Lakeside & Ellough Park
The first round of the Club 73 championship had a healthy turnout of new and regular drivers all looking to start the season on a high at the lakeside karting track.
With the grids in club 73 determined by championship order reversed round one would see Paul Gasson starting from the back in the A Final being last season’s champion. In the B final we would see young racer Abbie Bell take pole in only her second ever time in a pro kart.
Abbie would make a great start and lead the first 3-4 laps and show that once she gets to grips with the karts she will be a contender for big points in the future, unfortunately being the first race at the track she would later drop to 14th
Once all the drivers had settled down it was clear that the main battle would be up front between Max Robinson , Georgie Davis , Nathan Willits and Matthew Chaplin and with the class system in club 73 Matthew knew all he had to do was keep within 30seconds of the top three to have a shout for the win.
Everyone was watching the timing screens to see if the top three could pull the gap from matt and when the flag dropped it would be Max taking the win, Matt second , Georgie third and Nathen just missing out on the podium by a few seconds.
With Sam Read on Pole and also at his home track ( place of work ) it was going to be hard to beat him but with the calibre of driver in this race including 6 time champ Danny Hurlock and current champ Paul Gasson it was not going to be a walk in the park.
Danny Hurlock would shoot from the mid grid slot to take the fight to Sam first once as the lights went green, he has always been a fast starter and while everyone else was making sure just to make it round lap 1 he would go on the hunt for Sam.
As the race went on the fight up front was getting close but bad luck would strike seeing Danny pull off with a broken engine, another driver with the Same bad luck would be Dan Gunfield leaving only Paul Gasson and Luke Reid close enough to worry the leader but with only a couple of laps remaining not even the back markers could slow Sam down and stop him taking the win.
1st Sam Read 2nd Luke Reid 3rd Paul Gasson
1st Max Robinson 2nd Matt Chaplin 3rd Georgie Davis
Round 2 would see club 73 head to Ellough park and with the track just being resurfaced and with a slightly new layout everyone was excited to start. It was going to be a wet race meaning the races would be crazy with lap after lap action and the B final that went first did not disappoint.
A couple of drivers at the front seemed to get caught napping when the green lights came on meaning pole sitter Dan Gunfield got the jump, another driver making the jump was Clinton Bell gaining 5 places before the first corner and bagging himself 3rd .
With spins in mid pack at the start this would mean Dan , Steve Bateman and Clinton would pull away at the front, the lead swapping between Dan and Steve 3 or 4 times before Steve would eventually take the lead and get a gap of around 9 seconds.
Further down the order drivers James Crane and Matt Bunn had ended up taking to the grass and mud pits around the track and would end up 2 laps down.
At the front Steve would spin twice meaning at the flag Dan would be within 4 seconds and with the penalty system Dan would take the win , Steve second and Clinton third.
A mention for Clubman drivers Ben Harfield and Dan Wonfor who would finish a very creditable 8th and 9th.
The A final would be just as good as the B with some great drives all the way down the field.
Drives from Luke Reid , Sam Read and Bob Chapman would stand out but not for the same reasons. Bob is considered as a very consistent driver and with the new tarmac and rain you would need to be just that, he would later take one of his best finishes and cross the line in 12th.
Championship front runner Sam Read would have an up and down race starting from 16th , he made it up to 10th before spinning out back down to 16th but then showed everyone how much he wants the title by fighting his way up to 3rd.
Luke Reid will be the first to tell you his race was crazy , you just have to look at his facebook post after the race. He would end up being part of some bumping and bashing resulting in black and white warning flag, then a black flag drive through penalty, fastest lap of the night and then would finish 4th , not bad at all.
At the front we would see John Chappell storm out front and take a well-deserved win and after his 4th at round one this result put him right in the hunt for the championship. He would end up finishing 25 seconds in front of Georgie Davis who would end up 2 seconds in front of hard pushing Sam Read.
1ST John Chappell 2nd Georgie Davis 3rd Sam Read
1st Dan Gunfield 2nd Steve Bateman 3rd Clinton Bell
The next round takes place at Rye House on the 13th of April, anybody wanting to take part or if you are just interested in Club 73 please contact Clinton Bell on 07976384681 or check out the championship on Facebook.