Hale and Stockford winners at 2018 TKM Festival

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The TKM Festival. The one weekend a year where the TKM classes completely take over the paddock to fight for one of the most prestigious titles. With one race deciding all at the end of the weekend, form books are thrown out of the window. Old faces often return for a play and mistakes are devastatingly costly. Winning requires a strong performance over the entire weekend and with Kimbolton’s deadly first corner, often a bit of luck in needed too!

In terms of results the TKM Extreme class lived up to all of the above with winners Dean Hale and Joe Stockford coming as a surprise to some.

TKM Extreme Elite Final

Dean Hale may have been invisible to some on the entry list in the TKM Extreme class which brought in a packed and competitive grid. Now working with the Williams F1 Team Dean’s racing experience is hugely limited. He tends to play around in different classes which has included 250 Gearbox in recent months but his last proper crack at racing was in the Senior X30 class.

But any signs of Hale being rusty were quickly put to bed when the Jade Racing Team driver won all three heats and stamped his authority that he was here to beat the regulars in their own class! Speaking of those regulars Adam Sparrow responded to this in the Pre-Final taking victory from Hale.

Finishing in 3rd was Michael Cornell who finished over two seconds back after starting on the front row. Not something he would have planned but an inside row two start at Kimbolton is not a bad place to be.

Hale thought he may have let his hand slip from the title in the Pre-Final but he quickly took a firm grip back on the most coveted title in TKM driving a stunning lights to flag victory in the final! It was an awesome performance from someone who simply shouldn’t be showing that form with his recent Karting experience.

What Hale showed is what he could do when everything comes together for him. As a very chilled out character off circuit nerves clearly never got the better of him and as a former teammate hearing of his victory was a nice surprise!

Credit must go to Sparrow. He was the only driver who could get anywhere near Hale in the final keeping him honest all the way to the flag. Hale was not allowed to check out with the current Super One British Championship leader finishing just 0.55 seconds back.

The pair were well clear from the rest with Rob Welham finishing 3rd. A hugely impressive performance from the Junior TKM graduate who has jumped up to cars in F1000 this year and the confidence of good results there has clearly been transferred to his TKM Extreme campaign.

Festival Cup

In the Festival Cup it was Charlie Machin who took the win by just under two seconds from David Haynes. Both very comfortable in their respected positions and 3rd was Alex Ready after gaining three places.

Special mentions have to go to Susanne Gutzold who gained 16 places to finish 12th and Jake Campbell-Mills who gained 21 places to finish 11th place despite a ten second penalty! Jake had got on the podium with the fastest lap on track but was unfortunately given a ten second front fairing penalty. A superb performance nevertheless!

O Plate

Lewis Wadley drew first blood in the TKM Extreme O Plate weekend with pole position in the Pre-Final after brilliant performances in the heats. However he would start on the outside of the front row the Final with Matthew Taylor taking the win and starting from row two would be Chris Whitton and Michael Cornell.

The Final turned out to be one of the most eventful races of the weekend! Taylor led the race without any huge problems until we got to lap thirteen and that is when things started to kick off as they say! In a four way battle for the lead Welham jumped into the lead having come from 13th on the grid with Whitton in 4th.

As Welham hit the front Taylor and Wadley disappeared from the race giving Welham a break out front. However, behind Whitton was closing in with the assistance of Joe Stockford and Louis Beaven. With two laps to go Stockford had hit the front taking Beaven with him leaving with Welham in 3rd and the number six seed now just needed to defend to the flag!

With Beaven appearing to be in slightly more trouble Stockford was allowed to slightly escape and from 8th on the grid he went on take victory! It was a brilliant drive which showed huge perseverance particularly when working with Beaven to close Welham down. He made his moves at the right time and his experience showed as he crowned himself the British Open Champion of TKM Extreme.

Special Mention – Owain Rosser

A special mention must go to Owain Rosser not just for his performance in the O Plate but his performance in the Elite Cup as well. In the Elite Cup Rosser gained a staggering 21 places to finish in 11th and gained 14 places in the O Plate Final to finish 7th. That’s a total of 35 places gained in two of the most competitive races in UK Karting! That’s not a bad effort at all.

TKM Clubman

In TKM Clubman it was Sam Baker who took a deserved victory from pole position after storming away to win by almost five seconds with the fastest lap also in hand. He left a good battle in his wake for 2nd which went down to the wire between Ciaran McDonald and Will Hulacki who were split by just 0.2 seconds across the line!

Images courtesy of Stu Stretton