The 7th Round of Red Lodge’s Formula 270 started promptly with all 23 drivers having competed in at least two events before, efficiently making their way through the briefing to get out on track. Again there was a good grid of lightweights and Heavy drivers from 14 years old to those nearing 6 decades, but that didn’t seem to have any impact on the competitiveness of the drivers with tightly knit racing. For the first Heats the random grid gave Will Gibbs pole position who promptly drove it into the lead and off into the distance. Charlie Pickering pursued him for a couple of laps before being overtaken by George Parker who set his sights on catching Will. By lap 4 George was less than half a second behind but couldn’t make a move stick, edging closer and closer each time. By lap 9 of 13 the gap was around a quarter of a second and on lap 11 it looked like the pass could happen. But some stellar defending by Will kept George behind at the finish with Charlie Pickering taking the final podium position.
For the Heavies it was another Red Lodge regular Charlie Tatum on pole who looked set to make it a copy of the previous lightweight heat with David Lask hunting him down in second place. Paul Turland was hanging on to the 3rd before Andy Cornish demoted him to 4th on lap 3. Andy set his sights on David and eventually caught him by lap 7 with Richard Kemp taking inspiration and doing the same a lap later. It all looked like the racing was over as Andy caught the back of Charlie on the penultimate lap, however a mistake by Charlie let Andy slip by into the lead and onto his first win of the night. Charlie took a commiserating second place with Richard Kemp in third.
The second Heat saw John Padley start on pole and a tangle between Derek Taplin and Ash Connor saw them both tumbling down the field. This was to Derek’s son’s advantage as Jake Taplin followed George Parker through avoiding the chaos. The grid was so tightly packed there were barely any overtakes with Championship hopeful Aaron Lask and James Rose making places through the pack. On lap 7 though saw Bob Willis tumble through the pack as his chain snapped, meaning previously heat winner Will Gibbs moved up at least one place. And while that drama was unfolding Jake Taplin had managed to make a pass on George for second place. John Padley took the win with George unable to pass in third.
The Heavies second heat had Steve Yanusaukas start from his first pole position which he held on to from Richard Kemp in second place before Andy Cornish in third denied Richard second place on lap 3, and Steve the lead a lap later. Andy disappeared into the lead as the tightly formed pack jostled for the final podium positions. Lap 8 is when it all got interesting with David Lask coming from fourth to second in two laps with Richard Kemp to retire just 2 laps from the end gifting Steve Yanusaukas his first podium in third.
For the final lightweight heat Bob was blessed with good luck in a new kart and lead from pole to the finish with Jake Taplin in his usual place snapping at his heels in second. Aaron Lask was unable to get any closer in third so had to settle ahead of the chaos that ensued behind him. From the sidelines it all looked like good clean fun as Will Gibbs went from 7th down to 9th and then finally back up to 4th, with Ash Connor ahead of him at first then somehow behind. Matthew Rout was unlikely to make a mistake that saw him drop almost to last with the same fate happening to Ethan Hall 2 laps later; the two had a battle between them selves with Matthew getting the better of Ethan a couple of laps later, although both now out of the top 10.
Heat 3 for the Heavies saw Andy Cornish starting in third position, ideally poised to get his first hat trick of the year. The rest of the 80kg category were level on points so the results of this race would decide the final podium places. Andy Cornish waisted no time in taking the lead on lap one with Jono Holland in pursuit, followed by James Oakley, Richard Kemp and Paul Turland desperate to deny him the second place trophy. Andy was pulling almost a second a lap on Jono as James Oakley slipped down the order pass by Paul then Richard. Paul was on a roll though and managed to take second from Jono with 4 laps to go, Jono settling for 3rd.
The pass for second in the lightweights Heat 2 meant that Jake Taplin took the overall win, now one race less than championship contender Aaron Lask. George Parker’s consistency meant he was second with Aaron Lask back in the top 3 in third. Andy Cornish was the dominate force in the 80kg group winning all 3 heats and 108 points towards his unconquerable championship lead. Paul Turland’s pass on Jono Holland meant he had the one point he needed to beat him to second, Jono left with third. In the 90kg David Lask took his first win of the year with Charlie Tatum in second and James Oakley third.
Overall in the Championship Andy Cornish is leading, 3 points ahead of Aaron Lask, however dropping their 5 lowest results (as per the championship rules) Aaron is still 16 points ahead. Jake Taplin is second in the lightweights 26 points behind Aaron Lask and only 3 points ahead of Wills Gibbs in third. In the 80kg Andy Cornish is way out in front, 83 points in front of second place Paul Turland, who is 16 points ahead of 3rd place Jono Holland. In the 90kg category James Oakley is leading Charlie Tatum by 27 points with David Lask 10 points behind in third. With 36 points for a win and 9 Heats left for the year the lightweights and 90kg championship is still up for grabs. The 80kg looks almost certain to land to Andy Cornish but the runners up spot is not yet certain. Tonight was the last night for Red Lodge’s current Biz Kart fleet with the new karts due to arrive soon. The next round also coincides with a Covkart weekend so expect a very full grid for the next round!