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The afternoon started with what was arguably the best final of the day. Jac Maybin was in search for another victory this season, but had last years Honda Cadet Champion, Luke Whitehead for close company. Pedalling the new Fullerton chassis Whitehead tried to work with Maybin seeing that Tamzyn Buckley, Thomas Byrne and Josh Pickford were not far behind. Like the ring of a bell in a boxing match two laps from the end the fighting started and as the last lap board came out we now had five for the lead. Whitehead took the lead, but lost it at turn seven with Buckley coming through. As the elbows were out for 2nd Buckley took the win, but received a ten second front fairing penalty post race. This handed the win back to Whitehead with Maybin and Pickford rounding out the podium.
It was Harry Garman and Robbie Stapleford who broke clear at the start of the Honda final, but they struggled to decide who was going to lead and that decision eventually cost them as a hard charging Daniel Guinchard came through. In their defence they did stay with him for a while and Stapleford even re-took the lead at one stage, but once Guinchard was given some breathing space he was never to be seen again and went on to take victory. Garman did all he could to chase him down but eventually had to settle for 2nd. Despite pressure from Maurice Henry, Stapleford was able to claim the last space on the podium.
It was a race that almost provided a sensational win for Matt Armstrong. After starting 8th on the grid he carved his way through the field and then went on to chase down the two Campfield Racing team mates, Aaron Drury and Tye Mason. Unfortunately, this is where his progress was halted, an unsuccessful move on Mason delayed the pair and in the blink of an eye Drury was down the road. Armstrong eventually completed the move and arguably deserved the win, but in Drury’s defence he made no mistakes and led from lights to flag to win by an impressive five seconds.
The most processional race came from the Junior Max class. Riley Phillips has been on form in the class this year and was simply too quick for anyone to contend with. The last anyone saw of him was at the completion of lap one before he went on to win by an astonishing 8.1 seconds. Ethan Haynes was never really challenged in 2nd place with Jake Paice driving well for his 3rd after taking advantage of Jacob Page who came off on lap five.
The big story to come out of IAME Cadet was pole man, Freddie Slater, was a novice! He won heat three in tricky conditions and did not look out of place at the front as he held his own at the start. Leonardo Panayiotou, William Elswood, Alex Keens and Zac Meakin made it a lead quintet as the battling commenced. Sixty percent of the group had turns leading, but the major turning point in the race came on lap thirteen. As Elswood went from 1st to 5th, Panayiotou managed to make a break for it leaving Keens to try and defend his 2nd place. Slater and Elswood tried their best but couldn’t get through and unfortunately Meakin fell back to 12th on the last lap. So we had one novice on the podium in Slater, and novice Vinnie Phillips in 6th in a grid of 29 karts! Stars of the future…
The fight of the novices continued in the Mini Max final as George Smith tried to follow in Freddie and Vinnie’s footsteps. Rain just before the final meant everyone started on slicks in tricky conditions and as it continued to fall the most inexperienced driver in the field got through to 2nd place and looked set for a memorable result. Smith made no mistakes but when the track dried a recovering Marcus Littlewood came through and was soon followed by Karl O’Brien. That left Smith to settle for an impressive 4th. In the midst of all this Piers Henderson was out front and won by a staggering 8.5 seconds! A solid performance given the changing conditions.
Written by Chris McCarthy
Images courtesy of Stu Stretton