Round 2- 12th March 2017
An exhilarating day with brilliant races greeted spectators for round 2 of the 2017 Championship season, as a large amount of entries made for an entertaining day in the South West.
The day started off cold and with a wet circuit, but this wasn’t to deter the first heat of the day, the Honda Cadets, who were capped at 42 entrants. A very tight finish between the racers in the final stages meant Vaughan was able to take a good win from Tolley, with Mclean 3rd but had been forced across the grass on the final straight. The IAME were up next, and it was Crockett who took a good win despite being attacked by Roberts who was quicker, but could not get past. A ferocious battle followed in the Senior Max between Haworth Turner, but Haworth took the lead and was able to take another impressive victory. Minimax followed in which Sebastian Marlow took the win, and in the Senior Blue Ian Branfield raced well to get into the lead and take the win from Duncan Mcleod. For a few laps in the Junior Max first heat there was a 5 way battle for the lead, but Hepworth was the eventual winner as Pearce unfortunately went off. Following this was the second of 4 heats for the Hondas, and it was Sonny Smith who won from Ollie Tyler, but congratulations to 4th placed Aston Millar, who gained 22 positions over the course of the race, a very impressive feat. The FP4 World Formula took a while to sort out their positions, but Waddell took a well deserved win; Joe Walmsley won the ensuing 177 race. In the last of the first heats, the FP4 Prokart race was won by Matt Wileman.
There were of course many classes at Clay today, and all drivers were rearing to go for their finals later on in the day, but there were still some very watchable heats in between the first round and the Finals in the afternoon. The IAME Heat 2, for example, saw a sudden race flourish in the last half of the last lap, as Dudfield was beaten to the line by Crockett by just 0.02 of a second. Despite the 4th heat of Hondas being very tense but overall fairly stubborn, the 3rd was possibly the race of the day, with an explosive finish as Bearman went off on the last lap, Lomliev was in the lead but in the final seconds bounced across the grass, and the top 4 finished with 3 tenths of a second, the eventual winner being Archie Brown. The Minimax 3rd heat had an exciting finale too, with Marlow having to defend well to hold on to his 3rd win of the day. The ever large Senior Max class provided entertainment throughout their races, but all drivers were making sure they were best prepared for their Finals, beginning with the Honda Cadet B Final.
The Finals began in great fashion with an exciting finale, as Henderson came from 7th to 4th on the last lap with the top 4 going through to the A Final later on, with Greenall, Attreed and Lambert also progressing. The IAME Cadet Final saw Dudfield win with a relatively comfortable margin, ahead of Crockett. The 21 drivers in Senior Max were always going to supply a feisty affair, and so it was proved as Haworth overtook pole-sitter Martin to win superbly in a very fast and tense battle, Moorcroft completing the top 3. Sebastian Marlow had no troubles taking his 4th win of the day to take a maximum points haul in the Minimax, and following this the 0 plated kart of Branfield in the Senior Blue took the win ahead of a close battle with Ford and Mcleod. Pryer was able to see off the rest of the filed on pace alone in the Junior Max, and following this Wright was almost able to hold onto the win in the final, but could not quite manage it as he was beaten by Waddell once again. Race number 36 of the day was the Honda A Final, and with 28 drivers, had the most on track of the entire day. Lucas Ellingham took the win in this race in a fantastic battle for the lead on the last lap. In the penultimate race of the day Cox won comfortably in the 177’s, and as the day drew to a close Matt Wileman won in the FP4 Prokart. It was a truly extraordinary day at Clay Pigeon with so many entrants and so many good races, the next round is certain to be a thriller too.
Round 3 of the 2017 Championship season will be on the 9th April.
The next championship round at Clay this season takes place on the 12th March.