It will not be news to many of you that Three Sisters Race Circuit, has had more than its fair share of drama just lately. Despite the great uncertainty surrounding the track’s future, Manchester and Buxton Kart Club (MBKC) joined forces with historic series – F100, to put on an awesome show. F100 and MBKC, set a new precedent by combining an MSA club meeting with a none MSA regulated series showing what can be achieved. Kudos goes to all involved, over the last few months, in figuring out how to make this work, especially with the difficult situation at the track. It’s great to see, outside the box thinking deliver great kart racing.
A huge shout out goes to everyone who made it happen on the day too. Feedback from the drivers confirms what a great job Carly Latcham and Greg Mcilwraith did in running the F100 meeting with the Mutation Motorsport bus as central point of contact for drivers. These guys did an awesome job, ensuring drivers all had a point of contact all weekend and making everyone’s life easy.
Following five practice sessions for each class the track lay clear and dry – anyone’s for the taking! At 4.30pm with the weather still holding out warm and dry pre-2000 kicked off on Saturday evening for heat 1. Tyler Poole lead the grid for heat 1 but had no chance against James Fox who claimed 11 places to take the lead. Consistently quick, Francis Stewart held onto second while a phenomenal Steven Cook-Martin climbed 22 places to finish third! Kudos to F100 newcomer, Adrian Dickenson, for holding onto fifth in his first race out with this highly competitive field. With a wet track on Sunday morning the grid kept us intrigued with a split decision regarding tyre choice. Dan Street lead the rolling lap but Oliver Smith took full advantage of his tyre choice to take the lead with Cook-Martin annihilating the field on wet tyres, climbing 16 places to finish just 0.2 seconds behind Smith. Glen Guest’s smooth driving style brought him home in an incredibly close third and Neil McKernan managed to take fourth despite starting way back on grid 23. Recognition to Gary Watling for climbing 21 places from back on grid 27. By heat 3 the track had dried substantially and the sun was making intermittent appearances. Lap times crept down and Neil McKernan set a scorching pace from grid 13 to take the lead and earn himself pole for the final. Adam Wardiell shook off his earlier engine problems, finding the pace to climb 4 places, following McKernan past the chequered flag thanks to an engine loaned by Dave Hunting (DHR). Glen Guest sneaked into third and Donall Regan climbed 15 places to finish fourth. Points for the final grid were close but Neil McKernan and Oliver Smith’s consistent performances took them to the front row with James Fox and Steven Cook-Martin on the second row.
Off to a flying start, McKernan was unstoppable, showing he still knows his way around his home track. Lap one had a near missed disaster when Gary Dean found himself pointing backwards on the valley. Joel Pointon and Jeff Donovan did well to find their way round leaving Gary disappointed to be out but relieved to be out of trouble. Quickly opening up a comfortable gap, McKernan lead to the finish ahead of a chasing pack of Oliver Smith, James Fox, Glen Guest, Steven Cook-Martin and Gary Watling who all finished inside a 1 second window. That was close racing! The newcomer to F100 from Aberdeen, Chloe Scott put in a notable performance gaining 10 places in the final after a challenging weekend learning a new setup. We predict she’s one to watch in the future!
Following round 3’s final the championship tables are as follows:
|Pre 2000||Pre 2000 Heavy|
|1||Oliver Smith (262)||Oliver Smith (372)|
|2||Glenn Guest (240)||Lee Gadsby (154)|
|3||Drew Stewart (230)||Bill Powell (100)|
|4||Alex Cobb (223)||Alexander Newton (98)|
|5||Neil McKernan (211)||Alisdair Cunningham (64)|
With 18 entries including 3 heavies, and Dan Haigh flying the flag for pre-89, the line up looked sure to be competitive. Nick Holland and Jay Fairbrass lead the grid for the opening heat, but neither could fend off the pace of Chris Derrick or Brian Parias. With Parias setting the heavies fastest lap of the heat and gaining 3 places to claim the chequered flag and Chris Derrick storming through from grid 8, setting a new lap record of 46.188 and claiming second place (greedy), the competition kicked off to a flying start. With the first wet track of the season, much debate took place, with typre choice split 50/50 in heat 2. Chris Derrick was clearly unphased by a spot of moisture, reeling in 16 places to finish ahead of Robert Walton and Martyn O’Hara. Heat 3 saw Derrick again set the pace from the off with Peter Schofield putting in a great chase, despite missing half of practice. Schofield kept us all entertained with some awesome moves through the valley, but Derrick still had the edge. Brian Parias also managed some storming laps claiming 7 places to finish 3rd and Alan Lamb gained an excellent 9 places to finish 4th.
Results from the 3 heats put Derrick and Parias on the front row of the grid for the final with Alister Topliss and Martyn O’Hara row 2 and Nick Holland sharing row 3 with Peter Schofield.
A shocking series of events produced an electric atmosphere in the viewing area during the first F100 final of the meeting. Chris Derrick held a comfortable lead with Nick Holland reeling in 3 places despite last minute chassis repairs only on Friday. Brian Parias continued his quick weekend in 3rd with Peter Schofield sneaking into 4th ahead of Martyn O’Hara who “struggled to nail” his kart setup. Of course the most notable performance possibly came from Jay Fairbrass who’s HT cable decided to take a vacation leaving Jay to Valiantly return it to its rightful location while free-wheeling through the valley. Hats off for managing that shocking feet!
The weekends results leave the championship as follows:
|Pre 95||Pre 95 Heavy|
|1||Chris Derrick (326)||Brian Parias (322)|
|2||Alister Toplis (256)||Jay Fairbrass (295)|
|3||Brian Parias (241)||Matthew Bruce (218)|
|4||Nick Holland (226)||John Priestly (87)|
|5||Martyn O’Hara (215)||Ashleigh Curtis (75)|
|1||Dan Haigh (150)|
|2||Carl Bryer (134)|
|3||Stuart Watts (122)|
Many thanks goes to Mike O’Neill of O’Neill Racing for sponsoring this event and supporting F100 by providing the fantastic trophies for this round. A special trophy for Team O’Neill’s driver of the day was awarded to Pre 95 driver – Alister Topliss
Thanks also goes to Dartford Karting (www.kartstore.co.uk) for supporting F100 by not only going to great lengths to supply historic parts but also donating £50 in vouchers to the drivers of each class who show a strong “spirit of the 90s”. This time the awards went to Pre 2000 driver Adam Wardiel and Pre 95 driver Sam Logan.
Arguably one of the northwest’s finest tracks, the valley layout at Three Sisters, located in Ashton-in-Makerfield provided some breathtaking racing! As always the paddock atmosphere was superb and we all look forward to The F100 British Championship – the ‘Open’ at Whilton Mill (NN11 2NH) 28th to 30th July
To see and/or purchase images from the event go to www.mildredmillsphotography.co.uk
For more information about this fantastic race series go to www.f100.co.uk
Report by Charlotte Mills