PF International, Winter Championships, Round 4, 2nd March
The fourth and final Round of the 2013-2014 Winter Championships provided another stunning entry of 250 drivers.
Cool temperatures and an initial wet track made qualifying tricky, and conditions remained challenging all day. 63 drivers for a club meeting shows the popularity the IAME Cadet class is having on the future of karting! Top of the pile was front runner Tom Wood in qualifying, Jonny Edgar was a fine 2nd and Zac Robertson completed the top three. The two prefinals provided two pairs of runaway leaders ‚Äì Tom Wood led home Zac Robertson in the first while Kiern Jewiss was ahead of Lewis Thompson in the second.
There was little to choose between Thompson and Jewiss in the final and the race finished with those two in that order ‚Äì a delighted Lewis Thompson on top of the podium and well deserved under great pressure to the line from Jewiss. Tom Wood hung on initially but could not maintain the pace of the front two but still ended up a creditable 3rd (and overall Winter Series Champion). Chris Lulham and Nicholas Reeve won the two Honda Cadet Prefinals, just keeping Myles Apps and Keaton Samra at bay. The final was close and produced a fine win for Reeve, a brilliant drive up the grid gaining 11 places in the process and finishing 2nd for Harry Thompson, and Samra was a solid 3rd. 40 drivers battled it out in Junior Rotax and Tom Gamble made the most of the tricky conditions to claim pole, while Dave Wooder looked smooth as he claimed second fastest with Gamble and Wooder winning the prefinals.
The status quo remained however in the final as Tom Gamble took another measured win, Josh Skelton just holding off Wooder for 2nd. Heading the list in Minimax was Tom Bayley who made the best of the drying track, and Sean Butcher qualified 2nd from the slower group after the 101% rule was applied. Jonathan Hoggard and Dean Macdonald won the prefinals with Macdonald storming through the field to finish just ahead of Luke Wooder. Macdonald put in class drive to take the win, leading from lights to flag. Lucas Vaus had a brilliant 13 laps as he made giant strides through the field and was a very satisfied driver in 2nd. 3rd place looked to be heading to Luke Wooder but a misjudged late braking attempt at the hairpin saw him penalised, promoting Thomas Turner to 3rd after a strong race. Fastest overall in Senior Rotax was James Johnson with Brett Ward 2nd and Nathan Aston 3rd. Josh Gardner and Brett Ward won the prefinals but Championship leader Aston had to retire after feeling the effects of a pre-event rib injury.
There was some very close and exciting racing in the final but the day belonged (just) to Ward holding on for 14 pressured laps for an excellent win. Johnson worked very hard for his brilliant 2nd place at the flag and Adam Glear was always in the mix at the sharp end and ended up 3rd. Daniel McAuley is really getting it together in the new X30 Junior class, with his measured performances particularly in the final when he drove a ‚Äòmasterclass‚Äô to take the win. Euan Wilson and Harry Whittaker had a great battle for the runners-up spot with Wilson just piping Whittaker by 0.06s. Alex Forward won Junior TKM in the same race. Toby Sowery and Josh Hatton turned Senior X30 into a two horse race ‚Äì there was little between the two as the final wore on. For seven laps Sowery was in control but for the next six Hatton took the lead. It looked however as though Sowery was awaiting his opportunity and he made the move one lap from home, taking the win by 0.06s. Harrison Newey, as last month, drove a calm and confident race into 3rd.