Winter Endurance Series – Round 5 of 5. Teesside Autodrome, February 2014
The new GX200s go head-to-head with the GX160s
The series had been beset by poor weather, the recession and the furore about engines GX160 and GX200. The humble GX160 in it’s most “tuned” untuned version was producing much more than an “out of the box” engine and attracting silly amounts of money .
The Championship contenders and “ordinary” teams competed with the usual GX160. The rest competed on the GX200 Extreme, the rules were a gentlemen’s agreement between the drivers to run fixed gearing, new weight limit and abide by the “usual” rules.
The forecast was for dry conditions, but as we have repeatedly said in the past, a forecast is a guess. The actual conditions once the race had started was no actual rainfall but a wet track with standing water drying extemely slowly.
20 drivers took the start, with 7 in GX160 trim, 12 in GX200 trim and 1 with hand controls.
113 Lard Ass driven by Ben Fallon took the lead in the difficult conditions. He was assisted when 43 MS SoCo Select (Stephen White), in 2nd,misjudged the wet line and rejoined the race after his son Connor 52 Team Whitey. This would lead to some interesting comments when they got home. 443 MS Lucas in Sam Tugwell’s hands was a competitive third. Nigel Moore was making an appearance in 28 Tockwith 3 and although he was driving superbly taking the lead from starting last he was found to be underweight. Although he had taken the lead , the main purpose was running in engines and they knew they would not be classified. 55 Rydan racing ( Ryan Watson , Dan Purvis) were also making a good showing in fifth until the mechanical gremlins cost them 30+ laps repairing the kart.
113 Lard Ass was leading Tockwith 3 by 7.4 sec, 43 MS Lucas at 39 sec. However, leading the race proper was 115 Team Keane (Danny Keane , Rob Stanway) with a 47 sec lead over 66 GKD (Mike Thoms, Dave Shaw) who had a 26 sec lead over 3rd 94 Canyon (Mike Smith, Shane Marson).
At 90 min
We had a new leader as 113 Lard Ass had a coming together with 78 Tockwith 2 ( Sarah Moore) and were replacing the steering column and track rods. So 28 Tockwith 3 were leading 443 MS Lucas, 44 McDonalds and 52 Team Whitey..
115 Team Keane, 66 GKD and 94 Canyon still in the same order.
At 2 hrs
28 Tockwith 3 and 443 MS Lucas the only 2 karts on the lead lap. 777 Teesside Stormers (Vernon McCallum) and 52 Team Whitey (Connor White) were doing their own personal Iron Man by driving the full distance in the cold and wet in 3rd and 4th respectively.
115 Team Keane had now drawn out a comfortable lead from 66 GKD who were now clear of 94 Canyon.
113 Lard Ass (Ben Fallon, Michael Kew) had now returned to the race as fastest kart on the track and were rueing what might have been. 55 Rydan Racing ( Ryan Watson, Dan Purvis) had also returned and showing a fine turn of speed for their first race in this format.
At 2.5hrs, Race end
115 Team Keane were looking forward to their first race win in this series until a coming together with Tockwith 1 (Ed Moore) caused catastrophic damage to their kart when sliding off the track.
However, they had enough of a lead to finish second in the race to 66 GKD. These “golden oldies” Mike Thoms, Dave Shaw are quite the nicest people you could wish to know and have now “proved” the lightweight chassis (85kg) that allowed them to race at the min weight !
94 Canyon finished 3rd and collected their first trophy!
The “race leader” was penalised for being underweight, which meant that 443 MS Lucas ( Sam Tugwell, Connor Lucas) had finished first, in the GX200 class, 777 Teesside Stormer Vernon McCallum 2nd and 52 Team Whitey ( Connor White) finished 3rd, unfortunately no trophies for this impromptu class.