Competitors race on through storm Angus
Sunday morning at Buckmore Park brought a very wet circuit blanketed in leaves, after the first of this winter’s storms tore through the southeast during Saturday night. The cold temperatures throughout the day kept the circuit wet and left drivers and teams struggling with set ups, as tyres would simply not generate enough heat.With the timekeepers setting a 2 o’clock deadline for the finals to begin, the morning’s qualifying races finished almost bang on time.
Lloyd dominates in Mini Max
The Mini Max class started off the finals which were held on a still very tricky surface, although lap times had improved from the morning. Alex Lloyd had been on fine form in the qualifying races winning both in his DHR kart and continued his winning streak in the final, no doubt making up for his disappointment last month. He led every lap from the following trio of Project One karts, led by last month’s winner Ben Fayers who was 1.4 seconds behind, Oliver Marsh shadowed Fayers to a fine third place, making up three places from his starting position and taking the fastest lap along the way. James Wharrier held fourth throughout the 12 lap duration, not being able to stay with his teammates ahead. Lewis Gilbert and Alex Eades rounded out the top 6, with top novice Fraser Brunton inheriting 7th after Sam Heading suffered a nose drop penalty, even without hitting anything! KPi ‘s Josh Wellard who had qualified a splendid 3rd during the morning session finished 8th and Ryan Chapman was the last finisher in 10th behind the penalised Heading.
Whitehead saves his best for the final
The Junior X30 class had a quality entry lined up for this month’s race, with October’s victor Luke Whitehead facing some tough opposition from the Evolution team and a visiting Morgan Porter. Ronnie Foster looked on fire in the run up to the final by taking a comfortable win over Whitehead in the Pre final, his teammate, the returning Tyler Sullivan taking third place. For the final it was a guessing game as to which settings to use, as a dry line had started to form on the run through the esses and on down the hill.
Confidence was at a high in the Evolution camp with Foster looking unbeatable and Sullivan backing him up, in the KPi awning Whitehead senior gambled on some changes to Luke’s kart, Morgan Porter was absolutely chomping at the bit after failing to finish the Pre final. As the lights went to green Foster’s #77 kart led away with Whitehead and Sullivan close behind, the rest of the field were left in a cloud of spray over the still wet first half lap. As they appeared back into view at the end of the first tour, it was Whitehead’s Fullerton kart that had the hammer down, he had already pulled a slight gap over Foster and Sullivan, Porter had made a flying start and found himself up to 4th. . This pattern continued with Whitehead setting the fastest lap on lap 3 in his eagerness to break clear, his set up working well, Foster’s luck had deserted him as his chain failed during his vain chase on lap 7, this left Sullivan vulnerable to the eager Porter and indeed the #46 CAMS kart of Porter took 2nd place on lap 10 of 12.
At this stage of the race, the wet tyres were overheating and going off appearing to suit Porter more than Whitehead, the gap closed each lap and ended up at just 0.8 seconds at the chequered flag, Whitehead had judged the race perfectly, Porter had just fallen short. Sullivan was just over 3 seconds back in 3rd, a stellar karting comeback for the Essex driver, Finley Cross brought his Ambition kart home in 4th, beating Freddy Simpson-Stacey and teammate Kartik Sawhey 5th and 6th. Kent Champion Alfie Glenie was 7th from remaining runner Masatora Wada. Foster was classified 9th from unlucky class debutant Frankie Taylor whose Kart failed him at turn 1.
Millar snatches close IAME win
The Honda Clubman/ IAME final, sponsored by Kartstore.co.uk, took several attempts to start as poor Archie Walker’s kart refused to start after stalling on the standing start grid. The three IAME drivers set off first in the split grid final and gave us a fantastic race which concluded with a fantastic three abreast finish! It was Aston Millar who snatched the win from Vinnie Phillips and Luke Watts, just a mere 0.040 seconds covered the three across the line.
Brooks claims another Clubman victory
Once the Clubman class eventually got under way Alfie Brooks resumed his usual position at the front of the race, he hadn’t had it his own way in the Pre final though as Edward Pearson had won that quite comfortably, but come the final his set up suited the conditions perfectly. Pearson tried gallantly to hold on to the flying GDC KC car sales #57 kart, his Ambition run kart falling slightly short at the finish line. Jamie Perilly took the final podium spot close behind in 3rd, in 4th was Mika Renzullo, 5th Declan Russell and 6th DNL’s Joshua Hoy.
Brough on top again in Senior Rotax and Rogers makes the right tyre choice in X30
In the Senior Rotax and X30 final the three qualifying heat format had seen wins for Lewis Brown, Elliot Rice and Kit Brough in Rotax and Emily Rogers (2) and Ed Bridle in X30, so there wasn’t a favourite in each class. It was Brown that led away from pole over the first couple of laps, with Brough passing Rice into second and then succeeding in making the move into the lead on lap 3. From there Brough controlled the race at his own pace, driving beautifully to double up on last month’s win. Myles Apps stealth fully moved up from 4th into 2nd passing both Rice and Brown to finish 6.4 seconds behind the winner, Brown held onto 3rd but Rice slipped down to 5th when Charlie Bennett pulled an audacious move on him at the second hairpin on the last lap, these three crossing the line as one. .Alex Malioglou took 6th from Mike Ashby and Sam Baker. In the X30 class the Bridle twins Chris & Edward gambled on running slicks, but the move didn’t pay off leaving KPi’s Emily Rogers to romp home to a comfortable win. Kit Brough took the fastest lap and was also presented the Phil Whorlow Memorial Shield for his win.
Ayers wins for Project One in Junior Max
Oliver Appleby had looked serenely confident all day by qualifying on pole and then taking both Pre final wins with relative ease. He started the final in the same vein with his freshly livered KPi (2017) kart powering away, by half distance though it was noticeable that his lead was diminishing, Henry Ayers was closing in fast and by lap 7 his Project One kart was in the lead, this he held all the way to the flag. Appleby nearly fell back into the clutches of William Newham, just holding onto 2nd place after the 12th and final lap. Conrad Collinson was questioning his tyre choice in 4th after starting alongside Applelby on the front row, Luke Freestone (Team Bull) was close behind in 5th, showing good pace and Joshua Mason (novice) rounded out the top 6. Ayers took the fastest lap on lap 3.
Tolley’s prediction comes true in Cadet class
The last race of the day was for the Honda Cadet class, the top 3 being rewarded with the coveted ‘H’ trophies, so named after the late Henry Surtees, son of circuit owner John. With the SuperOne series visiting in April next year and also the recently announced ‘Cadet O plate festival’ during the same month at the circuit, entries were up for this event. This led to the running of a B final which was won by Nicky Taylor , Liam Mcneilly and Robbie Stapleford followed Taylor through to the main final.
The top 6 on the grid were Oliver Greenall on pole, followed by Sebastian Bloch, Archie Brown, Owen Tolley, Theo Micouris and Ivan Lomliev, with anyone of these standing the chance of winning. Greenall led the 28 karts away in his yellow and white Evolution kart, but some frantic action over the first couple of laps saw the field reshuffle and by lap 2 it was Tolley (Ambition racing) that had stormed through to lead. After predicting that he would win this event last month, he now had to withstand constant pressure from Archie Brown on his rear bumper in 2nd place, this he managed superbly, only losing the lead on one lap mid race. These two had gapped the rest of the pack, working well together to break the tow. It was a mature performance from both and no one could deny their H trophies were not well deserved.
The battle for third went in favour of Josh McLean who had made up 5 places to take the last H trophy, in 4th was Ivan Lomliev taking the fastest lap as he did so, although slightly disappointed to have not won one of the top 3 trophies. 5th was Sebastian Bloch who couldn’t live with his Ambition teammate’s pace come the final. Greenall slipped back to a frustrating 6th, Jack Clements was the top Virtus driver in 7th, Zach Walters, pre event favourite Oliver Bearman and Zac Ripley rounded out the top 10.
The last round of the Summer championships is a double point event and takes place on December 18th.
Report and images courtesy of Paul Babington