Category Archives: PFI Pro Kart

PFI Pro Kart Series Round 8 Race Report

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October 23, 2016

Overview

Turnout  at half-term fixtures are always unpredictable, especially when the meeting date has been moved from its regular slot, but on this occasion numbers more than held up with forty-two in the GX200 Extremes and twenty-three Extreme Cadets. Made all the nicer with some unseasonal hot and sunny weather!

Driver of the Day was awarded to Lewis Johnson, formerly a GX160 ProKart, for his efforts in sticking with his new Extreme class, where he finished a respectable seventeenth in the Final this time before the scales got at him.  A bit more lead, or perhaps an extra pie or two at lunch time should sort that out.

Lewis Johnson, Driver of the Day
Lewis Johnson, Driver of the Day

Best Presented Kart was Extreme Cadet Matthew Marshall.  It’s often difficult to spot a clear winner and maybe the monthly prize of a cup, print, and the kudos of having your photo as the banner on the FaceBook page has  raised the bar, which will give the judges even more cause for headscratching in future months.  The decision was taken half-way through the meeting, and just as well as Matthew retired in the third heat with a snapped front panel retainer.  Dad Andrew beavered away with unobtrusive cable ties and duct tape and goodness knows what else, superglue? and with the blessing of the Scrutineer, Matthew took to the track for the Final from the back of the grid, just grateful to be able to race, but bagging four places by the end!

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Matthew Marshall, Best Presented Kart

Extreme Cadets

With one race meeting to go this year, it’s tight at the top with only a double handful of points separating Harvey Charter and Thomas Short.  Factor in   all the mathematics of dropped rounds and next month should be a real nail biter.

We didn’t get a two-way Championship shoot-out this month, as Lucas Ellingham once again entered the fray and, this time, there were no mechanical issues to spoil his day.  This meeting has attracted any number of top drivers,  dropping in to race at  this premier International circuit, and Ellingham, reigning 2015 Champion,  was out in front for most of the  day, his  total clean sweep only frustrated by Charter on the very last lap of Heat 3. Charter clung to Ellingham lap in/lap out with a great deal more tenacity than Peter Pan’s shadow ever did  and came second to him in the Final by 1/10 s.

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Extreme Cadet Challengers Thomas Short (4) eclipsing Scott Smith, with Harry Wainwright (39), and Blake Angliss (7)

They each got a fastest lap time with the other two going to Charter’s Quantum team mate Harry Wainwright – unlucky in the Final with a mechanical when running third — and to Blake Angliss. None of them however came anywhere near beating Daniel Holdsworth’s record, surprising given the good track conditions.

While these two were inseparable up front, Thomas Short was consolidating his position at third and protecting his Championship points, which he did admirably especially as he had to defend on the last lap against a resurgent Scott Smith – a likely third in the Championship this year – who had  battled up  from P5.

Smith had to retrieve three more lost places before working himself up into fifth and overtake Angliss who had looked pretty solid in fourth for much of the race until the last lap.  Five seconds later, there was a four-way tussle between a tight-knit group of Oliver Phillips, Miss Morgan Kidd, Sandro Ballesteros, and Jim Barty and then, after a gap of fourteen seconds Jack Plant and Airijus Jomantas headed the rest of the field.

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Lucas Ellingham (1), winner of the Extreme Cadet Final, with runner-up, Harvey Charter (29) 

GX200 Extreme ProKarts

Charlie Bingham produced a clean sweep of victories, against a backdrop of increasingly fastest lap times. Third-placed Ben Cook got two of them, runner up Austin Munday another, but the Final one was set by Matt Dorling, who equalled Bingham’s record of 1:05:15 s.

The top three finishers held their positions from lights to flag — with occasional incursions from Sean Dorling —   and indeed, the top six finished in the same positions as the preceding Heat. The actual finish was as tight as the race itself with only a second separating the top three, and a bare tenth between second and third.

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Charlie Bingham (108) leads out the GX200 Extremes into turn one, followed by Ben Cook (27), and Austin Munday (74)

Sean Dorling had looked nailed on for a podium until the last lap when he lost out first to Cook and then to Lewis Cannon and it might have been even worse for him with Jonte Beswick and Ronnie Rowe chasing him down.

Two seconds later, Matt Dorling lead in the others with ample space between him and the leaders to produce the best lap time of the day.

Matt Dorling (44) equalled Charlie Bingham’s Extreme lap record, here chasing Ben Cook (27), brother Sean (54), and Austin Munday
Matt Dorling (44) equalled Charlie Bingham’s Extreme lap record, here chasing Ben Cook (27), brother Sean (54), and Austin Munday
Final Positions
 
  Extreme Cadets GX200 Extremes
   
First Lucas Ellingham Charlie Bingham
Second Harvey Charter Austin Munday
Third Thomas Short Ben Cook
Fourth Scott Smith Lewis Cannon
Fifth Blake Angliss Sean Dorling

Andrew W Webb

Sprocket Photography

07850 693495 / sprocketphotography@yahoo.co.uk

 

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September 18, 2016

Overview

This was a bounce-back month with the largest ever GX200 Extreme grid for this meeting at fifty one and a respectable Extreme Cadet grid of twenty one.  Alas, no formal GX160 ProKarts, but Tony Feasby returned – a lone ProKart in the Extremes seemingly enjoying seeing how far up the ranks he could progress from the back.

And the weather was glorious – not so much an Indian summer but more like Pakistan, Bangla Desh, and Nepal thrown in for good measure.  But we know in our bones we are on the last knockings, and autumn proper will soon be upon us when the next meeting is rescheduled for October 23.

Best Presented Kart went to Steve Thompson – a stalwart of this meeting, who has done so much to develop and promote it over the years.  His karts are invariably well turned out and the gleaming new white/orange decals and themed immaculate white racing suit and helmet clinched the long-overdue award for him this month.

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Steve Thompson, Best Presented Kart

Extreme Cadets

Once again, Driver of the Day went to a Cadet.  Last month’s winner, Airijus Jomantas proved that his award was no flash in the pan as he pulled out three fastest laps of the day, the Final one chipping 1/100s off Harvey Charter’s previous record, earning him a podium for good measure.

Charter’s  record had already been broken in Heat 1 by Daniel Holdsworth by 4/100 s, setting a new target of 1:06:89 s.  Holdsworth drove his socks off all meeting which earned him the title of Driver of the Day for September.  Finishing fourth, second, and third in the Heats, he started the Final at P2, and had only just worked himself into the lead on lap seven, when his chain snapped and he was forced to take a grandstand view of the race behind the tyre walls: a forlorn spectator   denied his opportunity of achieving podium glory.

He wasn’t the only one to suffer ill fortune.  Super One highest-placed Rookie, Lucas Ellingham returned to his old stamping ground where he is the “O” Plate runner-up and 2015 Champion. Winning a fiercely-contested first Heat, he was forced to retire early in the second with a cracked chassis just when it was getting exciting. Thomas Short looked to have shaken off his jinx with a second and two firsts when his lead was abruptly terminated by a drive-thru penalty as the Final was reaching its climax.

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The Extreme Cadets cross the line heading into the sunset: L to R Scott Smith, Airijus Jomantas, Blake Angliss, and Harvey Charter

What Holdsworth and the rest of us saw was a pell-mell finish with the top four crossing the line within a second. Charter was at his most deadly in second place  for most of the race but it was Blake Angliss who took the lead from Short on lap thirteen. Charter quickly got in tandem with his new partner but this time couldn’t execute his trade-mark   breakout from the draft while Angliss held his nerve and the narrow lead,  and the two of them took the chequered flag 7/100 s apart.  It was Angliss’ first outright victory and richly deserved.

Meanwhile, Airijus Jomantas was closing down fast, having seen off his Peterborough pal Scott Smith, and the two of them had a fine battle for the last podium spot, won by a speedy and determined Jomantas by 14/100 s.

There was a gap of four seconds before Josh Patterson — another returnee — came in fourth, and another six before Short crossed the line.  Ten seconds later, the chequered flag concluded a battle that had been going on for most of the race between Jim Barty and Miss Morgan Kidd while the remaining twelve were lead in by Sandro Ballesteros.

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The Extreme Cadet podium L to R Harvey Charter (second), Blake Angliss (Winner), Daniel Holdsworth (Driver of the Day), and Airijus Jomantas (third)

GX200 Extreme ProKarts

A massive grid simply bursting with tension and excitement.  Most of the  cream rose to the top,  of course – the first  five finishers seventeen seconds clear of the rest – but there was talent aplenty lower down that could just as easily been among them on another day, and innumerable little races and challenges below them.

Charlie Bingham inevitably threw down the challenge from pole – a position he earned with a fourth and two firsts in the Heats.  Alongside him with almost the same inevitability was Ben Cook, his results more variable, but tellingly with upward momentum from the Pre-Final.

These two were pretty much out on their own with scarcely a second separating them, Bingham leading for the first thirteen laps with Cook a touching distance behind. On that crucial lap thirteen, the position was reversed and Cook held the lead until the chequered flag with 3/10 s to spare.

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Ben Cook, Extremes Winner with fifth-placed Ben Fallon (13) in the background

The results for the next four were close fought all the way through and turned on their head afterwards on the weighbridge.  Dan Crossley held onto his third place until lap eight when Austin Munday worked his way up from P10 and retained it to the end, eventually two seconds clear of his nearest challengers. However, all this came to nought when the scales tipped the wrong way against him, meaning that Crossley got the final podium place.  He won this due to his consistent top five finishes in the heats putting him ahead at the start and overcoming some intense competition from Lewis Cannon and Ben Fallon,   who came fourth and fifth respectively.  Cannon was only 11/100 s behind and you wonder what the finishing order might have been if there had been a few more laps, such was the degree of the competition between him, Crossley, and Fallon.

After another ten seconds, Jonte Beswick and Adam Nichols finished with a mere 1/100 s separating them.  Three seconds later, a group of Matt Dorling, Jack Grinsell, and Sean Dorling lead in the rest of the field to conclude some epic racing on a superb track in some of the best weather you could wish for.

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Extreme Winner Ben Cook inches out Charlie Bingham over the line
Final Positions
 
Extreme Cadets GX200 Extremes
First Blake Angliss Ben Cook
Second Harvey Charter Charlie Bingham
Third Airijus Jomantas Dan Crossley
Fourth Scott Smith Lewis Cannon
Fifth Josh Patterson Ben Fallon
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Daniel Holdsworth, Driver of the Day (21), with leading Extreme Cadets Thomas Short (4), 171 Airijus Jomantas (171, third), Scott Smith (37), Josh Patterson (138), and eventual winner Blake Angliss (7)

Andrew W Webb

Sprocket Photography

07850 693495 / sprocketphotography@yahoo.co.uk

 September 25, 2016

 

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PFI Pro Kart Round 6 Race Report

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August 28th 2016

Overview

The August meeting had been postponed to later in the month and coincided with the Bank Holiday weekend which can sometimes work in your favour, but not this time, with numbers down a third.  Sadly, Richard Day was the only GX160 ProKart to attend and with no-one to race against, preferred to spectate.  Let’s hope this grid hasn’t died out, and with it, the history of this meeting which was founded on this engine for Rookies and Seniors.

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Airijus Jomantas (171, Driver of the Day) with Extreme Cadets Darren Dawson (47) and Scott Smith (37, third place)

Richard would have got full entertainment value from watching the eighteen Extreme Cadets produce some very committed driving, with some intense competition among the top eight and battles galore among groups of the rest of them.  It was therefore fitting that Driver of the Day should go to a Cadet  — Airijus Jomantas – who upped a couple of gears for this meeting with a consistent performance which impressed the judges.  Top three finishes in Qualifying and the Heats earned him P2 in the Final.  Despite a couple of setbacks which he grittily overcame, he was finally unable to withstand the marauding forces of Harvey Charter and Scott Smith, and the icing was eventually stripped from  his cake on lap thirteen when Thomas Short and Darren Dawson decided they’d better get stuck in and join the party at the front.  Even so, the remaining   cake was a significant one and he deserved every last crumb of it.

We were back on a Red, White, and Blue theme for the Best Presented Kart.  David Sullivan’s slab of red suit topped with a plain white helmet was complemented by the red and blue of the JDR kart vinyls – classic simplicity making a striking impact on track.

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David Sullivan – Best Presented Kart

Extreme Cadets

With Jomantas shadowing him, Daniel Holdsworth must have thought he had the top podium spot in the bag as his Qualifying performance carried through to victories in the first two Heats.  That all changed in Heat 3 when Harvey Charter got his engine sorted out, Thomas Short awoke, and Scott Smith and Darren Dawson also fired themselves up.  Nothing like a Final to concentrate minds and hearts!

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Harvey Charter (29, Extreme Cadet Winner) working as a unit over the final laps with Runner-up Daniel Holdsworth (21)

We’ve noted the damage all this did to P2 Jomantas’ hopes but Holdsworth held his pole position until lap ten.  Charter was down in P5 and remorselessly moved diagonally through the ranks like a bishop   on a chess board, disposing of all those above him until he was up behind Holdsworth on lap five.  The two of them worked together to neutralise the threat of Smith and Short but Charter thoroughly understands how all this works now, and nipped into the lead on lap eleven. Holdsworth was immediately in his slipstream, but Charter was not to be denied and clinched his win, and some crucial Championship points, by 7/100 s. Smith finished a good third, holding off Short who also gained a place, while Dawson had a strong finish with Jomantas refusing to give up the struggle right to the end.

There was a small gap while Blake Angliss and Miss Morgan Kidd came in and then the remainder of the field were led by Jim Barty, heading a close quartet of Aaron Alexander, Oliver Phillips, and Lewis SpiersDylan Humphries was next before the flag came down on Sam Flaum and Callum Booth’s private  race-long battle.

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Every one a Winner! (but some more than others!).  All the Extreme Cadets

GX200 Extreme ProKarts

The pattern for this race meeting was pretty much set in Qualifying with the top three finishing in the same order.  Charlie Bingham was dominant, slipping back only in Heat 2, when Ronnie Rowe came into the ascendency. Ironically, Rowe had set all the fastest lap times apart from this one when Bingham nudged into the 1:05’s. Bingham earned his victory at the head of the 34-strong grid with two seconds to spare over Rowe.

Ben Cook and Ben Fallon had been jousting for position race by race, but it was Cook who took the final tier of the podium over Fallon by a second, and only 7/100 s shy of Rowe.  Steve Thompson was chasing Jonte Beswick for the line but missed out by half a second.

Next, Lewis Cannon led Craig Day, Jay Shepherd, Eddie Croydon-Fowler, and Jack Grinsell all within four seconds of each other before a gap or around twelve seconds with Tom Heald leading the rest of the pack.

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Ronnie Rowe (23, Extreme Runner-up), first into turn one leading Charlie Bingham (108), Ben Cook (27), and Ben Fallon (13)
Final Positions
 
Extreme Cadets GX200 Extremes
First Harvey Charter Charlie Bingham
Second Daniel Holdsworth Ronnie Rowe
Third Scott Smith Ben Cook
Fourth Thomas Short Ben Fallon
Fifth Darren Dawson Jonte Beswick
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The GX200 Extreme podium L to R – Ronnie Row (Second), David Sullivan (Best Presented Kart), Charlie Bingham (Winner), and Ben Cook (Third).

Andrew W Webb

Sprocket Photography

07850 693495 / sprocketphotography@yahoo.co.uk

 August 31, 2016

 

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PFI Pro Kart Round 5 Race Report

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July 24, 2016

Overview

The meeting took on a new format this month as numbers were down for the first time this year.  Gains and losses in the Extreme Cadets netted off to a good grid of twenty one but the GX160 ProKarts were horribly thin and therefore amalgamated into the GX200 Extreme grid, making forty two in all.

There were two acclaimed Drivers of the Day – both coming second in their classes and beating the odds to do so.  Cadet Blake Angliss – and we may not be able to say that for much longer as the lure  of the X30 gets stronger – made  second his own in the first two heats, then  conked out after one lap in the third, and hence had to start at P6 in the Final. Ben Cook seldom fails to deliver and was an obvious consideration for the Senior Extreme Driver of the Day – straight twos and best lap of the day clinched it for him this time.

Best Presented Kart was won by Extreme Cadet Oliver Phillips. It’s not a flashy design but a tasteful livery of kart suit and helmet in black and white with red highlights, completed by a red suit in tribute to his sponsors, Red Rock Systems. It is well thought out and effective and reminiscent of the Wright Kart colours.

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Oliver Phillips piloting his Best Presented Kart

Extreme Cadets

No parade racing here! And polarised outcomes for the two Championship leaders half-way through the year.  Thomas Shaw leads Harvey Charter by nine points and then it’s another sixty points before Scott Smith appears over the horizon.  Shaw though, had an Off Day – in more senses than one – and his Heat 3 win was the peak  of underperforming earlier heats and an  unhappy Final, which he lead for half the race in two phases, only to end up eighth.

It looked as though arch-rival Charter would suffer the same fate and wipe out any advantage.  He started brightly, first in Qualifying, which carried over into the first heat, but then only completed one lap in the following race.  He clawed his way   up to fourth in Heat 3, but his mixed results meant he had to start at P8.  Making stealthy progress through the ranks, he inevitably he met up with race leader Shaw on a fateful lap thirteen.  The dice were rolled with a clatter, dealing  Shaw a couple of low spots  but a double six for Charter who made  a quantum jump  into the lead and broke Shaw’s lap record by 5/100 s.

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Cadet Driver of the Day and third Finalist, Blake Angliss with Harvey Charter and Thomas Shaw in the background

It was an  epic drive and a close call for Driver of the Day against Blake Angliss, who had a blinder of a meeting himself, leading  the race for three laps before yielding to Shaw and  consolidating at second.

Darren Dawson came third and it would have been unlucky if he hadn’t as he had finished in the top three of every race, winning Heat 2.  Scott Smith was a solid fourth while Morgan Kidd denied Oliver Phillips skipping past him on the last lap to conclude a neck-and-neck battle between them over the climactic five laps. All these finished within five seconds leaving the rest of the field, led by Airijus Jomantas, ten seconds behind in their wake.

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An informal podium with the Extreme Cadet lads and their dads. L to R with dads named first: Kevin and Blake Angliss (3), Lee and Harvey Charter (1), and Gerry and Darren Dawson (3)

GX200 Extreme ProKarts and GX160 ProKarts

This was a lights-to-flag victory for Charlie Bingham, but only just.  He topped Qualifying, shading Ben Cook, one a handful of drivers knocking out 1:05’s. He couldn’t capitalise on his primacy in the First Heat however, finishing third, but made up for it in the next two Heats, which he won narrowly against Cook. The two of them started on the front row for the Final.

Cook, though, was beaten after the lights by P3 Ben Fallon, who held him off for five laps before Cook got back into a position to mount a challenge for the lead with the aid of his second and best fastest time of the day. Lap by lap, there was barely a tenth of a second between him and Bingham, and as the chequered flag waved at the end of lap nineteen, 16/100s.

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The battle for third place in the Extremes between Steve Thompson (5) and Ben Fallon (13)

While these two were out in front, the battle for third place five seconds later was equally intense. When Cook displaced Fallon on lap six, he was immediately in contention with P6 Steve Thompson, who was fast off the blocks with a two-place gain.  There was little daylight between them and Thompson got the upper hand on lap twelve and it was Fallon’s turn to chase. He got it back on lap sixteen, but his triumph was short-lived as Thompson switched places with him with two laps to go – a gap of 13/100 s over the line depriving   Fallon of a podium place.

Fifth place went to Ronnie Rowe eleven seconds behind, leading a bunch of racers including Jack Gordon, Jamie Harris, Craig Day, and Joe Brooks.

GX160 ProKart Tony Feasby finished ahead of Harry Gill and they did pretty well against the Extremes in the second half of the mixed grid.

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GX160 ProKart leader Tony Feasby (47) holding off Extremes James Humphries (47) and Neil Richards (8)
Final Positions
 
Extreme Cadets GX200 Extremes
First Harvey Charter Charlie Bingham
Second Blake Angliss Ben Cook
Third Darren Dawson Steve Thompson
Fourth Scott Smith Ben Fallon
Fifth Morgan Kidd Ronnie Rowe
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Ben Cook, senior Driver of the Day and second in the Extreme Final with the fastest lap

Andrew W Webb

Sprocket Photography

07850 693495 / sprocketphotography@yahoo.co.uk

 

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PFI Pro Kart Round 4 Race Report

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June 26, 2016

Overview

Once again, the meeting was dominated by the GX200 Extreme grid – a magnificent 49 – but the GX160 ProKart grid was also enlivened by the visit of the Modified 160 Sprint Championship tour. With no permanent home of their own, they seem to enjoy the nomadic life. The rasp of sixteen modified 160 engines overwhelmed the regular GX160 ProKarts with whom they were mixed. The Extreme Cadets held steady at twenty and behind the scenes, work is still continuing to create a viable Junior ProKart grid.

No one can doubt the pulling power of this ProKart meeting at PFi. As you would expect, many are from the East Midlands, but you can hear quite a lot of Brum in the paddock as well.  There are many entries from   round the corner in East Anglia and the North West provides as many competitors as the North East.  Further afield, there’s Kris Prosser from Bridgend and the afore-mention Modified 160’s from south of the M25 as well as the Batty contingent from the Isle of Man.

Longest distance travelled surely has to be Extreme Cadet Darren Dawson, with a 600 mile/ten hour round trip from Motherwell — a tribute to his dedication to racing at PFi that was a significant factor in being acclaimed Driver of the Day – that, and his solid top-quartile results in only his second time here.

The award for Best Presented Kart is always tricky as so many competitors and teams take obvious pride in the design and presentation of their sticker kits and liveries. What caught the eye again was James Donner’s powerful red, white, and blue design, and his matching helmet and   gleaming white race suit clinched the award, and did his sponsors Bridgett Conservation proud.

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Darren Dawson, Driver of the Day

Extreme Cadets

It was racing all the way for the Extreme Cadets, even though the front row of Thomas Short and Harvey Charter   worked together as a unit to carve out their own space with Daniel Holdsworth an effective buffer ten seconds behind.  Deadly rivals with massive respect for each other, their co-ordination was so effective that the Lap Charts only recorded 0.0 s between them seventeen times over. But it only takes one little wobble or a well-timed slingshot to reverse the order and on the last lap, Charter took the initiative and was first over the line with Short in full cry behind him.

Both of them beat Short’s previous Lap Record on the final circuit – Charter lopping off 9/100 s and then Short pushing it further down into the 1:06’s, where it may not last long with such intense competition between the top two, and with Scott Smith also showing his speed by equalling the old record.

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Daniel Holdsworth (21), third, leading a group of eager challengers

While the first two were well in the clear, Holdsworth had to work hard to keep his third place against Smith and Blake Angliss early on before he was able to break free. Smith and Angliss were joined  by Darren Dawson, Travis Mitchell, and Oliver Phillips in a five-way race with little distance between any of them until Smith and Dawson decided the final tight order on the penultimate lap putting a second between them and Angliss, Mitchell, and Phillips.

After a short interval, Morgan Kidd and Jack Plant came in together, with no appreciable distance between them, as they had been race-long, occasionally flipping the lead between them.  We were then treated to another eighteen-lap duel as Samuel Flaum eventually won out against Sandro Ballesteros.

Manxman Isaac Batty then came in on his own with a place gain, after he had shaken off Jack Ford and Lewis Spiers, who also treated us to a cameo race-within-a race, worth watching for its own sake.

TomHarvey 2 A
Close racing as a unit by Thomas Short and Harvey Charter with Thomas congratulating Harvey on his last-lap victory

GX160 ProKarts and Modified 160’s

The regular ProKarters were rather lost amid the throng of touring Modified 160’s and were seldom in touch with each other for any racing encounters. Tony Feasby had beaten Lewis Johnson in all the heats and they started five places apart mid grid in the Final. Both of them were shunted down the order by the end of lap one with Johnson losing two more places than Feasby.

He held steady though, while Feasby progressively slipped back until they met up on lap thirteen, hemmed in by Modifiers.  It was Johnson who was able to break out and finish two places above Feasby near the end of the pack while the Modifiers romped home 3-4 s a lap faster leaving Harry Gill and Graham Gillis in their wake.

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A rare occasion when the ProKarts of winner Lewis Johnson (74) and Tony Feasby (46, runner-up) raced together among the larger Modified 160 grid

Meanwhile, the Modifiers were revelling in the vast expanses of their new playground, though well tested by the length of the Final. In their Light class, the front row of Graham King and Anthony Whitehead kept it that way race-long, finishing three seconds apart.  Third in was Lee Mitchell who had to chase down Steve Potter, edging him out on lap eleven and holding him off for a vital two seconds gap over the line.  Fifth was George King who had to cut through a lot of traffic to get up from the back before tucking himself up in fifth — a performance that rightly earned him their Driver of the Day on his debut in the Championship.

In the Heavies, Steve Potter was the winner and fourth overall, with Stephen Hobbs second and Phil Dewhurst third.

Mod160 DoD 2
George King, Modified GX160 Sprint Championship Driver of the Day

GX200 Extreme ProKarts

Poleman Austin Munday immediately lost his position to P2 Charlie Bingham and was forced to hunt him down for the next fifteen laps until he could get back the lead.  It only lasted two laps when, in an exciting finale, Bingham got it back for one circuit only to lose it again on the last lap. Munday took the chequered flag by 1/5 s.

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James Donner, Best Presented Kart

The next three were close behind and all the top results could have ended quite differently had not P4 Ben Cook lost thirty places on lap one.  He got ten of them back in the next two laps but then had to work his way patiently through the traffic.  By the time he got back to ninth on lap thirteen, the top order had been pretty much set and he was still a long way from the front and running out of time against better drivers.  It was an impressive drive that might well have earned him Driver of the Day on another occasion, especially when he set the fastest lap time, the third of the day.

There was just enough daylight between the top two to allow them to get on with it and let the next four jockey for position, and most importantly, the last podium place.  Ben Fallon retook his third starting position on lap nine after he had shrugged off Lewis Cannon and Adam Nichols and was able to mount a challenge against Bingham in the closing stages.   Dan Crosley ran an assured race to come fourth with Cannon, fifth. Jonte Beswick got the better of Steve Thompson and Nichols in the closing laps in a thrilling finish.

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Ben Cook. Impressive drive in the Final attempting to retrieve thirty lost places
Final Positions
 
Extreme Cadets GX200 Extremes GX160 ProKarts
First Harvey Charter Austin Munday Lewis Johnson
Second Thomas Short Charlie Bingham Tony Feasby
Third Daniel Holdsworth Ben Fallon Harry Gill
Fourth Scott Smith Dan Crosley Graham Gillis
Fifth Darren Dawson Lewis Cannon

Andrew W Webb

Sprocket Photography

07850 693495 / sprocketphotography@yahoo.co.uk

 

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PFI Pro Kart Round 3 Race Report

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May 22, 2016

Overview

Another splendid turnout on a dry, sunny day: forty five GX200 Extremes, nineteen Cadets, and seven GX160 ProKarts keeping the flame alive for their class. We came within touching distance of a Junior ProKart grid this meeting, but numbers were just shy of the minimum required, so efforts will be redoubled to make it viable from the June meeting. All in all, the racing was keen and competitive in every class with an intriguing number of twists and turns along the way.

Once again, there were many strong candidates by privateers and teams for the Best Presented Kart but, having reviewed the Beauty Parade, the judges unanimously agreed that the award should go to Extreme Cadet Aaron Alexander for his and his father Adam’s distinctive and pristine livery. Everything was right about it, kart, helmet, and suit:  a coherent design based on black, white, and metallic grey with judiciously placed orange highlights. Even, Aaron’s sunglasses had matching orange frames. It was eye-catching, stood up to scrutiny, and did his sponsors proud.

Once again, the Driver of the Day was a GX200 Extreme. Lewis Walters’  clean sweep of wins in the Heats were nearly negated in the Final when he lost his pole position to Charlie Bingham and he was made to fight hard for his victory and secure his award against the other contenders.

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Lewis Walters: Clean sweep of GX200 Extreme wins and awarded trophy for Driver of the Day

Extreme Cadets

This is much more than a tale of two Cadets, even though the spotlight was invariably on Harvey Charter and Thomas Shaw.

Morgan Kidd lead the way in Qualifying, and named after not one but two Pirate Captains, certainly showed her buccaneering spirit, which took her high into the results this meeting and into the top five of the Championship.

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Aaron Alexander – Best Presented Kart of the meeting

Championship Leader Thomas Shaw didn’t have the best of racing prep, having had two molars extracted the week before in readiness for an orthodontic fitting the day after. But #2 Harvey Charter has been knocking on his door all year, and found the key to unlock it this meeting. On balance, Charter won two thirds of all the laps, where both he and Short were first and second every time, usually separated by less than half a second.

Quantum’s Charter had won the first heat but lost to Short in the second, but did set a new lap record for the year, previously owned, inevitably, by Short. It didn’t last long. Charter was on a roll in Heat Three gaining momentum to carry him into the Final, but Short retaliated with yet another new lap record.

The Final was a torrid affair with Charter on pole and keeping the lead for five laps, with Short almost welded to his back bumper. Short lead for the next three, then Charter again for the next five. When Short regained the lead on lap fourteen, it looked as though that would be it, even though Charter stuck to him like the proverbial glue. The dice were shaken and re-thrown on the last lap and it was Charter that took the chequered flag first by 1/100 s.

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A pack of podium chasing Cadets: Oliver Phillips (45), Miss Morgan Kidd (53), Scott Smith (37), Blake Angliss (7), and Darren Dawson (47)

We were given nearly ten seconds to catch our breath before the next wave stormed in, with the third podium place at stake. Scott Smith was in the clear, and he has been surreptitiously creeping up the ranks wherever he has raced, and will no doubt soon catch a few out unawares before this year  is out,  and appear on many  more podiums. Close behind him, Morgan Kidd was enjoying bossing the boys about and outran Travis Mitchell, with no weight issues for him this month. Darren Dawson, down from Scotland for the weekend and making his debut at PFI, just missed the top five by 8/100 s.

Other top-ten finishers, who had figured consistently throughout the day, included Oliver Phillips, Blake Angliss, Harry Wainwright, and Jack Plant. Last, literally, but by no means least, plucky Aiden Evans entered  his first competitive race and did what every Novice should do: he got stuck in, he finished every race, and showed great track awareness by getting out of the way when lapped.

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Harvey Charter – Extreme Cadet Winner

GX160 ProKarts

Another grid where the old order was turned upside down. Seven ProKarts had started the day, with Tony Feasby winning the first two heats as expected with Lewis Johnson a good second. Then in Heat 3, with six on the grid, Feasby suffered a puncture half-way through and of course, Johnson was on hand to take over and retain the lead by a wide margin.

By the Final, the number had dropped to four with the significant loss of Ian Robertson, but Feasby was in. Johnson though had scented blood and eager to taste victory again, trailed Feasby by less than a tenth.  With two laps to go, he seized  his chance, slipped by him, and held his nerve to stay ahead right over the line by 11/100 s. It was an exciting climax and a well-deserved first tier of the podium for Johnson. Feasby remains Championship leader and for the record, Paul Richmond came in third on the day.

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A delighted Lewis Johnson survives the weighbridge to win his first GX160 ProKart victory

GX200 Extreme ProKarts

Lewis Walters had not raced in this Championship before but had a big impact on the results. Second in Qualifying, he carried his performance over into the first heat, which he won by seven seconds. By the next two heats, the established Extremes, Bens Cook and Fallon and Austin Munday, had got their act together and halved his lead. So the Final was an entirely different affair, with more than a hint of upset at the hands of Munday.

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Ben Cook, third GX 200 Extreme, ahead of Sean (54) and Matt (44) Dorling

By the end of the first lap, Munday was out in front closely followed by Fallon, Cook and Lewis Cannon, with Walters consigned to fourth. By lap seven, Walters had worked his way up through the dense traffic to second, and retook the lead a lap later. With only a second separating the top six, it was no surprise that he lost out to Munday again on lap ten, by which time the leading pack was slightly more spread out down the order. Not so the top two, and Walters retook the lead on lap thirteen. This time there was no turning back as the gap widened to half a second as each of the last five laps was completed.

Munday’s second place was far from secure as Lewis Cannon, later found to be underweight, and Ben Cook put on the pressure. But he kept it, while Cook, White and Tugwell followed him in with tenths of a second to spare between them. It was a breath-taking race for drivers and spectators alike, and Walters had been forced to fight to be well worthy of the title of the Driver of the Day, which might so easily have eluded him at the very last.

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Austin Munday, close runner-up in the GX200 Extreme Final and not immune himself from a good challenge
Final Positions
 
Extreme Cadets GX200 Extremes GX160 ProKarts
First Harvey Charter Lewis Walters Lewis Johnson
Second Thomas Short Austin Munday Tony Feasby
Third Scott Smith Ben Cook Paul Richmond
Fourth Morgan Kidd Steve White Richard Day
Fifth Travis Mitchell Sam Tugwell

Andrew W Webb

Sprocket Photography

07850 693495 / sprocketphotography@yahoo.co.uk

 

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PFI Pro Kart Series Round 2 Report

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April 17, 2016

Overview

Round 2 was once again dominated by the GX200 Extremes: at forty seven, inching its way towards fifty plus month by month.  The Extreme Cadets were also solid at nineteen and produced some very lively racing from top to bottom.  There’s plenty of room for more GX160 ProKarts however, and for the time being, the proposed Junior ProKart grid remains on hold.

CoC Matt Daniels presented Extreme winner Adam Nichols the “Driver of the Day” and he was a candidate too for the Best Presented Kart award.  Against strong competition, Cadet Jack Ford won the award for the Best Presented Kart.  There are so many good-looking karts in all the classes that it’s very difficult to make a choice, but Jack’s kart with its matching trolley, in their faithful Eddie Stobart livery, is probably unique and mechanic Dave Harrison always takes pride in starting the day’s racing with them clean and gleaming.

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Unlucky 13! Travis Mitchell lost his third place due to an underweight DSQ to a competitive Daniel Holdsworth (21)

Extreme Cadets

Thomas Short pretty much owned this meeting with a clean sweep of wins and two fastest laps, one of them the best of the day.  He was pushed all the way by both Harvey Charter, who made second place his own and was fastest in Heat One, and Daniel Holdsworth likewise at third and fastest in the Final.

Holdsworth didn’t cross the line in third:  Travis Mitchell did, but was disqualified for being underweight.  It was only due to his fortitude and his dad/mechanic’s industry that he got to race at all, having driven headlong into the tyrewall in practice and shaken both him and the kart to bits.  Frantic repairs and co-operation in the paddock got the kart back on track and Travis held himself together to produce two fifths and a sixth.  Come the Final, he was on P5 and worked his way up to third on lap fourteen, comfortably splitting Charter and Holdsworth, before the scales told against him in parc fermé.

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Top three Extreme Cadets in order:  Thomas Short (4), Harvey Charter (29), and Daniel Holdsworth (21)

There was also rotten luck for Robert Stapleford who had finished a consistent fourth in the Heats and was challenging for third early in the race before having to retire on lap six.

The remainder of the Cadets were hardly “also rans” and produced three more “races within races” down the order with daylight between them all.  Scott Smith, Blake Angliss, and Oliver Phillips had their own race, all coming in within two seconds of each other, fourteen seconds behind the leaders.  Then, five seconds later, Jack Plant, Morgan Kidd, and Jayjay Cook crossed the line in the same second, swapping positions among themselves many times over the eighteen laps.  Finally, Max Cotton, Dylan Humphries, and Arijus Jomantas finished their private race in a close bunch ten seconds later, well ahead of the stragglers.

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All the Extreme Cadets up on the PFi podium

GX160 ProKarts

Paul Scaife raced here the first time and produced a clean sweep of victories and fastest laps.  He was backed up by Tony Feasby and Lewis Johnson, with Ian Robertson nudging Johnson out of the top three in the third heat.

Johnson jumped into second in the Final but Feasby wasn’t having anything of that and re-took his place on lap three, but already, Scaife was six seconds ahead and progressively widened the gap by another ten before the chequered flag came down.

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Paul Scaife (38), clean sweep in GX160 ProKarts with Lewis Johnson (74) third and Tony Feasby (46), runner up., with Ian Robertson in the background

GX200 Extreme ProKarts

The Extreme Final was an exceedingly competitive affair and mirrored the mixed bag of results at the top of all the Heats. Charlie Bingham did win them all, with Ben Cook setting the fastest lap times, and these two started the Final behind each other on the inside line with Ben Fallon and Steve Lyall on the outside with Adam Nichols and Steve Thompson on the third row.

To paraphrase Eric Morecombe, these six  headed  the race lap-by-lap but “not necessarily in the right order” until lap fourteen when Nichols completed the   move into the lead that he had effectively  begun in  Heat 1, as poleman Bingham was displaced only to find himself in the thick of a dogfight instead of cruising to victory.

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Two outliers in the GX 200 Extreme top six: Steve Lyall lost out to P9 Sean Dorling

The top six finished in a tight bunch two seconds apart and who knows what the final order would have been if the race had been extended by another couple of laps, as Steve Thompson was on a charge losing by less than 1/10 s.

There were two outliers in the top six who were affected by the maelstrom of the last four laps. P2 Steve Lyall briefly lead the race early on  and was well in contention until the last   lap when P9 Sean Dorling grabbed his place. Thompson’s late surge to regain his early advantage dislodged first Cook and Lyall, then Bingham, who made a last gasp effort to wrest the final podium place from Cook on the last lap.  Exhilarating stuff played out against a pageant of multi-coloured karts over the whole circuit.

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GX 200 Extreme top six cross the line within a couple of seconds of each other
Final Positions
 
Extreme Cadets GX200 Extremes GX160 ProKarts
First Thomas Short Adam Nichols Paul Scaife
Second Harvey Charter Steve Thompson Tony Feasby
Third Daniel Holdsworth Charlie Bingham Lewis Johnson
Fourth Scott Smith Ben Cook Ian Robertson
Fifth Blake Angliss Ben Fallon Harry Gill
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Jack Ford Best Presented Kart in its Eddie Stobart livery

Andrew W Webb

Sprocket Photography

07850 693495 / sprocketphotography@yahoo.co.uk

 

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