Author Archives: Michael Killingworth

Shenington Kart Racing Report Round 12

Shenington Kart Racing Report Round 12, 19 November 2017

After Saturday’s rain the raceday had sunshine all day and club members raised £300 for Children in Need.  James Pashley tracked his championship rival Zak Oates throughout the Junior TKM final, knowing there was no need for an attempt at the win in order to clinch the club championship crown.  The other championship contender Zak Taylor pulled off on the second lap with mechanical issues whilst Dan McKeown, also a contender, dropped out of third with a problem a little later.  That left a 6s gap to Spencer Stevenson who had held off Morgan Kidd throughout whilst Joel Oswick made it up to fifth.

In the senior TKM Clubman economy class on his way to winning the series Suk Sandher arrowed clear of Chris Yates who lost several places in the last hairpin elevating Chris Chater to second.  But Clive Carpenter stormed through to catch the leader and take the win, Chater surviving for third.

In TKM Extreme Joe Fowler rode off into the distance as locals Max Goldsmith and Reeves-Smith traded second place with some enthusiasm.  Eventually Reeves-Smith took the upper hand, Goldsmith falling to sixth.  Will Lakin retired from sixth place and Alex Rees lost many places soon after passing Goldsmith.  Meanwhile Dean Hale leapfrogged up the order into second demoting Reeves-Smith.  Josh Sherriff won the championship but was excluded from this race for driving standards.

In IAME Cadet Luke Watts raced clear with Maxwell Dodds on his tail until halfway through when Dodds found a gap and eased clear towards the finish.  Behind them Samuel Shaw and Bradley Beavers were fighting so hard there must have been six swaps, Shaw eventually in third but Beavers taking the championship by three points over Joe Sheppy.

Honda Cadet 4-stroke had a massive entry needing a B Final.  In the A Final Alfie Rigby got away in the lead at the start whilst the others bumped and barged round the second corner.  Eventually Daniel Powell joined forces with Archie Walker and drafted up to Rigby, Powell jumping into the lead.  But Rigby took it back only to lose to Walker until the last lap sortout when Rigby prevailed for the win over Walker. Lorenzo Kordal took third along with the championship and Powell dropped to sixth.

MiniX was won by Bowen Morris-Kent who also won the raffle for the Pudsey Bear, whilst Jack Salmon took the championship series.

Teddy Pritchard-Williams started Junior X30 in the lead until a huge battle ensued, the lead shared with him, Zak Bowen and Alessandro Ceronetti who would take the 2017 championship crown.  On the last lap Pritchard-Williams sliced past Bowen at Café Corner then took Ceronetti for the win, the Stratford driver dropping to fifth behind Alexander Walker.  In the very close run to the line Kaleb Marshall just cleared Bowen for second.

Report By Graham Smith

Photography by TSR Productions

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MSA British Superkart Championship and BSA F450 Challenge – Round 12

Oulton Park 21st October 2017

Keeping it in the family – Clarks triumphant

Dan Clark finally secured the MSA British Superkart Championship after a calculated drive netted him sufficient points. Cousin Stephen added to the family celebrations by regaining the F450 four stroke championship.

The MSA Championship returned to Oulton Park after missing out last year. With storm Brian threatening the North-West area, weather conditions were not ideal with the possibility of cancelled races. Following the judicial hearing by the Motor Sports Council and the exclusion of Paul Platt from race 2 at Cadwell in July, the championships points were recalculated. This meant that three drivers were still in with a chance of lifting the number 1 plate. After a free practice session, there was a fifteen-minute timed qualifying session. James Hassall was due to have a run out for the first time this year but wrecked the DEA in testing the day before and Gareth James was also a non-starter. Matt Isherwood was having his first taste of racing a 250 National when he joined the Parker Motorsport team for the weekend, using Barry Weston’s Anderson DEA. Dan Clark had a scare in testing on Friday when a misfire re-appeared on his Gas Gas but it was traced to a faulty ignition wire. In the wet qually session there were no such problems and after 2 laps he had pole position by 1.6s. But the Parker Motorsport team were working in tandem.

Layton was towing round Isherwood and after 3 laps Isherwood claimed pole position with a time of 1m 52.669s. Fantastic. “It’s easier to drive than the 125cc kart I am used to but great fun.” Clark was on a quicker lap when he came across Layton and Isherwood touring back to the pits but couldn’t improve on his earlier lap so occupied the other front row slot with a 1m 52.844s. Layton chipped away at his times but ended up over a second slower than his team mate, third quickest on 1m 53.674s. “The wet tyres didn’t feel great and I am not sure what to do for the race.” Andy Bird had gained 5 points as a result of the judicial hearing which meant he was in with a chance of taking the title. In Friday testing he had run in a new Gas Gas barrel and was confident of a good result. On used wet tyres he set a 1m 54.161s lap to close out the second row. James O’Reilly was slow off the mark in the qually session and with 75s left on the clock put in a time of 1m 54.188s to head up row 3. He was joined by the leading F450 kart of Stephen Clark who was looking to regain the four-stroke championship that he lost at Pembrey last year when the final round was cancelled. Aaron Sifleet had got his Gas Gas running well and headed up row 4 with a time of 1m 55.436s. He was joined by Paul Platt who was having to run reversed used wets and only managed a 1m 55.792s.  “I have got two brand new sets for the races though.” Gavin Bennett was also in with a chance of taking the MSA Championship. He struggled to get on the pace but did record a 1m 55.796s before pitting with a water pump issue. The team then set about swapping engines ahead of the opening race. Completing the top ten and second quickest in the F450 class was Charlie Johnson with 1m 55.916s.

The weather still required wets to be used for race 1 and when the lights went out Isherwood kept his cool and led into Old Hall Corner chased by Clark, Layton and Bird. Bennett made a great start from row 5 and was up the inside of Sifleet, O’Reilly to take fifth place as the field headed down the Avenue to Cascades for the first time. Layton dispensed with Clark and set about his Parker Motorsport team mate. But Isherwood was not prepared to give up the lead and they were side by side heading into the Knickerbrook Chicane for the first time. The ‘new boy’ held his ground and at the end of the opening lap had a slight lead of 0.82s. Layton was fending off Clark with Bennett looming large in fourth spot. Bird, the other championship contender, was next ahead of Sifleet with Johnson leading the 450 class ahead of Platt. Bennett knew he had to win the race and passed Clark and then got ahead of Layton for second place at Knickerbrook on lap 2. Bird’s title hopes deflated when he crawled into the pits with a mysterious left rear puncture. O’Reilly spun out of 9th place at Old Hall while Platt went off at Shell. Both drivers continued but they were down in 13th and 14th places after 2 laps. Bennett was in determined mood and took the lead at Knickerbrook on lap 3, but Isherwood clung on. They were only separated by a tenth of a second as they crossed the line to start lap 4. Could Isherwood fight back. Sadly no.

The gap was up to a second at the end of the lap and had doubled next time around. On lap 6 he pulled off when the motor seized after the fuel pump failed. The end of a great drive. Layton took over second place and started to reduce the gap. On the last lap they encountered three back markers that were having their own private dice. Bennett came off worse but held on to get the crucial win by 0.785s from the current champion. “I knew what I had to do after battling with Matt and that was to get the win,” explained Bennett. But he was the first to walk across to Dan Clark in parc ferme and congratulate him on finally winning the MSA British Superkart Championship. Clark had been happy to sit behind the group knowing that fourth place was all he needed. When Isherwood dropped out his job was made easier. But he gave the team a scare in the closing stages. “I backed off to worry my Dad and the team on the pit wall, but I had it all under control.” He crossed the line just over 12s behind Bennett but was still 10.7s ahead of Sifleet who drove a great race to collect 4th place, his best result of the season. Stephen Clark made up for a slowish start to catch and pass Charlie Johnson on lap 3. He reeled off the remaining laps to secure the F450 Challenge and make it a double family celebration. Johnson kept him in sight to claim second place in the four-stroke class. Ross Allen was heading for 7th place but he had a gearbox failure on lap 7 which badly damaged the cases of his DEA motor. Platt inherited the spot but was passed by fellow spinner O’Reilly on the final lap as he set the fastest lap of the race.

With the championship wrapped up Clark decided to sit out race 2. Allen was also a non-starter with his DEA showing a big crack in the cases. O’Reilly had pole position with Layton alongside while Bennett and Isherwood lined up behind. When the lights changed O’Reilly led the field into Old Hall for the first time with Bennett tucked in behind. However, the Viper engine wasn’t on full song. Bennett took the lead and at the end of the opening lap he was ahead of Isherwood and Platt. O’Reilly had slipped to fourth and was fending of Stephen Clark on the 450 KTM with Layton down in sixth place. Andy Bird had started at the back of the grid and was already up to 12th place.  Platt took second place at Knickerbrook on lap 2 and was closing on Bennett at the end of the lap with Clark up to third. Layton had gone missing on lap 2, going off at Shell Oils Corner. Next time round at the same corner Andy Gulliford, who was holding 6th place, skated off on the wet, oily surface into the back of Layton’s kart. The red flags were shown and the race was stopped. Jack was expertly lifted out of his kart and into an ambulance but thankfully after precautionary x-rays he was only badly bruised with a sore back while Andy escaped any injury. With the timetable having no room for delays and stoppages there was insufficient time to get a re-start. The race was declared void as only one full lap had been completed by everyone. A sad way to finish the championship but it was good to see later that all the drivers were ok.

Race One (8 laps) 1 Gavin Bennett (Anderson DEA) 15m08.923s (85.29mph); 2 Jack Layton (Anderson DEA) +0.785s; 3 Dan Clark (Anderson Gas Gas); 4 Aaron Sifleet (Anderson Gas Gas); 5 Stephen Clark (Anderson KTM 450); 6 Charlie Johnson (Anderson KTM). Fastest Lap James O’Reilly (Anderson Viper) 1m52.078s (86.46mph).

Final MSA British Superkart Championship Positions after 12 rounds (Best 9 scores to count)

1 Dan Clark             319 pts

2 Gavin Bennett       305

3 Jack Layton           297

4 Andy Bird             287

5 Paul Platt              253

6 Ross Allen             217

 

Words by Gary James

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Club100 2017 Round 10 Report – Heavys

Club 100 Sprints Round 10 Whilton Mill

The second visit of the year to Whilton Mill and this time using the shorter ‘Zulu’ circuit which turns the flat right handed Inkermans into a tight hairpin before running into a short straight and then a tricky left, right, left sequence of corners known as Zulus one, two and three and named not after some African tribe or 60’s film but christened after the circuit owners dog. The final left hander leads onto the back straight. Some love the configuration and some loathe it but never let it be said that Club 100 doesn’t supply variety.

Into the afternoon and the clouds finally began to break up to give the fine weather the weather forecasters had promised for the Lightweights and Heavyweights/ Super Heavyweights events. And it was good to see a healthy turnout too necessitating B finals in both categories.

Qualifying

Group one

Adrian Brammer looked as though he was going to be quickest in Group one but it was newcomer Henry Jackson who surprised everyone setting the fastest time and breaking the forty four second mark. Sadly, he was excluded for being underweight. Championship contender James Browning ended up at the top of the timesheet from a surprised Andy Cowell who isn’t the best of qualifiers normally. Brammer took third from Andrew Dawson with Craig Rankine fifth.

Group two

Adam Wright took this one from Championship leader Mark Ridout. It was mightily close though with just 0.013 separating them. Alexander Lammin was third fastest from Ben Cottle and Chris James whilst Pete Gillet was the fastest of the SHW runners.

Pre B Final

Thirty runners for this one. Great to see. Mark Turner on pole from Daljeet Bahia with Paul Goddard next alongside Roger Mullen. Row three, Pete Gillett and Andrew Clarke with Nick Divers and Martin Gurnett on four. Jordan Salter and Shawn Morter completed the top ten. Turner made no mistake across the line at the start holding the pack and then flooring the throttle at just the right moment to lead by a few Kart lengths by the first turn. Immediately behind Goddard tried to go with him but had to fall in behind Bahia. But not for long. He dived up the inside into Inkermans but made contact. Turner was well clear of the pack as he crossed the line at the end of the lap but Goddard in second was now carrying the burden of a three place penalty. He had to win to progress. Bahia ran third ahead of Mullen and Gillett. Turner continued to lead with Goddard still in touch but not closing him down.

The two of them though were pulling well clear of the battle for third now led by Mullen from Bahia with Josh Pettit into fifth having climbed up from Grid twelve. Pettit’s impressive run came to an end with a spin promoting Shawn Mortar into fifth but well behind fourth and qualification. But with three to go Mullen spun out of contention. Turner took the win from Goddard who then dropped to fifth after his penalty. He was the quickest of the SHW group. Unfortunate this because it had been a really strong drive from the SHW. Bahia was a lonely third on the road some six seconds clear of fourth placed Morter but he too was carrying a penalty after exceeding the track limits once too often. Still, fourth was good enough. Gillett was placed third. Down the order and unnoticed by many was a really string drive from Henry Jackson. Having been excluded from qualifying he started in thirtieth position but worked his way up to eighth by the flag and set fastest lap in the process.

Pre A final

Pole for Browning with Wright alongside and Championship leader Ridout alongside Lammin on row two. Cowell and Cottle on row three from Brammer and Dawson with James and Wood completing the top ten. Poleman Browning detected a fault on his machine and was quickly into the pits for a Kart change which gave the rest of the field a few extra rolling up laps and a chance to warm the tyres. Browning got away from the start well enough but he would later state that his second machine didn’t feel quite right. All in the mind James? Out of Inkermans for the first time Ridout had the better exit and moved to the front whilst Browning defended resolutely from Wright. Behind, Cowell had got the better of Lammin at the start to hold fourth from Lammin, Cottle and a fast starting Wood. With three laps run Ridout still led and had opened a gap to Browning.

Wright was trying everything he knew to get by but was constantly rebuffed. Down through the Zulus’ for the fourth time though Wright timed his run to perfection and as Browning moved to the left on the exit to cover a move down the inside into the boot Wright remained on the right and simply drove past him. He immediately began to pull away and close down the leader whilst Browning was now defending from Lammin. Cowell meanwhile had Cottle close behind along with Wood. Into the Boot Cottle slipped ahead and Wood tried to follow him through. Unfortunately he made heavy contact with Cowell spinning the latter to a halt. Wood also got held up allowing Dawson up in to sixth. At the front Wright continued to close down the leader and on the penultimate lap he got a good run up the hill and took over at the front. Behind Browning had finally succumbed to the pressure from Lammin and dropped to fourth. Wright took the win by a couple of tenths from Ridout with Lammin third from Browning who had to fight off a late race challenge from Cottle and Dawson. Wood was next over the line but his six place penalty saw him drop out of the top ten. Forkes took seventh and set fastest lap with Rankine, Hill and Turner completing the top ten. A great performance from Turner, climbing eleven places through the race.

B Final

Jackson on pole from Mullen with Goddard and Divers on row two and Trafford and Clarke on three. Jackson was smartly away but Mullen lost out falling to fifth by the end of the lap. Goddard moved into second chased hard by Trafford with Kelman up to fourth from grid nine. Jackson quickly pulled clear at the front as Goddard fought to keep Trafford behind. But not for long. With three laps gone Trafford moved into second and immediately began to pull clear of Goddard whilst Kelman dropped out of fourth place after a spin which allowed Mitchell into fourth having started down on grid thirteen. Jackson continued to stretch his lead at the front and set the fastest lap of the race on the final tour whilst Trafford was an equally comfortable second ahead of Goddard and Mitchell. And this time there were no problems at the scales.

A Final

Forkes on pole from Wright with Wood and Cottle on row two. Browning and Ridout side by side on row three. Dawson and Gooch on four with Lammin and Cowell completing the top ten. Forkes led away from pole but it was Wood into second as Wright dropped to third with Browning and Ridout fourth and fifth. Down through the Zulu’s for the second time Browning muscled his way through into second and Ridout followed him through dropping Wright to fourth with Dawson fifth and Wood sixth. Forkes led across the line but as they ran up the hill for the third time Wright was back into third. Where was Ridout? At the end of the lap he crossed the line sixteenth and post race would admit that he’d simply made a mistake and run wide out of the first turn. Unlike some on the day though he didn’t throw in the towel at the first sign of adversity. Forkes still led and had pulled out a lead of over two seconds as the rest of the pack fought over second. But Browning began to close and was soon up with the leader and challenging hard finally getting close enough to try a move into the first turn.  He couldn’t quite make the move stick though round the outside but it seemed like only a matter of time and at half distance he was through into the lead at Inkermans. Dawson followed him through having demoted Wright a lap earlier.

Forkes though didn’t fall away and was holding off Wright for third. It was still anyone’s race and Browning was having to defend for all his worth from Dawson who in turn needed to keep a wary eye on Forkes and Wright. With four to go there was barely a cigarette paper between them. Into Christmas Dawson made a move which Browning defended and as Forkes exited the corner Dawson lost control and spun baulking Forkes and allowing Wright into second. He then set about chasing down Browning for the lead. Meanwhile down the order Hill, who had driven a barnstorming race up from grid nineteen and into the top ten got tagged by Rankine on the start and fish straight and spun to a halt at the pit lane exit. It turned out to be race defining moment. As the leaders came into the Boot for the final time Wright took his chance but Browning kept well to the inside forcing Wright to go the long way round. But he had greater momentum and looked to be well set to move into the lead at the final turn. But the yellow flags were waving. Wright beat the wheel in frustration. He would surely have taken the win but a jubilant Browning crossed the line a couple of Kart lengths ahead of a disgruntled Wright with Forkes an excellent third. Wood came home a lonely but worthy fourth ahead of Lammin who took the place by a virtue a penalty for Cottle for cone abuse. Ridout took seventh after a great fight back with Jackson a fine eighth after starting at the back. One can only speculate as to where he would have been had he not been excluded from qualifying. Still, he did get his monies worth from the day and a trophy for winning the B Final.

Williams and Turner completed the top ten with Nick Trafford winning the SHW division.

Podiums and Championships

A much needed win for James Browning. It was hard earned too as held off a determined challenge from Mark Wright who was clearly a touch miffed over his rivals resolute defence. Personally I saw nothing wrong and neither did the officials. Matt Forkes third place was well deserved. Having seen his big lead cut I thought he might slip down the order but he didn’t and was still in with a shot at the win at the death. The izone award was just reward.

And a trophy too for Henry Jackson for winning the B Final. A good day for him and hopefully he’ll return for some more

Mark Ridout still leads the Championship but the gap is just one point from James Browning with Adam Wright still well in the hunt just ten points adrift. It’s going to be a tense final two rounds. Nick Trafford took the SHW honours again and he is the hot favourite to win the SHW crown.

Reflections

Another great days racing at Whilton but it was a great shame that JV had to lay down the law after the first two Clubman’s races had to be restarted. Hearing drivers claiming that other drivers were deliberately turning into other drivers or driving people off the track is not good. All drivers have a responsibility to their fellow competitors. We want to see good clean racing with drivers showing each other respect. Take heed.

I must admit I struggle sometimes to understand the mindset of some drivers and not just with regard to driving standards. I had harsh words for a couple of them in the paddock after they had retired healthy Karts. It’s true they weren’t going to win but I just don’t get why you would spend money testing, spend money on overnight accommodation and travelling, money on racing and then pull out with plenty of laps to run. Track time is important so why not take full advantage. You don’t learn anything stood in the pits. There are drivers racing who will probably never trouble the podium but they don’t just give up. They drive and race for the joy of it. I grew up in a sporting household. Football, Cricket, Snooker and Table tennis were the main games. And one thing I was taught was that that you never give in. Winners don’t quit and Champions don’t give in. Quitting displays a mental fragility. If I were competing I’d play on that. Or am I missing something?

See you at Bayford!!

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Report written by Chris Simpson

Photography: Jack Mitchell – JAM Motorsport Photography

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Club100 2017 Round 10 Report – Lights

Club 100 Sprints Round 10 Whilton Mill

The second visit of the year to Whilton Mill and this time using the shorter ‘Zulu’ circuit which turns the flat right handed Inkermans into a tight hairpin before running into a short straight and then a tricky left, right, left sequence of corners known as Zulus one, two and three and named not after some African tribe or 60’s film but christened after the circuit owners dog. The final left hander leads onto the back straight. Some love the configuration and some loathe it but never let it be said that Club 100 doesn’t supply variety.

Into the afternoon and the clouds finally began to break up to give the fine weather the weather forecasters had promised for the Lightweights and Heavyweights/ Super Heavyweights events. And it was good to see a healthy turnout too necessitating B finals in both categories.

Qualifying

Group one

Chris Bell stopped the clock with a sub forty four second lap on his first lying attempt but Chris Woodger beat him to fastest time midway through the session as did Ben Atkinson. Bobby Dawes was next but failing to get under forty four seconds with Thanassi Barnicoat next. A good effort this in his first run in Club 100. He’s raced in Easykarts though so he’s not short of experience.

Group 2

Sammy Venables topped the second group and he was clearly on form with seven out of his eight laps under forty four seconds. Jon Watkins took the second spot with Championship leader Darri Simms third. Second in the Championship standings Liam Cochrane could only manage the sixth quickest time in the session behind Andrew Ward and Seb Algieri.

Lightweight Pre B Final

Four to qualify for the Pre A final and Marc Roberts on pole from Jon Buck with Tom Mackenzie and Oscar Lancaster on row two. Row three, James Haslehurst and James Venning. Roberts led the field away but any chance of qualification disappeared as he ran wide and got swamped by half the field dropping to ninth by the end of the lap leaving Buck in first place from Lancaster. Venning was up to third after a sharp getaway with Mackenzie occupying fourth from Haslehurst. Venning was flying at this point and a lap later he was into second with Lancaster third from Haslehurst and Mackenzie. The order stabilised for a few laps before Venning decided he’d be better off at the front and with six laps run he moved ahead of Buck. Haslehurst by this time was up to third with Darren Martin into fourth whilst Mackenzie remained fifth. Martin’s fourth place lasted just a lap before he spun down the order. Lancaster had dropped to sixth but as Martin fell back he managed to get back ahead of Mackenzie, still in fifth. And that was how they remained all the way to the flag. Venning took the win almost a second clear of Buck with Haslehurst third from Lancaster with Mackenzie just missing out in fifth.

Lightweight Pre A final

Venables on pole from Woodger with Watkins and Atkinson on row two. Then the first of the Championship contenders Bell with Championship leader Simms alongside. Row four, Ward and Algieri with Cochrane and Darling completing the top ten. Venables brought the field up to the start but it was Woodger who made the smarter getaway. Well, not that smart. It was certainly quick bur he’d jumped the start much to his clear annoyance. Venables dropped to third behind Atkinson whilst Watkins got forced wide on the run up to Christmas corner and would be down in thirteenth as the field crossed the line at the end of the first lap. Simms got the better of Bell to run fourth with Bell fifth and Cochrane up to sixth. Darling ran seventh from Algieri.  Woodger continued to lead but with four laps run Venables was up to second ahead of Atkinson. But Venables had been a little too aggressive as he went by Atkinson out of Inkermans which meant the first two runners on the road were both carrying penalties.  Meanwhile Bell was pressing Simms hard into the Boot complex and as Simms ran a little wide Bell moved inside. As they ran down to the final corner Simms looked back over shoulder to see where Cochrane was. The answer was coming up the inside and the Championship leader dropped to sixth.

A lap later and Bell moved ahead of Atkinson for third. Cochrane wasn’t about to let him getaway and pressed Atkinson hard. Out of the final corner at the end of the eighth lap he swept round the outside and overtook on the concrete apron. But he got away with it. Champions luck? Certainly Liam new afterwards that he’d dodged a metaphoric bullet. He immediately closed in on Bell the two of them third and fourth on the road but in reality in first and second.  Two thirds distance and Bell slipped ahead of Venables to try and put some breathing space back to Cochrane. A lap later and he was into first as Woodger fell back to third. By the penultimate la he was down to fifth. At the front Venables was intent on the win and wisely Bell didn’t defend the place too hard knowing his rival would be penalised at the end. Venables crossed the line first but dropped to fourth after his penalty thus handing the win and valuable Championship points to Bell. A relieved Cochrane took second with Atkinson third from Venables. Fifth went to Watkins. After dropping to thirteenth he made steady progress up the order and had a late race battle with Simms. The two of them swapped places a couple of times before Watkins finally broke clear and also got the better of a fading Woodger who finished sixth on the road but dropped to eighth after his penalty was applied. Simms was sixth ahead of Darling. A good drive this. He was on the pace and kept out of trouble. Ward and Fincham completed the top ten.

Lightweight B Final

Marshall on pole from Roberts with Mackenzie and Wood on row two from Rowlands and Martin. Marshall led away from pole with Roberts tucking in behind but it was Rowlands who caught the eye moving quickly into third whilst Wood dropped away. By the end of the third lap he was down to eighth. Marshall continued to stretch his advantage at the front but Roberts was far from safe in second as Mackenzie and Rowlands began to pressure him. Half distance and they were both by. Martin was on a charge and a lap later he moved up to third as the battling Roberts and Rowland held each other up. Marshall was untroubled at the front and Mackenzie was well clear of the battle for third headed now by Martin from Rowlands and Roberts. And that was how they remained to the flag with Marshall taking a comfortable win from Mackenzie who took an equally comfortable second place from the squabbling Martin and Rowlands. But then came the post race drama. Marshall was underweight and excluded handing the win to Mackenzie with Martin promoted into the final qualifying spot ahead of Rowlands by just 0.093.

Lightweights A Final

The final race of the day for the lights. The three main Championship protagonists were all well down the order with Venables on pole from Woodger and Barnicoat and Watkins on row two. Wheeldon and Mather on row three from Ward and Atkinson on four. Row five, Bell and Fincham with second in the Championship Cochrane and Championship leader Simms starting eleventh and twelfth. Venables led the field away and this time Woodger was a little more circumspect off the line tucking in behind the leader as the field streamed up the hill. Barnicoat remained third with Wheeldon next from Watkins. Atkinson moved up a couple of spots whilst Ward and Fincham spun to the back of the field. Cochrane dropped a spot but Simms fared even worse. Coming through the Zulus he got tagged and spun to halt. Despite getting restarted he pulled into the pits and retired. Woodger didn’t allow Venables any respite and was ahead by the end of the second lap having briefly got ahead in the Boot on the first lap.

Watkins quickly recovered lost ground to move into third ahead of Barnicoat, Wheeldon, Atkinson and Bell. Woodger inched away at the front as Venables came under increasing pressure from Watkins and Barnicoat with Bell getting ever closer. Further back Cochrane was beginning to make progress moving into the top ten. Venables finally succumbed to the advances of Watkins and Barnicoat and dropped to fourth. A lap later though and he was back into third with Barnicoat dropping to fifth behind Bell. Bell knew a good result was within his grasp and a good haul of points would see him move back to second in the standings and cut Simms Championship lead and a lap later he was through into third with plenty of laps left to chase down the leaders. He was flying having set fastest lap and establishing a record on the seventh tour. Venables though was desperate to get back on terms and as they went up the hill into Christmas he lunged down the inside from well back making heavy contact and spinning Bell to a halt. Bell would later say he was sure he had enough pace to catch the leaders and win the race but rather than continue he too pulled into the pits and retirement.  Venables continued but within a few more laps he too was into retirement with a mechanical problem. Woodger continued to lead chased by Watkins with Barnicoat third from Atkinson. Cochrane was now up to fifth having taken full advantage of some of the confusion in front of him. And that was how the order remained to the flag.

Podiums and Championships

All smiles on the Lightweight podium with Chris Woodger taking his first win of the season. And well deserved it was too. Jon Watkins second place was his first visit to the podium since winning at round four whilst Thanassi Barnicoat can be well satisfied with third in his first Club 100 outing. Tom Mackenzie too can be well satisfied with his day after winning the B Final and taking home a trophy.

It wasn’t a great day for the three main Championship contenders and certainly Darri Simms will be glad to see the back of Whilton this year having been taken out of both A finals on both visits this year. Nevertheless he continues to lead the Championship but his lead has been cut whilst Liam Cochrane gained a bit of ground and increased his lead by a few points over third placed Chris Bell.  Despite a poor day Liam never gave up the fight.  With two rounds to go who is going to be mentally the strongest driver? Who will handle the pressure best?

Reflections

Another great days racing at Whilton but it was a great shame that JV had to lay down the law after the first two Clubman’s races had to be restarted. Hearing drivers claiming that other drivers were deliberately turning into other drivers or driving people off the track is not good. All drivers have a responsibility to their fellow competitors. We want to see good clean racing with drivers showing each other respect. Take heed.

I must admit I struggle sometimes to understand the mindset of some drivers and not just with regard to driving standards. I had harsh words for a couple of them in the paddock after they had retired healthy Karts. It’s true they weren’t going to win but I just don’t get why you would spend money testing, spend money on overnight accommodation and travelling, money on racing and then pull out with plenty of laps to run. Track time is important so why not take full advantage. You don’t learn anything stood in the pits. There are drivers racing who will probably never trouble the podium but they don’t just give up. They drive and race for the joy of it. I grew up in a sporting household. Football, Cricket, Snooker and Table tennis were the main games. And one thing I was taught was that that you never give in. Winners don’t quit and Champions don’t give in. Quitting displays a mental fragility. If I were competing I’d play on that. Or am I missing something?

See you at Bayford!!

Click here to read all Club100 Reports

Click here to see more Club100 Videos

Report written by Chris Simpson

Photography: Jack Mitchell – JAM Motorsport Photography

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Club100 2017 Round 10 Report – Elite

Club 100 Sprints Round 10 Whilton Mill

The second visit of the year to Whilton Mill and this time using the shorter ‘Zulu’ circuit which turns the flat right handed Inkermans into a tight hairpin before running into a short straight and then a tricky left, right, left sequence of corners known as Zulus one, two and three and named not after some African tribe or 60’s film but christened after the circuit owners dog. The final left hander leads onto the back straight. Some love the configuration and some loathe it but never let it be said that Club 100 doesn’t supply variety.

Heat 1

Just thirteen runners in the Elites. Another small grid which is going to prompt an exciting change in the formats for next season. Ian Blake had pole from Pete O’Connor with new dad Jay Elliott on row two from Dan Truman. Blake led the field away but it was Elliott into second from O’Connor with Truman hanging on to fourth from reigning Champion Steve Brown whilst the perennially unlucky Dan Healey dropped from fifth to ninth. Red Lodge winner Jonathan Lisseter dropped from seventh to the back of the field as Brandon Williams, Tyler Mays and Championship leader Joe Holmes all made up ground. Blake continued to lead but only by a few Kart lengths from the frantic battle for second. Elliot’s second place lasted just a lap before O’Connor forced his way ahead followed by Brown as Elliott dropped dramatically down the order falling to eighth after just four laps.

Brown was looking particularly quick and was quickly ahead of O’Connor and closing down the leader. Within a lap he was onto the leader’s bumper with O’Connor close behind chased now by Williams. Half distance and Brown was into the lead. A lap later and Blake was down to third behind O’Connor. A lap later and he was down to fifth behind Williams and Holmes who had worked his way steadily forward from Grid eleven. Brown continued to stretch his advantage at the front chased by O’Connor the two of them gradually pulling clear of the battle for third still headed by Williams. Brown duly took the win by a comfortable margin from O’Connor the two of them well clear of the battle for third which finally went the way of Holmes. Healey took fourth having for once been in the right place at the right time taking full advantage of a last lap shuffle. Williams was next. At the start of the penultimate lap he was third. By the end of it he down to eighth but recovered to fifth. Tom Dix was sixth and set the fastest lap which also established a record.  Mays was next but penalised down to eleventh thus promoting Elliott into seventh with a despondent Blake eighth from a returning Stephen Hicks ahead of Edward Barrs.

Heat 2

Williams on pole for this one with Barrs alongside from Mays and Holmes. Williams led the field away and from that moment on was never headed. Mays tucked in behind from Holmes with Barrs down to fourth. Hicks held fifth but not for long as Blake quickly made up ground as Dix fell back from Grid six. Within a couple of laps he would be at the back of the pack. Williams continued on his way but Holmes was intent on second and with four laps run he made it by Mays and set off in pursuit of the leader. Mays was now being pressed hard by Barrs and just after half way the latter made it by with Hicks following a lap later.

Blake was stuck in sixth and couldn’t quite get close enough to the battle in front to be a threat. Holmes meanwhile continued to close in on the leader but a win was not to be and Williams duly took the flag just under half a second to the good. The two of them were well clear of the battle for third place which went to Hicks after a last lap pass on Barrs. Blake took fifth having demoted Mays on the penultimate lap with Brown next having made steady progress up from Grid twelve and setting the fastest lap two from home. The lap also established a record. Mays had to settle for seventh but he was well clear off the battle for eighth which finally went to O’Connor who headed a chain of Karts covered by just over half a second. Truman was ninth from Healey, Elliott, Lisseter and Dix.

Heat 3

Lisseter on pole from Dix with Brown next from Hicks. Lisseter got away cleanly with Dix tucking in behind but Hicks was up to third at the expense of Brown who fell to fifth behind a fast starting Holmes whilst Healey also lost ground. Barrs made a storming start up from Grid ten to seventh whilst Blake was on the move from the back of the grid. Tenth by the end of lap one he was into ninth a lap later and challenging Barrs for eighth the latter having dropped back behind a recovering Truman. Unfortunately Blake got a little too feisty in his fight for ninth and he and Barrs made contact resulting in Barrs spinning to a halt and unable to resume.  Blake was adjudged the aggressor and would be excluded from the results at the end of the race.

Lisseter continued to lead but Holmes was up into second and challenging hard for the lead. It didn’t take him long to find away by and he quickly began to pull a gap as Lisseter defended from Hicks. Hicks made it by at half distance but could make no impression on the gap to the leader. Healey moved into third with Brown fourth as Lisseter dropped back to fifth. Holmes continued to stretch his advantage whilst on the penultimate lap Healey forced his way into second. A lap later and Brown also moved ahead of Hicks and that was how they finished. Holmes took the win from Healey, Brown, Hicks and Lisseter. Elliott took sixth. After dropping a couple of spots to eleventh in the early stages he fought back finally finding a way by Truman on the final lap. Dix was next with Williams and O’Connor completing the top ten. Holmes set the fastest lap on the final tour just to underline his superiority.

Final

Holmes on pole from Brown with Williams and Hicks on row two. Healey and O’Connor on three from Elliott and Barrs with Dix and Lisseter completing the top ten. Mays and Truman next with second in the Championship Blake on his own at the back. Holmes led the field way but it was a fast starting Williams who moved into second at the expense of Brown. I thought Williams jumped the start but no penalty was called.  Hicks and Healey remained fourth and fifth. Blake moved into the top ten by the end of the first lap. Holmes quickly stretched his advantage as Williams held off the challenge from Brown.

Healey though had swapped places with Hicks. Hicks stayed with him and the two of them began to build a gap back to the rest of the field.  Half distance and Brown was up to second and immediately set about trying to close the gap to the leader with Williams close behind. And both Healey and Hicks were both close enough behind to capitalise on any errors.  It didn’t happen though. Holmes crossed the line half a second up but never seriously threatened despite Brown setting the fastest lap on the penultimate tour. Williams remained in contention but had to settle for third with Healey and Hicks next up. Blake made it up to sixth with Dix, Barrs, Elliott and Lisseter completing the top ten.

Championship

Like Harry Neale in the Clubman’s Joe Holmes is now well clear of the pack. After a slow start he’s knuckled down and remained focused. Ian Blake has chased hard and kept himself in the hunt but his body language at Whilton suggested he’d all but given up the fight. Still, he’s bounced back before. Steve Brown started the year with two final wins but thereafter his good form deserted him. A recent run in the Birelart UK Championship saw him finish fourth in the final and just three tenths away from the top step on the podium. Another lap and he might well have won it. A great credit to himself and a good advert for the talent that exists in Club 100.

 

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Report written by Chris Simpson

Photography: Jack Mitchell – JAM Motorsport Photography

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Club100 2017 Round 10 Report – Clubman

Club 100 Sprints Round 10 Whilton Mill

The second visit of the year to Whilton Mill and this time using the shorter ‘Zulu’ circuit which turns the flat right handed Inkermans into a tight hairpin before running into a short straight and then a tricky left, right, left sequence of corners known as Zulus one, two and three and named not after some African tribe or 60’s film but christened after the circuit owners dog. The final left hander leads onto the back straight. Some love the configuration and some loathe it but never let it be said that Club 100 doesn’t supply variety.

Heat 1

Despite the forecast being for a hot sunny day the morning sessions started in chilly overcast conditions with some moisture in the air as the Clubman’s took to the track for the first heat and the first false start of the day as several drivers fell off at the top of the hill. Second time around and pole sitter James Hattersley made no mistakes to lead the field up the hill and into Christmas corner. Harrison Darvill, starting alongside Hattersley, was slow away and tripped over Championship contender Pietro Pagano putting them both to the back of the field. Darvill was adjudged at fault and would be excluded at the end of the race.  Hattersley led the field across the line at the end of the lap with a sizeable lead from Mike Townley and Luke Hornsby whilst Peter Harris had driven a sensational first lap moving from Grid eleven to fourth. Martin Theodorou was next up ahead of Justin Buck who had his hands full holding off the attentions of Richard Evans who was having his first ever outing in a Club 100 Kart. He currently lies second in the Birelart UK Super Elite series so he’s no slouch. Chris Penny was next ahead of Darrell Lowe with Stefan Scully completing the top ten.

Another driver who put in an astonishing first lap moving up from Grid twenty three. Hattersley continued to stretch his lead at the front as Townley fought to hang on to second from Hornsby and Harris. Not for long though as he was soon demoted to fourth behind Hornsby, Harris and Theodorou. Rob Moore had quickly worked his way up to sixth from Grid twenty one but his challenge looked to have stalled as he settled on the tail of the battle for second. Just after half distance though he made it by Townley and a lap later dispensed with Theodorou for fourth. Hattersley looked to be well in command at the front but with four to go he suddenly began to lose power and Hornsby and Harris quickly began to close in by over a second a lap. Into the final lap he was still ahead. Harris forced his way by Hornsby at the start of the lap and closed in on Hattersley. Powerless to defend the leader had to cede the place but still had enough left to hang onto second from Hornsby. Moore came home fourth with Buck fifth and the impressive Scully sixth from Lowe. Theodorou took eighth from Evans who admitted that he hadn’t quite expected the intense level of competition. Jack Bolton rounded out the top ten. Pagano set the fastest lap but it was scant reward for twenty first place.

Heat 2

Another heat that had to be restarted prompting a reduction in laps and race time. James Martin led the field up to the start for the second time but he was quickly demoted by a fast starting Thomas Glyde. Too fast as it happened as he was penalised two places for a jumped start. His day got worse as he was also adjudged to have made contact as he forced his way to the front handing him another four place demotion. Still, at least he led on the road. Championship leader Harry Neale moved up into second with Jamie Pender third ahead of Frankie Hedges. Down the order Simon Lloyd and Hattersley both spun to a halt in separate incidents. Hattersley resumed last and would ultimately finish sixteenth and set the fastest lap of the race.

Two laps gone and David Whitehouse and Stephen Docker both spun to the rear of the field. Glyde continued to lead with Neale close behind from Pender and Hedges with Martin, Bolton and Moore running line astern. Neale moved ahead with three laps remaining and promptly began to pull away from Glyde who continued to hold off Pender. Neale made no mistake to record a comfortable win with Glyde still second on the road but demoted to seventh thus handing second to Pender. Moore took third from Hedges but the latter was found to be underweight and excluded from the results handing fourth to Bolton from Martin and Townley. Dixon, Buck and Scully completed the top ten.

Heat 3

Marc Craddock on pole from Stephen Docker with Evans and Lloyd next up. This time everyone behaved themselves away from the line. Well almost. Evans and Lloyd went missing and would resume dead last but no penalties were called. Scully moved into third from Grid six with Moore driving yet another strong opening lap to move into fourth from Grid ten. David Whitehouse slotted into fifth ahead of Chris Dixon, another strong starter up from Grid twelve. Hedges Bolton and Pagano too all made strong starts from lowly Grid slots to run inside the top ten. Craddock continued to lead but was being hard pressed by Docker. But not too hard as it allowed them to build a gap to the chasing pack still headed by Scully.

Just before half distance Docker moved to the front but Craddock wasn’t going to allow him to get away and remained on his bumper. Behind, Moore made it by Scully and began to close in on the leaders. Craddock meanwhile allowed Docker a couple of laps at the front before moving back ahead. This time Docker lost a bit of momentum and from that moment on the result was never in doubt as Craddock pulled further away eventually crossing the line almost three seconds to the good. Docker was equally comfortable in second as was Moore in third as the leading five spread out. Whitehouse was an excellent fourth ahead of Dixon who set the fastest lap of the race on the final tour. Hedges was next, promoted at the expense of Scully who was penalised for cone abuse. Bolton would have been next but he too was penalised for cone abuse promoting Neale into eighth. Lowe completed the top ten.

Final

Moore on pole from Neale with Bolton and Scully on row two from Craddock and Harris on three. Hattersley and Townsley on row four and Pender and Dixon completing the top ten. Once again the field got away cleanly with Moore in the lead chased by Neale. Scully got the better of Bolton in the run up to Christmas with Harris also getting the better of Craddock. Hattersley, Townley and Pender ran line astern with Buck completing the top ten after a sharp getaway. Further back Evans was on the move. Having felt he’d been roughed up a little in the heats he’d decided to get a bit firm and was really getting his elbows out. With two laps run Neale slipped by Moore for the lead and as the chasing pack squabbled over third the two of them began to steadily edge away. Harris moved up to third with Bolton fourth and Scully into fifth having dropped briefly behind Hattersley. Craddock ran seventh and was gradually being dropped. Neale and Moore continued to pull away at the front with Neale clearly having the upper hand and under no pressure whilst equally Harris looked safe in second. The battle for third though was really hotting up.

Half distance and Bolton was back into third with Hattersley and Moore right behind. Scully was dropping away from the fight and being reeled in by Craddock whilst the charging Evans was up to eighth and closing in on Glyde. Dixon completed the top ten and then a big gap back to Pagano who was leading the remaining runners. Neale and Moore reeled off the remaining laps to take the top two spots but behind the battle raged. A couple of times Hattersley almost made it into third but Bolton was resolute in his defence. Sadly for him on the penultimate lap he clipped a cone going into the boot. Wisely Hattersley sat back, defended from the following Moore and let Bolton cross the line third having noted the penalty on the start line gantry. A wise move giving him a well deserved final spot on the podium. Bolton took fourth after an eventful drive with Moore fifth. Scully kept Craddock at bay for sixth. Next up on the road was Evans but a three place deduction, one for cone abuse and two for multiple contacts, saw him placed out of the top ten. Still, he’d enjoyed himself and did have the satisfaction of setting the fastest lap. Hopefully it won’t be just a one off drive. Glyde, Dixon and Pagano completed the top ten the latter cutting a disconsolate figure in the paddock knowing that his chances off the Championship for this year had just about evaporated,

Championship

After his second final win in a row Harry Neale now has one hand firmly on the Championship trophy. It will take a major upset to deprive him. He’s been the dominant racer all season. He’s missed two rounds and stood on the top step in six out of the other eight.

Peter Harris has run into some good form over the last few rounds and has been runner up to Harry over the last two events. He sits sixth in the standings. James Hattersley’s third place was his first in Clubman’s this year. But then he’s only competed in three rounds having started in Elites. Rob Moore remains second in the Championship from Jack Bolton.

 

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RLK Formula 270 Round 9 Report

The penultimate round of Formula 270 started in complete darkness thanks to the end of daylight saving, but an unusually mild day kept the temperatures just into the double figures. A rather light field of just 18 drivers started the night, however this allowed both lightweights and heavies on the track together, separated by a 30 second staggered start of random grids over 18 laps. The extra five laps and a full field of karts would make for a congested track, meaning the ideal weather for fast lap times could be hindered by traffic. 

In the first Heat Ash Connor started on pole with Aaron Lask hoping to clinch the title with a round to spare, behind him. Wasting no time Aaron grabbed the lead on lap 1 with Josh Adams and Jake Taplin making their way to the front a lap later. However Jake couldn’t make the move on Ash who defended 3rd place. Bob Willis was making good progress from the back of the grid and muscled his way to the front of the pack – however Ash held on to 3rd by just 0.1 seconds. The lap times were well into the low 52s with eventual winner Aaron and second place man Josh setting exactly the same fastest lap of the heat 4 laps apart, half a second faster than the last round. 

In the Heavies it was David Lask on pole with Jono Holland lined up in second. Jono with a generous 10kg advantage was off the line quicker than David, but being on the outside was out of position for the first left hander. Paul Turland and Andy Cornish were off the line quicker than their 90kg counterparts but Charlie Tatum in 3rd was preventing them from making any further progress up the road. David and Jono pulled a fairly safe 3 second gap from the chasing pack and Jono tried everything he could to slip up the inside of David but to no avail. David Lask took his first heat win of the year, with Jono Holland second and the defensive tactics of Charlie Tatum helped him to secure third. 

Heat 2 saw Aaron Lask starting at their back of the grid and Josh Adams on pole, However Jake Taplin and James Rose were able to deny Josh the advantage and demote him to 3rd. Aaron Lask was making his was through the field with George Parker in tow who was hoping to get a better result in this heat by leapfrogging Aaron and John Padley on lap 5 for 4th. Two laps later he had managed to catch and pass Josh. George kept up the progress by catching James in 2nd on lap 9, however this time it wouldn’t be so easy and two laps later James retook 2nd place, although now a second behind Jake in the lead. George looked like he was going to make it into 3rd but on the penultimately lap a watchful Josh passed for third place leaving George to settle for 4th, albeit ahead of Aaron in 5th. However it wasn’t all lost as George Parker set a new lap record for the series at 51 seconds exactly, more than half a second faster than the winner. 

For the heavies Paul Turland started on pole and took the advantage at the the start with Andy Cornish making his way into second in pursuit. James Oakley fed through the rest of the pack to lead the chase in 3rd from Rafal Wolski and Jono Holland, before contact demoted them both to the back of the grid. Not wanting to take a penalty Jono relinquished the place to Rafal but in doing so had meant the lightweights were starting to catch up. The blue flags then came out and the slower heavies started to slip further away from the top 3. With just 5 laps to go Andy made his move on Paul and into the lead with James Oakley in 3rd. Charlie Tatum finished 4th with the rest of the heavies being a lap down to the rest of the field. 

For the final heat George Parker had the advantage of a front row start along side pole sitter Ethan Hall. On lap 1 he was into the lead but Aaron Lask starting towards the back was already into second place by lap 2. By the half way point Aaron had cut George’s advantage down to less than a second with a safety margin of 3 seconds behind Jake Taplin in third. However George was just too fast this time and held on to the lead from Aaron with less than a quarter of a second between them. Jake had gotten a second closer but couldn’t close in on those last 2 seconds whilst keeping an eye on the very fast James Rose behind him in 4th. 

The heavies started with James Oakley on Pole with Andy Cornish alongside him, both keen to take the maximum points they could to cement their position as category leaders. This left Mathew Hall leading the rest of the pack with David Lask poised to pounce which he successfully did on lap 3 to take third place. This left Jono Holland to try and do the same, and although faster was unable to sneak by. It looked like it was never going to happen with 3 laps to go, and a wide lunge at the fast left handed of the Esses ensured it wouldn’t as Jono dropped a tyre onto the grass and pirouetted into last place. It finished with James Oakley beating Andy Cornish in second and David Lask finishing a very successful round in 3rd. 

On the night Aaron Lask got the lightweight win with 100 points from Jake Taplin in second with 97. One point behind him was Josh Adams on his second ever F270 round who himself was just one point ahead of 4th man James Rose. In the 80kg category it was another dominant victory for Andy Cornish with 101 points. Paul Turland took 2nd with 93 and Jono Holland taking 3rd place, level on points with Mathew Hall but Jono clinching the trophy due to setting the fastest lap in Heat 1. In the 90kg James Oakley beat David Lask by just one point with Charlie Tatum taking the 3rd spot. 

In the Championship this confirmed Aaron Lask as the Overall and Lightweight Champion for 2017. The last round already confirmed Andy Cornish as the 80kg Champion and now James Oakley was confirmed as the 90kg Champion. However, none of the categories have confirmed runner up spots with George Parker 2nd and Jake Taplin 3rd in the lightweights, Paul Turland 2nd and Jono Holland 3rd in the 80kg and David Lask 2nd to Charlie Tatum 3rd in the 90kg. And for added drama the final round of the series will be run with the circuit backwards! 

Images by Janet Taplin

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