Category Archives: National Reports

F100uk – 20k revs and a whole lot more

Since my experience of the F100 festival at Fulbeck back in 2017 I have craved getting behind the wheel of a 100cc rocket again. Thanks to Jay Fairbrass who leant me his pride and joy, a 1994 Tonykart Esprit along with an ex Bobby Game IAME TT75 engine, I was able to take part in round 1 of the F100UK championship at Llandow in the Pre95 class a week ago, and what a weekend it was!

The ‘F100 – spirit of the 90s’ is a championship run by 100cc karting enthusiasts who loved the era of the late 80’s and 90’s. Walking around the paddock you can really feel the passion for the sport, and speaking to the drivers everyone is in love with their light, 100cc, 20k rev screaming karts. The combination of, the light and nimble chassis, the hours spend restoring their equipment, combined with the simplicity of the direct drive engines gives them the same excitement about karting that many of them had at the time – something few get from modern karting.

FormulaA world Champion Colin Brown finding the limits, and looking awesome!

I arrived at Llandow, a new circuit to me, on Saturday morning where I was introduced to the team once again for the first time since Fulbeck, and the excitement ahead of the upcoming race weekend was palpable. Chris Derrick, 2017 Pre95 champion and a competitor of mine for the weekend was quick to offer me a track walk to help me get my eye in. Moreover a few words of wisdom from Formula A world champ and all round legend Colin Brown meant I was as prepared as I could be.  My Tonykart had been prepped beautifully by GMS on behalf of Jay and looked as ready to get on circuit as I was.

The Pre95 Tonykart felt great during testing

Warm temperatures and sun bathed the Welsh circuit as I got to grips with the kart in the morning. The Pre89 & Pre95 class run on Mitas SRC slick tyres, a fairly hard tyre designed to be usable for hundreds of laps, and this seemed to be the case. Once I got my eye in I was able to lap within just a couple of tenths of champion Chris Derrick on tyres nearly a year old. The Pre2000 class run on the popular Komet K1H tyre used in X30 both for performance and availability giving great grip and performance similar to the tyres of the Formula A era.

This was not the first time I’d driven Jay’s beautiful Pre95 Tonykart…

If you’ve seen the article I wrote from the F100 festival you will know how much I enjoyed driving these karts, and for me this weekend was a huge treat. I love driving karts, and kart was an absolute pleasure to drive; nimble at just 148kg in race trim, the kart glides around the circuit effortlessly, it felt like the kart was encouraging me to back it into every corner – of course I obliged, would be rude not to wouldn’t it…

The kart encourages pushing hard into the corners

Cold, windy and wet, Sunday was to be a very different day. First practice was just about dry enough for slick tyres, however for heat 1 the Komet K1W treaded tyres were certainly needed. My first lap on wets was the formation lap, and add to that, I was starting from pole position, I was being thrown straight into the deep end.

Pinching the fuel pipe while rolling up to keep the engine clear

After nearly falling flat on my face while trying to bump start, and taking my mechanic Dave Wooder with me, I had a guess at the wet line. The lights went out and away into the unknown I drove. Miraculously I held the lead until lap two when whilst hitting approximately 18k revs the big end on my ex Bobby Game IAME motor let go and ended my race practically before it had begun.

Colin Brown showing us how bump starting is supposed to look

One thing I especially liked about the karts was how amazingly simple everything was, the only setup changes we made from full dry to full wet was a small increase in front width, a few extra teeth on the rear sprocket, and of course wet tyres. The karts are much stiffer with fewer adjustments than a modern kart meaning it is harder to get lost with setup.

Heat 2 I was to start from 7th on the grid, the was track still wet, new engine bolted on in a hurry, I had an awesome race. After a good start, I made it into 2nd position and I was closing the leader, meanwhile Alistair Topliss was closing on me fast. A Three way fight ensued with Alistair making it past me before passing the leader in the very next corner, which also allowed me to follow him through; 2nd place is where I would finish.

Alistair looking fast in testing, adding to the already competitive field

This is quite a convenient point for me to talk about an observation I made from the viewing gallery and on circuit. Everyone at F100 is there to race, however every overtake, battle, and move I witnessed was carried out with not only respect for the other driver, but also the equipment. Whether this is because everyone knows how much time and effort has gone into each kart’s restoration, or the lack of bumpers making the risk of a move higher, or the respect shown is higher overall, I’m not sure but the fact its there is important.

Close, hard racing but with respect between drivers and their restored equipment

Heat 3, A choice had to be made, slicks or wets. The track was drying, dark clouds were overhead, it’s would be a gamble either way. I decided on slicks to save my only wet tyres for the final. Wets were the tyre to have, with only my last couple of laps being faster than any wet tyre runners, however I enjoyed having a play sliding the kart around in the greasy conditions.

Shortly after our final Pre95 heat the Pre2000 grid were all lined up and waiting, the majority on slick tyres. The heavens preceded to open triggering a frenzy of tool wielding and nut running. The whole grid lending each other tools, an extra pair of hands, all to make sure everyone made the grid. The community spirit meant everyone could start on wets and a great race it was too!

Chaos on the dummy grid as the rain fell, but everyone was keen to help each other

The time had come for the final race of the day, this time there was no doubt about tyre choice, it would be wets for all, despite some having severely worn their only set out in the previous heat. Starting 7th once again the start was going to be crucial, however a situation I have never experienced meant I lost a little ground over the line due to my toes getting caught under the bumper of the kart in front (no pods here remember).

Around the outside of row 3 I gained two positions at turn 1, then one more place further round the lap; the kart was on fire and I felt I could place it wherever I wanted. My master mechanic and former British/European karting champion Dave Wooder had given me the perfect setup, tyres, gearing, front width were all spot on. I had great pace in the early stages allowing me to pick off the drivers ahead one by one as I went. I’ve rarely felt so at one with a kart as I did during this final, before I knew it I was tucked up behind leader and No.1 kart Chris Derrek, ‘how have I got here’ I asked myself. After sitting behind Chris for a lap or so I made my move and was able to drive away and extend the gap to about 3 seconds by the flag.

The karts are just as fun to drive in the wet as the dry

From the outside, the last few laps may have looked fairly eventless, however having had my motor go pop from the lead once, and my revs hitting 19k and above twice a lap I was far from chilled. Choking at every opportunity, I wound the jet out further and further in the hope of prolonging the ticking time bomb by my right hip as I felt the heat radiate on the side of my seat. Thankfully I could bring it home, and in first place! What a buzz, I did not expect to be fighting for a win in my first race in the series, and I was delighted which was fairly obvious from my face for about half an hour after I stepped out the kart.

What a buzz, awesome kart, awesome race, and a win! What a weekend

What a weekend indeed. Looking back now, I don’t think I could have had a more complete F100UK experience, I sampled it all; dry running at maximum speed, getting drenched in the rain, blowing and engine (a rite of passage from what I’ve heard), even driving on slicks in the wet. Every moment I spent on circuit I felt alive and with a smile on my face, and almost as importantly I had an amazing time off track, in the paddock, dummy grid, wherever I went everyone was there together enjoying the ‘golden era’ of karting, now. The atmosphere was amazing and not like I’ve experienced before and it’s a credit to everyone in the series, and the whole F100 team.

A huge thanks must go to Jay Fairbrass without whom this would never have gone ahead, he sorted everything from the kart, my mechanic, to the engines, as well as all of his normal duties leading up to and at the race weekend. He deserves a medal, but should you have the pleasure of knowing him, he will tell you he wouldn’t do it if it weren’t for the huge enjoyment and satisfaction he gets from being a part of the wonderful series.

Thanks of course must also got to the whole F100UK organisational team, Chris Derrick, James Fox, the scrutineers, marshals, Lee Crampton for his awing space and everyone I met throughout the weekend and made it so enjoyable. Finally, Dave Wooder who ‘spannered’ away on my kart all weekend giving me a great and sturdy machine to drive and putting up with my indecision and changes of mind when the weather looked changeable.

 

This series deserves every credit it given, everyone goes about their racing in amazing spirit and the feeling of community and belonging is what causes people to get hooked and want to come back, much like I now do…

Written by Piers Prior

Photos courtesy of ‘Jessica Maund – Busy Bee Photography’, F100UK, and Elizabeth ‘Mummy’ Guest (who’s son won Pre2000, congrats Glenn!)

 

 

 

 

…oh, and sitting at 20k revs before hitting some choke while backing it in, that’s pretty good as well.

Tuto Super One Series 2018 Round 1 Report

PF International, 6th-8th April, 2018

The 36th edition of the Tuto Super One Series kicked off at the weekend at PF International with racing for the Rotax, X30 and Cadet classes in variable weather.

The Rotax classes have been rejuvenated by a new two-day race programme with Qualifying and Heats on Saturday and Finals on Sunday. Senior Rotax has gone from zero to 69 drivers, necessitating C and B Finals, while there were full grids in 177 and Junior Rotax and an increase in Minimax entries. Along with the always-healthy X30 and Cadet grids, altogether there were 301 entries.

The next round will be at Whilton Mill on 27th-29th April for the same classes.

MSA British Cadet Kart Championship

Qualifying on Friday evening saw Maxwell Dodds take pole ahead of William MacIntyre then Dodds and Arvid Lindblad won a heat each.

In a damp Final 1 Lindblad was on pole next to Dodds with Freddie Slater 3rd, and Lindblad led much of the race on his own before Slater caught up and overtook in the second half. Lindblad retook the lead with a lap to go and just managed to hold off Slater on the last lap. Harley Keeble was fastest and up to 3rd, with Dodds behind him.

In Final 2 it was now wet and there were many rolling laps before a red flag for the Race Director to have a word with the drivers. Lindblad held the lead from Slater with Dodds taking 3rd and a lead pack formed including the trio and Luke Watts. Dodds led half the last lap before Slater passed with a corner to go at the Mike Wilson complex.

MSA X30 Junior National Championship

Joseph Taylor took pole in Qualifying just ahead of Tom Edgar and Alex Lloyd but Axel LaFlamme took pole for Final 1 with a win and a 2nd in the heats, the other two wins going to Reggie Duhy and Clayton Ravenscroft.

Final 1 was almost dry and LaFlamme started on pole before being attacked for the lead by Ravenscroft, Duhy and others. Ravenscroft managed to get away while LaFlamme dropped back. Dragan Pinsent and Taylor fought for 2nd before Luke Whitehead carved his way through leaving Pinsent 3rd.

By Final 2 it was wet again and Ravenscroft pulled out a gap from pole ahead of Pinsent and Whitehead, who had swapped places. Pinsent was faster towards the end but not close enough to challenge on the last lap.

MSA X30 Senior National Championship

Oliver Hodgson took pole 0.2s ahead of Derek Morgan and went on to win both heats ahead of Lewis Malin and Levi King.

Hodgson led Final 1 all the way while Owen Byatt came through from 6th on the grid to finish 2nd ahead of King but too far away to challenge.

In a fully wet Final 2, Hodgson led initially away from pole while Byatt went off at the first corner. Elliot Harvey took 2nd and Morgan Porter 3rd, with Harvey starting to reel Hodgson in. Harvey overtook and got away with six minutes to go but Hodgson again pulled him back to regain the lead, with Harvey dropping back in a spin on the last lap with his throttle sticking open.

ABkC Honda Cadet National Championship

Theo Micouris took pole in the dry but cloudy Qualifying ahead of Sebastian Bloch. The heat wins went to Alfie Rigby, Micouris and Daniel Guinchard with Rigby taking pole for Final 1 as he also had a 2nd.

Rigby started Final 1 on pole with Micouris next to him and Kean Berta 3rd, but Micouris came down the hill in the lead, a second ahead of Berta. As the race went on, Berta was pushing Micouris in the slow corners and got into the lead with three minutes to go. Micouris, now fastest, swiftly fought back and pulled out a bit more of a gap. The battle for 3rd included Rigby, Bloch and Sonny Smith where there was contact at the first hairpin which shuffled things and Smith took the final podium position.

In Final 2 Rigby took the lead at the start, but under pressure from Bloch and Berta. Bloch took the lead and tried to get away while Berta and Rigby fought. There was contact between the two halfway through with Berta losing places, and Oliver Greenall moved up to 2nd from Rigby. Archie Walker came through to 3rd, even threatening Greenall but later received a bumper penalty, giving 3rd back to Rigby, behind Bloch and Greenall.

ABkC Minimax National Championship

Myles Barthorpe was the poleman after Qualifying ahead of Sam Gornall and Max Edmundson then Barthorpe and Edmundson took a heat win each.

From pole Barthorpe led throughout Final 1 while behind him Marcus Littlewood came through from 6th on the grid to take 2nd before being dislodged by Max Edmundson two laps from the end with Archie Kitching also coming through to take 3rd.

Littlewood made a good start in Final 2 but he spun, causing chaos in the pack on the wet track. Poleman Barthorpe held the lead with Edmundson pushing before Edmundson also spun. Sean Cuss was fastest and was putting pressure on the leader Barthorpe but Barthorpe just held him off on the last lap. Cuss was penalised after the race giving Edmundson back 2nd and 3rd to Ellis Puleio.

ABkC Junior Rotax National Championship

In Qualifying James Lowther took pole ahead of Guy Cunnington then it was straight into the heats where Lowther stayed ahead with two 2nds and the wins went to Cunnington and Oakley Pryer.

Lowther led away from pole in Final 1 and after initially getting away, Cunnington reeled him back in and overtook on lap 5 with Kai Hunter following him through. Hunter and Lowther battled for the rest of the race with Cameron Thomson lying in ambush, but Cunnington won 1.7s ahead of Lowther and Hunter.

In Final 2, Cunnington started on pole but Lowther took the lead at the start. Thomson was 3rd and initially fastest but the positions stayed the same until the end on the wet track.

ABkC Senior Rotax National Championship

The biggest class of the weekend saw Joe Turney take pole 0.06s ahead of Charlie Turner while heat wins went to Rhys Hunter twice, Jason Lockwood, Joe Turney and Tommy Foster. Turney was well down the grid after a penalty in the first heat.

By the time the Senior Rotax karts went out for their first Final it was damp but the drivers were still on slicks. Hunter was on pole next to Ben Davis with Foster in 3rd. Hunter got away at the start with James Johnson and Turner behind him. They were spread out for a while, but Turner reeled Johnson in and Johnson came under pressure from James Lingard who took 3rd with a minute to go. Johnson just about managed to regain the position while Myles Apps pressured Lingard. Hunter won 1.44s ahead of Turner with Johnson 3rd.

Final 2 was fully wet and at the start Johnson took 2nd on the first lap behind Hunter. Johnson slid off after four minutes racing with Bradley Barrett now 3rd behind Turner. Fastest man on the track Turney was reeling in the leaders and with three minutes left on the clock was attacking Hunter for the lead while Barrett was attacking Turner for 3rd. Turney took the lead and went on to win by 3s for his second podium of the day, following his 3rd place in X30 Senior.

Trent Valley KC Club Championship

ABkC Rotax 177 National Championship

Oliver Smith just pipped Louis Large for pole in Qualifying then Large won both heats followed by James Moorcroft in one and Smith in the other.

Large led all the way in Final 1, pulling away from Jamie Dzyra who was 2nd until a coming-together with James Beacroft in 3rd put him down to 12th and Beacroft out of the meeting with a bent kart. This left Lucas Vaus 6s back in 2nd and Jason Wilson 3rd.

Poleman Large held the lead at the start of Final 2 with Chris Thomas up to 2nd. 2nd on the grid Vaus was off at the start but was to restart two laps later, as every meeting counts in this class. Charlie Whaley took 3rd before going off onto the back straight, giving the place to Smith, but now far back from the leaders. Dzyra and Alexander Luck then tussled for the final podium position, with Luck taking it but 9s behind Thomas.

Mini X30 Support Race

Joshua Rowledge topped Qualifying a quarter-second ahead of Joshua McLean and the two took a win each in the two heats, giving Rowledge pole.

One of the most tightly fought battles of the weekend took place in Final 1 with Rowledge, Rashan Chigorimbo, Ivan Lomliev and McLean all taking turns in the lead and McLean crossing the line first, but several penalties in the lead pack gave the win to Lomliev from Aaron Walker and Jessica Edgar.

In Final 2 Rowledge made a good start to take 3rd on the fast lap from 14th on the grid and took the lead three laps in with Edgar taking 2nd halfway through. McLean finished 3rd on the track, but he and leader Rowledge were both penalised for their bumpers so Edgar won ahead of Matthew Higgins and Lomliev.

Results

MSA British Cadet Kart Championship

Final 1: 1 Arvid Lindblad (Synergy), 2 Freddie Slater (Synergy), 3 Harley Keeble (Synergy), 4 Maxwell Dodds (Tonykart), 5 Luke Watts (Tonykart), 6 William Macintyre (Synergy)
Final 2: 1 Freddie Slater (Synergy), 2 Maxwell Dodds (Tonykart), 3 Arvid Lindblad (Synergy), 4 William Macintyre (Synergy), 5 Sam Shaw (Tonykart),6 Harley Haughton (Synergy)

Championship Standings

1 Arvid Lindblad (Synergy) 132
1 Freddie Slater (Synergy) 132
3 Maxwell Dodds (Tonykart) 129
4 William Macintyre (Synergy) 124
5 Harley Keeble (Synergy) 112
6 Harley Haughton (Synergy) 111

MSA X30 Junior National Championship

Final 1: 1 Clayton Ravenscroft (Kosmic), 2 Luke Whitehead (Mad-Croc), 3 Dragan Pinsent (Tonykart), 4 Alessandro Ceronetti (Exprit), 5 Joseph Taylor (Fullerton), 6 Alex Walker (Kosmic)

Final 2: 1 Clayton Ravenscroft (Kosmic), 2 Dragan Pinsent (Tonykart), 3 Luke Whitehead (Mad-Croc), 4 Reggie Duhy (Mad-Croc), 5 Joseph Taylor (Fullerton), 6 Shane White (Tonykart),

Championship Standings

1 Clayton Ravenscroft (Kosmic) 191
2 Luke Whitehead (Mad-Croc) 184
3 Dragan Pinsent (Tonykart) 183
4 Joseph Taylor (Fullerton) 179
5 Reggie Duhy (Mad-Croc) 176
6 Axel Laflamme (Kosmic) 170

MSA X30 Senior National Championship

Final 1: 1 Oliver Hodgson (Birel ART), 2 Owen Byatt (Kosmic), 3 Levi King (Tonykart), 4 Morgan Porter (Tonykart), 5 Elliot Harvey (Alonso), 6 Joe Turney (Kosmic)

Final 2: 1 Oliver Hodgson (Birel ART), 2 Morgan Porter (Tonykart), 3 Joe Turney (Kosmic), 4 Thomas Turner (Compkart), 5 Elliot Harvey (Alonso), 6 Levi King (Tonykart)

Championship Standings

1 Oliver Hodgson (Birel ART) 196
2 Levi King (Tonykart) 180
3 Lewis Malin (Compkart) 174
4 Joe Turney (Kosmic) 170
5 Morgan Porter (Tonykart) 169
6 Owen Byatt (Kosmic) 167

ABkC Honda Cadet National Championship

Final 1: 1 Theo Micouris (Synergy), 2 Kean Berta (Synergy), 3 Sonny Smith (Synergy), 4 Sebastian Bloch (Project One), 5 Alfie Rigby (Synergy), 6 Daniel Guinchard (Synergy)

Final 2: 1 Sebastian Bloch (Project One), 2 Oliver Greenall (Project One), 3 Alfie Rigby (Synergy), 4 Theo Micouris (Synergy), 5 Kean Berta (Synergy), 6 Sonny Smith (Synergy)

Championship Standings

1 Theo Micouris (Synergy) 188
2 Kean Berta (Synergy) 185
3 Alfie Rigby (Synergy) 184
3 Sebastian Bloch (Project One) 184
5 Sonny Smith (Synergy) 174
6 Daniel Guinchard (Synergy) 171

ABkC Minimax National Championship

Final 1: 1 Myles Barthorpe (Tonykart), 2 Max Edmundson (Kosmic), 3 Archie Kitching (Tonykart), 4 Marcus Littlewood (Tonykart), 5 Sam Gornall (Exprit), 6 Sean Cuss (Tonykart)

Final 2: 1 Myles Barthorpe (Tonykart), 2 Max Edmundson (Kosmic), 3 Ellis Puleio (Tonykart), 4 Sean Cuss (Tonykart), 5 Charlie Knight (Kosmic), 6 Jack Finch (Alonso)

Championship Standings

1 Myles Barthorpe (Tonykart) 193
2 Max Edmundson (Kosmic) 185
3 Archie Kitching (Tonykart) 176
4 Sam Gornall (TBC) 175
5 Marcus Littlewood (Tonykart) 172
6 Sean Cuss (Tonykart) 168

ABkC Junior Rotax National Championship

Final 1: 1 Guy Cunnington (Tonykart), 2 James Lowther (Tonykart), 3 Kai Hunter (Kosmic), 4 Cameron Thomson (Kosmic), 5 Finlay Bunce (Kosmic), 6 Alex Eades (Kosmic)

Final 2: 1 James Lowther (Tonykart), 2 Guy Cunnington (Tonykart), 3 Cameron Thomson (Kosmic), 4 Finlay Bunce (Kosmic), 5 Kai Hunter (Kosmic), 6 Matthew Collings (Tonykart)

Championship Standings

1 James Lowther (Tonykart) 192
1 Guy Cunnington (Tonykart) 192
3 Finlay Bunce (Kosmic) 175
4 Cameron Thomson (Kosmic) 168
5 Kai Hunter (Kosmic) 167
6 Samuel Harrison (Tonykart) 165

ABkC Senior Rotax National Championship

Final 1: 1 Rhys Hunter (Kosmic), 2 Charlie Turner (Alonso), 3 James Johnson (Alonso), 4 James Lingard (Tonykart), 5 Myles Apps (Alonso), 6 Joe Turney (Kosmic)

Final 2: 1 Joe Turney (Kosmic), 2 Rhys Hunter (Kosmic), 3 Bradley Barrett (Alonso), 4 Charlie Turner (Alonso), 5 James Lingard (Tonykart), 6 Luke Wooder (TBC)

Championship Standings

1 Rhys Hunter (Kosmic) 194
2 Charlie Turner (Alonso) 182
3 James Lingard (Tonykart) 178
4 James Johnson (Alonso) 175
4 Joe Turney (Kosmic) 175
6 Bradley Barrett (Alonso) 173

ABkC Rotax 177 National Championship

Final 1: 1 Louis Large (Tonykart), 2 Lucas Vaus (Kosmic), 3 Jason Wilson (Tonykart), 4 Chris Thomas (Tonykart), 5 Charlie Whaley (Mad-Croc), 6 Alexander Luck (Tonykart)

Final 2: 1 Louis Large (Tonykart), 2 Chris Thomas (Tonykart), 3 Alexander Luck (Tonykart), 4 Jamie Dzyra (Gillard), 5 Alex Rowley (AIR), 6 Tony Dickinson (Gillard)

Championship Standings

1 Louis Large (Tonykart) 196
2 Chris Thomas (Tonykart) 183
3 Jamie Dzyra (Gillard) 166
4 Alex Rowley (AIR) 159
5 Oliver Smith (Gillard) 155
5 James Moorcroft (Tonykart) 155

Mini X30 Support Race

Final 1: 1 Ivan Lomliev (Tonykart), 2 Aaron Walker (Exprit), 3 Jessica Edgar (Exprit), 4 Daniel Bolton (Tonykart), 5 Harvey Riby (Tonykart), 6 Matthew Higgins (Mad-Croc)

Final 2: 1 Jessica Edgar (Exprit), 2 Matthew Higgins (Mad-Croc), 3 Ivan Lomliev (Tonykart), 4 Oliver Duffell (Tonykart), 5 Joshua Rowledge (Tonykart), 6 Rashan Chigorimbo (Compkart)

Championship Standings

1 Ivan Lomliev (Tonykart) 183
2 Jessica Edgar (Exprit) 180
3 Aaron Walker (Exprit) 178
4 Joshua Mclean (TBC) 177
5 Joshua Rowledge (Tonykart) 175
6 Rashan Chigorimbo (Compkart) 171

Written by Mary-Ann Horley 

Images courtesy of Chris Walker, Kartpix

 

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British Superkart Association F125 Open Championship Rounds 1 & 2

Oulton Park, 24th March 2018

MORLEY MAKES AN EARLY START

Liam Morley started the defence of his F125 Open title with victory in the opening round. Unfortunately, the chance of making it a double were scuppered when two red flags caused the abandonment of race 2.

A new season with new drivers, new colour schemes, new chassis and new numbers. The event format was the same with a free practice and qualifying session of 15 minutes each and two 15-minute races. Overnight rain had left the track wet for the free session, which saw Sam Moss top the time sheet ahead of Matt Robinson and Ian Larder. With no further rain the track dried in time for the timed qualifying session. Kirk Cattermole set the initial pace before Morley struck back with a lap underneath the lap record. He improved 2 laps later to secure pole position with a 1m 43.738s and then pitted with five minutes of the session remaining, satisfied that he couldn’t be beaten. Robinson was also under the lap record with the benefit of new tyres and posted a 1m 44.506s.

Cattermole lapped consistently, but without a tow managed a 1m 44.656s for third quickest. Joining him on row 2 was English Champion Lee Harpham. Having tried the MS chassis at Snetterton the week before he reverted back to the Anderson and set a 1m 44.771s. Moss (1m 44.898s) and Larder (1m 45.129s) completed the top six.  Chris Needham was back on an Anderson chassis after using the Silverstone in 2017 but was struggling with carburation issues on the IAME. After a few visits to the pits he finally went out near the end of the session, but red flags ruined a chance to set a quick time and he ended up 16th. Danny Butler was another ex-champion in trouble. The left hand rear tyre went flat on the opening lap. After crawling back to the pits and inflating the tyre he only got as far as Shell Oils Corner before it went flat again. No time recorded, the lap record holder would have a lot of work to do from the back of the grid.

The grid was reduced to 22 before the start of Race 1 when Alan Crossen pulled out from row 4 with a brake pad issue and Clint Bridge couldn’t get his TM motor to clear on the warm-up lap. When the lights went out, Morley made the most of pole position to lead into Old Hall while Harpham squeezed into second place ahead of Robinson who ran wide on the exit. This allowed Moss and Larder to get a better run down through Dentons and into Cascades and Robinson found himself down in 5th place. Cattermole made a slow start from row 2 while Needham had made up 5 places on the run into the first corner. Morley had a two-length lead into Hislops chicane for the first time, but it was now Moss and Larder that were chasing having relegated Harpham down to fourth place.

The positions were unchanged at the end of the opening lap with Cattermole in 6th place and rookie team mate Anderson Chilcott next through. Butler’s bad day continued when the rear tyre went flat again and he pulled into the pits at the end of lap 1 to retire. While Morley and Moss edged clear, the battle for third place was hotting up. Harpham dived inside Larder at Old Hall starting lap 3 to take the spot and held it until the exit of Cascades when Larder went past. Robinson got a great run out of the corner and also relegated Harpham and then ran side by side with Larder through Island Bend taking third on the entry to Shell. He then set about closing the gap to Moss but at the exit of Druids the EGT sensor blew out of the exhaust and he cruised into the pits to retire. Moss was keeping Morley in sight, but then the champion started lapping in the 43’s and the gap increased rapidly. A new lap record was set on the penultimate lap and at the flag Morley had an advantage of nearly seven seconds.

Maximum points and the best start possible to the defence of the title. Moss was content with second place and looking forward to the next race hoping to put more pressure on the winner. Third place was still in doubt up to the flag. Cattermole closed onto the back of Harpham and took the place on lap 7. But Harpham fought back. Starting the last lap, they ran side by side through Old Hall with Harpham coming out ahead on the run down to Cascades. Over Hill Top they came across a slower kart and Harpham went for the gap while Cattermole was a bit cautious. That gave the Anderson driver an advantage that he held to the flag to take third spot by 1.851s. Larder lost touch with this pair during the closing laps but was in a safe fifth spot. Chilcott had looked good in sixth place but then started to slow when a coil wire broke and he retired with two laps to go. Andy Connor inherited the place after coming through the pack from a poor start with Needham closing on him during the final stages after his IAME overfuelled on lap 2 and he stormed back from 14th place.

Race One (9 laps)

1 Liam Morley (Anderson DEA) 15m 40.076s (92.78mph)
2 Sam Moss (Anderson DEA) 15m 47.004s
3 Lee Harpham (Anderson TM) 15m 50.244s
4 Kirk Cattermole (Raider CAT IAME)
5 Ian Larder (Anderson TM)
6 Andrew Connor (Anderson Redspeed TM)

Record Lap Morley 1m 43.492s (93.64mph)

The start of race 2 was a bit delayed due to stoppages in the car races but when the start was finally signaled Morley led into Old Hall for the first time followed by Moss. That was still the order at the end of the opening lap with Cattermole, Harpham, Larder, Needham and Robinson completing the train. On the next lap at the exit of Shell Larder was tapped into a spin and rolled back into the path of Robinson. Matt took avoiding action but hit the barriers hard on the left-hand side. Moss took the lead at Hislops as Morley faltered and at the end of two laps the reigning champion was down in third place, his DEA starting to misfire. Fortunately, for his sake the red flags came out to remove Robinson’s kart from a dangerous position. Matt was a bit battered and bruised but thankfully walked away from the incident. While everyone lined up on the start line for the re-start, Morley dived into the pits. The battery had gone flat and the team hastily changed to a charged one.

However, it meant that he would have to start from the pit lane. Larder and Cattermole also pulled into pit lane to retire after earlier contact. With the light starting to fade the decision was made to re-run over 10 minutes and the clock was ticking when the pace car set off. This was going to be a 5-lap dash. Moss took the lead from Harpham into Old Hall while Alan Crossen had got a superb start from row 6 to take third place. Harpham crossed the line at the end of lap one from Moss but there was an ominous gap before Jonathan Bell came through in third place. Crossen and Needham had gone off at Druids and the red flags were shown again. With the noise curfew upon us there was no chance of another re-start and the race was declared void. Despite damage to both karts, both Crossen and Needham also walked away. However, with the next round in 3 weeks’ time there were going to be some busy days getting ready.

BSA F125 Open Championship Points after 1 round

1 Liam Morley         40pts
2 Sam Moss            35
3 Lee Harpham      32
4 Kirk Cattermole  30
5 Ian Larder            28
6 Andrew Connor   26

BSA F125 Cup Points after 1 round

1 Ian Larder            40pts
2 Luke Clemson       35
3 Paul von Gerard    32

Words by Gary James

Images by Dave Robinson

 

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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!!

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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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