IAME International Final 2016 Review

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The 2016 IAME International Final was certainly one that’ll be talked about for a long time. We of course had the incident before one of the Senior heats which went viral, we had some fantastic racing, a Junior win that surely broke a record, a Senior driver who was robbed of a victory and close racing in the Super, Super Shifter and Master classes.

The grids were absolutely huge and in terms of numbers it is surely up there somewhere. As for the Brits well the Juniors was a fantastic result which could have been even better, the Seniors unfortunately suffered too much bad luck as a whole but we still had a British winner who started 18th!

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Junior – Oliver York completes Mission Impossible

After being excluded from qualifying, in a grid of over 120 drivers Oliver York’s chances of a World title should have been over. But somehow, he managed to come through all the heats and Pre Final to put himself 6th on the grid for the Final and all of a sudden you felt he had a very good chance of doing it.

Clearly fired up, it didn’t take long for York to hit the front. However the Fusion Motorsport driver would soon have the current Vice World Champion on his hands in Callum Bradshaw who was charging back through the field. Seeing the danger behind Oliver Clarke hit the front before York sold him the dummy and came back through.

Heading onto the last lap of the Junior final
Heading onto the last lap of the Junior final

With two laps to go the top four was York, Bradshaw, Clarke and Ugo de Wilde in that order. York won the race down at the hairpin when Bradshaw gambled for the outside and briefly lost two places. He managed to fight his way back through on the last lap, but up the road York had done it and done it quite comfortably winning by 0.847 seconds.

This surely has to go down in history as the best drive over a World Finals weekend? Off the top of my head I can’t remember anyone who has started all their heats from dead last and come through to win. Over the whole weekend he gained 198 positions! Callum Bradshaw finished 2nd for a consecutive year and Oliver Clarke finished a hugely impressive 3rd given it’s his first year out of Cadets!

There was very unfortunate luck for Jac Maybin and Owen Byatt. They started 4th and 8th respectively and were running in the top five before coming off just a few laps from the end. Unfortunately the cameras never picked it up but no matter what happened they both deserved a top ten finish at the very least!

Jac Maybin went well all weekend until disaster struck late in the final
Jac Maybin went well all weekend until disaster struck late in the final

Full result:

1st Oliver York (GBR)
2nd Callum Bradshaw (GBR)
3rd Oliver Clarke (GBR)
6th Sam McDonnell (GBR)
8th Chris Lulham (GBR)
10th Tyler Chesterton (GBR)
11th Ben Wooldridge (GBR)
14th Louie Westover (GBR)
16th Morgan Porter (GBR)
17th Harry Platten (GBR)
19th Axel La Flamme (GBR)
30th Jac Maybin (GBR)
32nd Owen Byatt (GBR)
35th Angus Moulsdale (GBR)
36th Max Jeanne (GBR)
38th Kyle Connolly (GBR)
42nd Dexter Patterson (GBR)
44th Mario Mills (GBR)
49th Shane White (GBR)
52nd Samuel White (GBR)
53rd James Turner (GBR)
62nd Jake Douglas (GBR)
65th Ethan Hawkey (GBR)
81st Lewis Thompson (GBR)

Senior – Heartbreak for Oliver Hodgson

After the bad luck in 2015 and the performances he had this year in the UK you always felt that Oliver Hodgson was a firm favourite for the World’s. He started to prove he was as he went through qualifying and the heats with some magnificent drives all the way through. He was run very close by Joel Deputch in the Pre Final, but still took victory to put him on pole for the Final.

In that Final he disappeared down the road and a miracle was needed if anyone was going to catch him. With six laps to go Hodgson came to a halt down the back straight and his chances of World glory fell apart in such cruel fashion right before him. This was his Final and it should have been him on the top step I think everyone will agree with that, but he would now have to watch a compatriot take a hugely impressive win!

Oliver Hodgson
Oliver Hodgson

Hugo Ellis started 18th for the Final and came through gradually to take a hugely impressive victory! I guess it was just meant to be for Ellis, but what a drive it was. He beat Andrly Pits and Mike Bartels to the flag and looked overwhelmed when he crossed the line! Fantastic drive.

Other Brits who suffered bad luck included Brett Ward, who had an exhaust fall off. Danny Kierle received a penalty in the Pre Final and came off during the Final. Saul Robinson also came off in the Pre as did Josh Thompson and Jordan Brown-Nutley. Charlie Lamb received a ten second penalty.

Hugo Ellis
Hugo Ellis

Full result:

1st Hugo Ellis (GBR)
2nd Andrly Pits
3rd Mike Bartels
8th Mark Litchfield (GBR)
9th Danny Kierle (GBR)
10th Jordan Brown-Nutley (GBR)
15th Saul Robinson (GBR)
17th Ollie Varney (GBR)
22nd Josh Thompson (GBR)
32nd Oliver Hodgson (GBR)
33rd Brett Ward (GBR)
34th Charlie Lamb (GBR)
37th Euan Wilson (GBR)
38th Jordan Baines (GBR)
40th Tom Croydon (GBR)
47th Stephen Letts (GBR)
48th Angus Fender (GBR)
49th Ben Davis (GBR)
51st Gus Lawrence (GBR)
59th Harry Torpy (GBR)
65th Josh Collings (GBR)
71st Callum Barnett (GBR)
94th Davey Shepherd (GBR)
95th Charlie Bingham (GBR)
97th Euan Wilson (GBR)
DNS Matt Davies (Did not start C Final) (GBR)

Danny Kierle
Danny Kierle

Super Shifter – Vigano holds on to become World Champion

After his performances in the CIK-FIA KZ2 European Championships this year, Matteo Vigano came into this event one of the firm favourites. He’d already been successful at the X30 Challenge Europa but had stiff competition in the shape of Sten Pirimagi and defending champion, Sean Babington.

Sean Babington
Sean Babington

Vigano was fantastic all weekend and on pole for the final he was always going to be tough to beat, but Pirimagi and Babington were right with him all the way. The thing about this class is it can be very hard to overtake when someone is defending. I’m not saying this from experience, but I’ve watched enough races to know. Pirimagi and Babington threw everything at Vigano, but he always had the answers and took a deserved victory by just 0.118 seconds.

The sole Brit, Scott Allen, had a very impressive weekend and lined up 4th on the grid for the final! Unfortunately he finished down in 13th but it was a very undeserved result and he did himself proud over the course of the weekend!

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Full result:

1st Matteo Vigano (ITA)
2nd Sten Pirimagi (EST)
3rd Sean Babington (UAE)
13th Scott Allen (GBR)

Scott Allen
Scott Allen

Super – Compere wins on home soil

In the X30 Super class it was the Frenchman Victor Compere who took victory from pole position. Perhaps spurred on by the home crowd Compere led from pole and had a comfortable lead by the flag with Tom Bale finishing 2nd. Bale was 4th in the Senior class last year and drove through from 7th on the grid.

Rounding off the podium was one of our ‘ones to watch’ Kevin Breysse. The two time X30 Challenge Europa champion came close to finishing 2nd, but couldn’t quite get close enough to Bale. Vincent Fraisse looked in a good position to repeat his success in the Senior class after starting on the front row, but he dropped down to 7th place.

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Dean Hale was the sole brit in the class and considering his huge inexperience in the class and overall this year he did a sterling job to finish 8th in what was a field packed with champions. He beat the likes of Viktor Oberg, William Godefroid and Joey van Splunteren, overall he was the surprise package of the event and his lap times were on terms with Compere and Bale!

Full result:

1st Victor Compere (FRA)
2nd Tom Bale (UAE)
3rd Kevin Breysse (FRA)
8th Dean Hale (GBR)

Dean Hale
Dean Hale

Master – Peclers steals victory from Foster

In the Masters category it was Jeremy Peclers who took victory from Kip Foster in what was a very close run race. Just two tenths separated the pair as they crossed the line who lined up in the inside of the front two rows. Wilfried Lecapentier gave the home crowd something to cheer about as he rounded off the podium in 3rd.

From a British point of view, Graham Hill was desperate to win the World Finals and had all the stats to back that up. He won the X30 Challenge Europa and was a joint winner of the event two years ago. He started p4 so gave himself a good chance, but it simply wasn’t meant to be on this occasion. He eventually finished in 6th place, which is still a very good effort considering the size of the field!

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Full result:

1st Jeremy Peclers (BEL)
2nd Kip Foster (AUS)
3rd Wilfried Lecarpentier (FRA)
6th Graham Hill (GBR)
11th Gary Turkington (GBR)

Graham Hill
Graham Hill

Written by Chris McCarthy

Images courtesy of Marc Quinlivan

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