July 23rd 2017
Finals complete under threatening skies
Walker fast in Bambinos
Mikey Walker starred out of eight the Bambinos drivers to take the fastest times in the 1st and 3rd timed runs, leaving him at the top of the merged table on points. Reg Heywood took the fastest time in the 2nd run, which helped him to secure second in the points. Charlie Warren and Antony Parfett tied equal on points in 3rd and 4th. Warren’s 2nd place in the final run giving him the edge in the table, Jayden Sherwood, Harry Still, Sonny Mortensen and Kristian Stefanov filled the remaining positions.
‘I won on a Project One’ Marques takes debut championship Clubman win
The Honda Clubmans opened the finals and gave us a debutant championship winner in Nathan Marques, driving for the local Project One team. It was a very impressive performance having qualified second to surprise pole man novice Danny Shields, Marques won both Pre Finals before dominating the Grand Final by a cool 7.4 seconds, a massive margin for this close and competitive class. Ben Witham initially held 2ndplace before Joseph Knight and Leon Frost demoted him to fourth, Frost and Knight then had a moment out of my sight which left the former at the back of the field and Knight limping back to the pits to retire. Through all of this Joshua Rudd jumped in front of Witham in what was a close fight with Ian Marginean and Danny Shields. The latter two then tangled with Marginean angrily dropping to the back and Shields later receiving a 10 seconds penalty dropping him to 11th at the finish, one place behind Marginean. Witham fought his way back into 2nd in front of Rudd and held onto to the position to the finish, Rudd close behind in 3rd. Jack Theobald took 4th, Blake Ticehurst 5th, Finley Watson just held onto 6th from the recovering Frost in 7th. Vinnie Lloyd was 8th, ‘leaning ‘ Luke Hayward 9th from Marginean. Marques completed his rise to the top by taking the fastest lap. A special mention must go out to Damien Baruss-Haggett who had a frightening accident in Pre Final 1, when he collected a Shields spun kart at turn 1. Damien rose from the floor to a huge round of applause as he bravely made his way into the circuit Ambulance. The medics later told me that his safety equipment had served its purpose well with Damien suffering bruising and a cut, they assured me that even though his day’s racing was curtailed, he had looked more cheerful on a visit later in the day.
Berry snatches win from Lee in Junior Max
Declan Lee looked to double up on the Project One victory tally as he led away the Junior grid, but unlike his wins in the two Pre Finals, he couldn’t hold off Sean Berry in the Grand Final. It was very close though as a late charge by Lee almost paid off, he finished just 0.104 behind at the line. Thomas Lawson was right with the pair as they crossed the line in third place, stealing the fastest lap too. Jack Steadman took 4th from Harvey Norton in 5th. 6th was novice Dillon Stepney, from Mason Weir in 7th, William Egby in 8th and Brandon Dyer in 9th.
Brown takes the win but not the trophy in Senior Max
The GMS team was well represented in the Senior Rotax class, with Lewis Brown on pole, Troy Beswick 3rd and Jack Wall 4th on the grid. In-between the trio of team mates was the privateer Dad n lad outfit of Steven Crow. Brown lit the GMS touch paper and disappeared when the Union flag fell, as he had done all day, although he later managed to miss the prize giving ceremony! Crow some 6 seconds back held off the remainder of the GMS challenge by taking a comfortable 2nd. Behind Beswick lost out on the first lap run down to hairpin one, as his kart faltered , this let a returning Ryan Haines, Stephen Bouffe and a delayed Jack Wall past him, Mike Ashby almost made it through into hairpin two, before Beswick coaxed his kart back into life. As the race settled down Haines started to make little mistakes, his race rustiness starting to prevail, first Bouffe managed to move into 3rd, before the charging teenager Beswick demoted him further into 5th on lap 10, to make matters worse for Haines the remaining GMS kart of Wall took 5th from him on the final lap. Ashby watched all of this action from just behind, his brakes not giving him the confidence to make a challenge, finishing 7th, although he later jumped at the chance to take the top spot on the podium in the winner’s absence! The dominant Brown also took the fastest tour on lap 4.
Ripley robs Horsley of win in Cadets
A competitive 13 kart Cadet final started under very threatening skies, with a brief shower catching out only one of the youngsters – Leon Frost at a slippery turn 1. Zach Ripley continued his recent fine form with a good start away from his customary pole slot, this didn’t last long though as the Ambition kart of Louis Horsley surprised him going into turn 1 at the start of lap 2, slipping through on his inside. With the slippery surface flags flying Horsley then put in some cracking laps, opening a gap over his pursuers. Ripley had fallen back behind the Virtus pair of former circuit ‘O’ plate winner Oliver Bearman and Jack Clements, before correcting his downward slide and fighting back up to second, although still a long way behind the impressive Horsley. Bearman and Clements couldn’t live with Ripley at this stage of the race and had Project One’s Oscar Teuten mixing it up with them, this until he was spat out of the pack at turn 1 on the 6th lap, sending him over the bumpy run off area in a spectacular fashion, he did very well indeed to find his way back into the pack without losing too many slots!
Matthew Hyde then managed to shadow the Virtus pair to the finish, putting in a stellar drive as he did so. Back at the front Ripley’s kart : as we have been lately used to seeing, came alive. He had managed to track down the #38 of Horsley and made his robust but clean move on lap 9 of 13, Horsley stayed right with the #36, setting the fastest lap on the penultimate tour as he challenged for the lead back, however as they came out of the hairpin 1 exit he just clipped Ripley’s kart which lost him the important tow over the remainder of the lap, leaving him 2nd at the finish. It had been another cracking drive by the Zip kart of Ripley, setting him up as the one to beat over the remainder of the year, equally impressive had been Horsley running comfortably at the front. Clements just pipped his teammate Bearman over the line but was later issued with a 10 second penalty dropping him to 12th. So Hyde took a well-deserved 4th behind #2 of Bearman in 3rd, 5th was the Arora kart of James Higgins just few tenths back, in 6th was class returnee Mika Renzullo, 7th the recovering Teuten, Liam McNeilly was 8th, Jamie Perilly 9th and Declan Russell 10th.
Waddell wins from the back in visiting FP4 class
The visiting 12 kart four stroke FP4 championship competitors closed the finals for the day. This was an entertaining affair as Angus Waddell in the #1 kart, came through from the second to last row of the grid, to take the win at the race’s end, securing the fastest lap on his way up through the field. Alex Whitley had run at the head of the field until lap 11 of 12 finishing 2nd behind the flying Waddell. Chris Kelly gave Whitley a scare at the finish closing onto his bumper, bringing David Jarvis with him in 4th. Rob Teague finished 5th, he had had the Pro Kart of Tony Lamb close behind in 6th.
Report and images courtesy of Paul Babington