PFI Pro Kart Series Round 7 Race Report

September 18, 2016

Overview

This was a bounce-back month with the largest ever GX200 Extreme grid for this meeting at fifty one and a respectable Extreme Cadet grid of twenty one.  Alas, no formal GX160 ProKarts, but Tony Feasby returned – a lone ProKart in the Extremes seemingly enjoying seeing how far up the ranks he could progress from the back.

And the weather was glorious – not so much an Indian summer but more like Pakistan, Bangla Desh, and Nepal thrown in for good measure.  But we know in our bones we are on the last knockings, and autumn proper will soon be upon us when the next meeting is rescheduled for October 23.

Best Presented Kart went to Steve Thompson – a stalwart of this meeting, who has done so much to develop and promote it over the years.  His karts are invariably well turned out and the gleaming new white/orange decals and themed immaculate white racing suit and helmet clinched the long-overdue award for him this month.

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Steve Thompson, Best Presented Kart

Extreme Cadets

Once again, Driver of the Day went to a Cadet.  Last month’s winner, Airijus Jomantas proved that his award was no flash in the pan as he pulled out three fastest laps of the day, the Final one chipping 1/100s off Harvey Charter’s previous record, earning him a podium for good measure.

Charter’s  record had already been broken in Heat 1 by Daniel Holdsworth by 4/100 s, setting a new target of 1:06:89 s.  Holdsworth drove his socks off all meeting which earned him the title of Driver of the Day for September.  Finishing fourth, second, and third in the Heats, he started the Final at P2, and had only just worked himself into the lead on lap seven, when his chain snapped and he was forced to take a grandstand view of the race behind the tyre walls: a forlorn spectator   denied his opportunity of achieving podium glory.

He wasn’t the only one to suffer ill fortune.  Super One highest-placed Rookie, Lucas Ellingham returned to his old stamping ground where he is the “O” Plate runner-up and 2015 Champion. Winning a fiercely-contested first Heat, he was forced to retire early in the second with a cracked chassis just when it was getting exciting. Thomas Short looked to have shaken off his jinx with a second and two firsts when his lead was abruptly terminated by a drive-thru penalty as the Final was reaching its climax.

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The Extreme Cadets cross the line heading into the sunset: L to R Scott Smith, Airijus Jomantas, Blake Angliss, and Harvey Charter

What Holdsworth and the rest of us saw was a pell-mell finish with the top four crossing the line within a second. Charter was at his most deadly in second place  for most of the race but it was Blake Angliss who took the lead from Short on lap thirteen. Charter quickly got in tandem with his new partner but this time couldn’t execute his trade-mark   breakout from the draft while Angliss held his nerve and the narrow lead,  and the two of them took the chequered flag 7/100 s apart.  It was Angliss’ first outright victory and richly deserved.

Meanwhile, Airijus Jomantas was closing down fast, having seen off his Peterborough pal Scott Smith, and the two of them had a fine battle for the last podium spot, won by a speedy and determined Jomantas by 14/100 s.

There was a gap of four seconds before Josh Patterson — another returnee — came in fourth, and another six before Short crossed the line.  Ten seconds later, the chequered flag concluded a battle that had been going on for most of the race between Jim Barty and Miss Morgan Kidd while the remaining twelve were lead in by Sandro Ballesteros.

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The Extreme Cadet podium L to R Harvey Charter (second), Blake Angliss (Winner), Daniel Holdsworth (Driver of the Day), and Airijus Jomantas (third)

GX200 Extreme ProKarts

A massive grid simply bursting with tension and excitement.  Most of the  cream rose to the top,  of course – the first  five finishers seventeen seconds clear of the rest – but there was talent aplenty lower down that could just as easily been among them on another day, and innumerable little races and challenges below them.

Charlie Bingham inevitably threw down the challenge from pole – a position he earned with a fourth and two firsts in the Heats.  Alongside him with almost the same inevitability was Ben Cook, his results more variable, but tellingly with upward momentum from the Pre-Final.

These two were pretty much out on their own with scarcely a second separating them, Bingham leading for the first thirteen laps with Cook a touching distance behind. On that crucial lap thirteen, the position was reversed and Cook held the lead until the chequered flag with 3/10 s to spare.

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Ben Cook, Extremes Winner with fifth-placed Ben Fallon (13) in the background

The results for the next four were close fought all the way through and turned on their head afterwards on the weighbridge.  Dan Crossley held onto his third place until lap eight when Austin Munday worked his way up from P10 and retained it to the end, eventually two seconds clear of his nearest challengers. However, all this came to nought when the scales tipped the wrong way against him, meaning that Crossley got the final podium place.  He won this due to his consistent top five finishes in the heats putting him ahead at the start and overcoming some intense competition from Lewis Cannon and Ben Fallon,   who came fourth and fifth respectively.  Cannon was only 11/100 s behind and you wonder what the finishing order might have been if there had been a few more laps, such was the degree of the competition between him, Crossley, and Fallon.

After another ten seconds, Jonte Beswick and Adam Nichols finished with a mere 1/100 s separating them.  Three seconds later, a group of Matt Dorling, Jack Grinsell, and Sean Dorling lead in the rest of the field to conclude some epic racing on a superb track in some of the best weather you could wish for.

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Extreme Winner Ben Cook inches out Charlie Bingham over the line
Final Positions
 
Extreme Cadets GX200 Extremes
First Blake Angliss Ben Cook
Second Harvey Charter Charlie Bingham
Third Airijus Jomantas Dan Crossley
Fourth Scott Smith Lewis Cannon
Fifth Josh Patterson Ben Fallon
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Daniel Holdsworth, Driver of the Day (21), with leading Extreme Cadets Thomas Short (4), 171 Airijus Jomantas (171, third), Scott Smith (37), Josh Patterson (138), and eventual winner Blake Angliss (7)

Andrew W Webb

Sprocket Photography

07850 693495 / sprocketphotography@yahoo.co.uk

 September 25, 2016

 

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