30 Junior: The flawless of Balota
In the category reserved for drivers aged between 12 and 14, Sam Balota has left only crumbs to opponents from all walks of life (nine nationalities!). Despite the strong opposition displayed by Alessandro Tudisca (Tys Racing) and the Estonians of Aix Racing, Ken Oska Algre and Rimmo Kapadik on Saturday, the Eurokarting boarder took pole position at home. three qualifying heats before transforming the test during the races, first on the wet then on the dry. Tudisca didn’t demerit by climbing on the second step of the final podium in front of Canadian Jason Leung (PDB Racing), third in Race 2, Ken Oskar Algre and Loïs Delbart (3DK), at the foot of the podium in Race 1. Despite a premature abandonment of mechanical trouble during Race 1, Sita Van Meert (P1 Racing), thirteenth overall, received the trophy for the Best Lady of the weekend, ahead of the Dutch Summer Webb (PG Motorsport).
X30 Senior: Van Splunteren as a sovereign
With 67 entrants (for 14 nationalities!), The X30 Senior category (accessible from 14 years old) was the focus of attention this weekend Pascal. At the end of the six qualifying heats (3 for each driver) played on the dry track on Saturday, Frenchman Franck Chappard (VDK) emerged at the top of the hierarchy with two successes, as much as Elie Goldstein (VDK) and Joey Van Splunteren ( Evolution Super-B). The Dutch won Sunday morning in race 1, on a greasy track in front of Chappard and Matteo Raspatelli (RSD Karting) particularly at ease. Note that this race, was interrupted, the red flag, in the first round, following a spectacular collision leaving Rens Van Pelt, a candidate for the podium, on the floor. Fortunately, more fear than harm for the boarder of Eurokarting, back for the second race which saw Corentin Collignon (VDK Racing), returned from the Devil Vauvert, come spice up the debates in front of Van Splunteren and Goldstein, finally disqualified after the arrival. Three weeks after his victory at the IAME Series Benelux, Joey Van Splunteren returned with the honors of the International title before Collignon, Chappard and Vincent Marserou (CBK), who had to whip to return from his distant 41st place qualifying practice.
X30 Master: Peurière with the way
As for the Masters (at least 30 years old), the representatives of Beyond-Quiévrain showed a fine speed in a category where experience often rhymes with passion. Already in the spotlight at the IAME Series Benelux, Wilfried Lecarpentier (RSD Karting) showed himself at the start of the qualifying session against his compatriot François Peurière (Team Peurière), returning to the competition this year and Fabio Kieltyka (RSD Karting). The regional stage had also a lot to do in this fight three which continued during the qualifying heats from where Peurière ended up emerge. Sunday, started in the cold and rain, smiled again to the Frenchman who won in Race 1 in front of a Kieltyka happy to contain the attacks of Lecarpentier. The record holder of victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Karting took revenge that afternoon without succeeding in challenging the second success of Peurière, synonymous with the title. The third step of the podium went to a valiant Alain Bazard (Eurokarting), returned from the Devil Vauvert on a Fabio Kieltyka ending on the kneecaps after a duel of high-fight with Gerard Cavalloni (Jess Kart), the Frenchman finishing in the decor after a high-speed touchscreen of the most spectacular! Peurière and Lecarpentier finished in this order in the final standings in front of Kieltyka, Alain Bazard, best “Veteran” (over 45 years old) of the competition, and Matthieu Bourdon (BREB).
X30 Super Shifter: Piirimagi on its way
In the category of gearbox karts (accessible from 15 years), power and sense of the show often go hand in hand. Poleman, at the beginning of March, as part of the IAME Series Benelux, Christof Huibers (DFK) republished his performance on Friday, before winning the first qualifying heat. It was without counting on a Frédéric Op De Beeck (SFP Racing) in verve for his second campaign at the wheel of a 175cc kart. The Antwerp driver won the second game on Saturday, imitated by an opportunistic Sten Dorian Piirimagi (Eurokarting) in a third race disturbed by a fine rain, in the last two laps. The Estonian, a regular in the IAME categories, had to bow to Huibers and Sam Claes (Mach1) in Race 1 to better gain the upper hand in the second confrontation, just ahead of Op De Beeck and Thierry Delre (Mach1 Motorsport). Fourth in Race 2 after a skirmish with the multiple Belgian champion, Christof Huibers had to settle for the first place in the final standings behind Piirimagi, International Open champion in the wake of his victory in the IAME Series Benelux in early March, but ahead of Frédéric Op of Beeck, Thierry Delré (Mach 1 Motorsport) and Sam Claes who completed a top 5 tinged with black-yellow-red.
Liam Morley started the defence of his F125 Open title with victory in the opening round. Unfortunately, the chance of making it a double were scuppered when two red flags caused the abandonment of race 2.
A new season with new drivers, new colour schemes, new chassis and new numbers. The event format was the same with a free practice and qualifying session of 15 minutes each and two 15-minute races. Overnight rain had left the track wet for the free session, which saw Sam Moss top the time sheet ahead of Matt Robinson and Ian Larder. With no further rain the track dried in time for the timed qualifying session. Kirk Cattermole set the initial pace before Morley struck back with a lap underneath the lap record. He improved 2 laps later to secure pole position with a 1m 43.738s and then pitted with five minutes of the session remaining, satisfied that he couldn’t be beaten. Robinson was also under the lap record with the benefit of new tyres and posted a 1m 44.506s.
Cattermole lapped consistently, but without a tow managed a 1m 44.656s for third quickest. Joining him on row 2 was English Champion Lee Harpham. Having tried the MS chassis at Snetterton the week before he reverted back to the Anderson and set a 1m 44.771s. Moss (1m 44.898s) and Larder (1m 45.129s) completed the top six. Chris Needham was back on an Anderson chassis after using the Silverstone in 2017 but was struggling with carburation issues on the IAME. After a few visits to the pits he finally went out near the end of the session, but red flags ruined a chance to set a quick time and he ended up 16th. Danny Butler was another ex-champion in trouble. The left hand rear tyre went flat on the opening lap. After crawling back to the pits and inflating the tyre he only got as far as Shell Oils Corner before it went flat again. No time recorded, the lap record holder would have a lot of work to do from the back of the grid.
The grid was reduced to 22 before the start of Race 1 when Alan Crossen pulled out from row 4 with a brake pad issue and Clint Bridge couldn’t get his TM motor to clear on the warm-up lap. When the lights went out, Morley made the most of pole position to lead into Old Hall while Harpham squeezed into second place ahead of Robinson who ran wide on the exit. This allowed Moss and Larder to get a better run down through Dentons and into Cascades and Robinson found himself down in 5th place. Cattermole made a slow start from row 2 while Needham had made up 5 places on the run into the first corner. Morley had a two-length lead into Hislops chicane for the first time, but it was now Moss and Larder that were chasing having relegated Harpham down to fourth place.
The positions were unchanged at the end of the opening lap with Cattermole in 6th place and rookie team mate Anderson Chilcott next through. Butler’s bad day continued when the rear tyre went flat again and he pulled into the pits at the end of lap 1 to retire. While Morley and Moss edged clear, the battle for third place was hotting up. Harpham dived inside Larder at Old Hall starting lap 3 to take the spot and held it until the exit of Cascades when Larder went past. Robinson got a great run out of the corner and also relegated Harpham and then ran side by side with Larder through Island Bend taking third on the entry to Shell. He then set about closing the gap to Moss but at the exit of Druids the EGT sensor blew out of the exhaust and he cruised into the pits to retire. Moss was keeping Morley in sight, but then the champion started lapping in the 43’s and the gap increased rapidly. A new lap record was set on the penultimate lap and at the flag Morley had an advantage of nearly seven seconds.
Maximum points and the best start possible to the defence of the title. Moss was content with second place and looking forward to the next race hoping to put more pressure on the winner. Third place was still in doubt up to the flag. Cattermole closed onto the back of Harpham and took the place on lap 7. But Harpham fought back. Starting the last lap, they ran side by side through Old Hall with Harpham coming out ahead on the run down to Cascades. Over Hill Top they came across a slower kart and Harpham went for the gap while Cattermole was a bit cautious. That gave the Anderson driver an advantage that he held to the flag to take third spot by 1.851s. Larder lost touch with this pair during the closing laps but was in a safe fifth spot. Chilcott had looked good in sixth place but then started to slow when a coil wire broke and he retired with two laps to go. Andy Connor inherited the place after coming through the pack from a poor start with Needham closing on him during the final stages after his IAME overfuelled on lap 2 and he stormed back from 14th place.
Race One (9 laps)
1 Liam Morley (Anderson DEA) 15m 40.076s (92.78mph)
2 Sam Moss (Anderson DEA) 15m 47.004s
3 Lee Harpham (Anderson TM) 15m 50.244s
4 Kirk Cattermole (Raider CAT IAME)
5 Ian Larder (Anderson TM)
6 Andrew Connor (Anderson Redspeed TM)
Record Lap Morley 1m 43.492s (93.64mph)
The start of race 2 was a bit delayed due to stoppages in the car races but when the start was finally signaled Morley led into Old Hall for the first time followed by Moss. That was still the order at the end of the opening lap with Cattermole, Harpham, Larder, Needham and Robinson completing the train. On the next lap at the exit of Shell Larder was tapped into a spin and rolled back into the path of Robinson. Matt took avoiding action but hit the barriers hard on the left-hand side. Moss took the lead at Hislops as Morley faltered and at the end of two laps the reigning champion was down in third place, his DEA starting to misfire. Fortunately, for his sake the red flags came out to remove Robinson’s kart from a dangerous position. Matt was a bit battered and bruised but thankfully walked away from the incident. While everyone lined up on the start line for the re-start, Morley dived into the pits. The battery had gone flat and the team hastily changed to a charged one.
However, it meant that he would have to start from the pit lane. Larder and Cattermole also pulled into pit lane to retire after earlier contact. With the light starting to fade the decision was made to re-run over 10 minutes and the clock was ticking when the pace car set off. This was going to be a 5-lap dash. Moss took the lead from Harpham into Old Hall while Alan Crossen had got a superb start from row 6 to take third place. Harpham crossed the line at the end of lap one from Moss but there was an ominous gap before Jonathan Bell came through in third place. Crossen and Needham had gone off at Druids and the red flags were shown again. With the noise curfew upon us there was no chance of another re-start and the race was declared void. Despite damage to both karts, both Crossen and Needham also walked away. However, with the next round in 3 weeks’ time there were going to be some busy days getting ready.
BSA F125 Open Championship Points after 1 round
1 Liam Morley 40pts
2 Sam Moss 35
3 Lee Harpham 32
4 Kirk Cattermole 30
5 Ian Larder 28
6 Andrew Connor 26
BSA F125 Cup Points after 1 round
1 Ian Larder 40pts
2 Luke Clemson 35
3 Paul von Gerard 32
Words by Gary James
Images by Dave Robinson
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