South West Champs

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23rd & 24th August 2014, Dunkeswell

112 drivers arrived at the superb Mansell Raceway to contest the 2014 South West Championships organised by Dunkeswell Kart Racing Club.

The Libre Gearbox grid proved a tad tricky to maintain and after the heats they were granted a separate Pre-Final. However, Ross Allen continued his winning ways taking the 250 win in heat 1 followed by Alex Burrows and Aaron Powell Glenister was doing the same in the 125 class taking the win with David Baldwin second and Ian Thomson in third. In heat 2, the 125’s topped the timing sheet with Glenister, Baldwin and Thomson taking the top three places. Ross Allen was again the first 250 home with Burrows and Powell still in second and third behind him. In the separate Pre-Finals the results in the 125 class were repeated with Glenister, Baldwin and Thomson again topping the timing sheet. In the 250 class the same thing happened with Allen, Burrows and Powell taking the top three spots for the final.

For the finals first out were the Libre Cadets. After some outstanding drives, Merrifield was on pole for Honda with Fenlon next to him in second for IAME! Behind them Brown and King were holding a watching brief. At the start, Merrifield got away and lheld his own, however, on lap 6 Fenlon managed to find a way past and Merrifield was now looking to defend his second place from a charging Jake Cranstone. Archie Brown overcoming a torrid start had slowly worked his way back to 4th but with reduced times for the finals, Fenlon ran out the comfortable winner and first IAME with Merrifield crossing the line as the first Honda. Brown and King were second and third Hondas with Keough and Elswood rounding off the top 3 for the IAME class.

Tommy Foster was never challenged in the MiniMax class and comfortably took the win with the top three drivers crossing the line as they started with Bennet and Hepworth rounding off a great weekend of racing. Holden had a strong race to fight back to take fourth andf claim the trophy for best overall lady driver.

In the Junior Max class pole man Ellis got away with Spiller in hot pursuit . However, Channing was hunting them down and on lap 8 he pounced on Spiller dropping him down to third. Taking a lap to consolidate he set about catching Ellis and did so on the penultimate lap to cross the line as South West Champion. Ellis had to settle for second with Spiller in third.

The Senior Max class provided exceptionally close racing with Harrison Wignall getting a great launch off the grid to take the lead and retain it to the finish despite some immense pressure from the chasing pack, once they had stopped fighting amongst themselves! By lap 5, Hilleard had got through to second but lost it on lap 9 when Josh Gray got through quickly followed by Weedon. At the flag it was Wignall from Gray from Weedon.

The TKM final was a clear run for pole man Wilson who had an untroubled run to the flag although Frappell was always on hand to pounce if he made a mistake. Dawkins looked to be settling for third until a mechanical issue robbed him of a potential podium and elevated James Lovell to the last step of the podium.

Colin Davis and Darren Lane continued their dominance of the 177 class with Davis enjoying an untroubled run to take the win with Lane again having to settle for second place. Julien Howell rounded off a great day with third place after battling through the pack from 5th albeit some 8 seconds behind the lead pair.

With the weather starting to threaten, the 250 gearbox class took to the circuit and Ross Allen was again out front. Alex Burrows got a great start to move from 3rd to 2nd but was unable to catch Allen. Aaron Powell bogged down at the start and found himself in 5th but managed to battle his way back to third. At the flag it was Allen, Burrows and Powell.

In the 125 gearbox final the weather finally broke and with a damp track, it was that man Glenister again who was out on top after getting a great start and moving from third to first by the end of the first lap. With conditions worsening, the pace slowed but the racing was still intense as Pole man Baldwin saw himself bumped from second to third as Steve Handford got past on lap 5. As the clock ticked towards the 6pm cut off time, the flag came out and the final race of the championships was won by Glenister closely followed by Handford with Baldwin in third.

A fantastic festival of karting. Thanks to all the organising staff, the Race Control Team, Marshals, Medics and of course teams!