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CIK-FIA European Superkart Championship Rounds 1 & 2 Report

CIK-FIA European Superkart Championship Rounds 1 & 2 Report

DONINGTON PARK 4TH JUNE 2017

DE BRABANDER CAPITALISES AS FAVOURITES FAIL

Belgian star Yannick De Brabander took overall honours at the opening rounds of this year’s championship when expected favourites Peter Elkmann and reigning European Superkart champion Adam Kout struck trouble.

 

In the opening qualifying session Elkmann dipped below the lap record to set the quickest time of 1m 26.493s on his final lap and take provisional pole position. Kout was lapping consistently but was 0.745s behind the flying German with a 1m 27.238s. Dan Clark was the quickest British driver on 1m 28.673s marginally ahead of Jason Dredge. De Brabander started the session cautiously before making a pit stop for adjustments. He improved to record a 1m 28.781s. Rounding out the top six was Andreas Jost with a 1m 29.150s set on his final lap. Liam Morley had a nightmare when an airbox pressure sensor was sucked into the engine and smashed a rotary valve. He only managed one flying lap of 1m 29.435s for eighth quickest. Jordie Ford found the perfect set-up on his Anderson DEA to take 11th overall and the quickest of the monos with a 1m 30.965s just inside the lap record.

The second session saw Elkmann again dip under the lap record but his time wasn’t as fast as earlier in the day. Kout closed the gap when he went marginally quicker on 1m 27.123s. De Brabander lopped a second of his previous best to secure third place on the grid with 1m27.679s. Clark held on to the top Brit slot by improving his time to 1m 28.530s with Dredge unable to go quicker but taking a place on row three. Jost had a slight improvement with a 1m 28.962s to complete the top six. Morley sat out the session but retained his eighth spot on the grid ahead of Hulme and Kinsey. In the Mono Cylinder Cup Jordie Ford couldn’t improve on his earlier time but was clear of Jack Layton who posted a 1m 31.648s after trying a different strategy. Paul Platt leapfrogged Gavin Bennett to take third in class, the latter struggling a bit with braking issues into the tight hairpins.

Elkmann made the most of pole position in race 1 but De Brabander was looking up the inside as they headed down to Redgate and got ahead of Kout. Clark made a shocking start from row 2 and lost ground. At the end of the opening lap Elkmann led by nearly a second with Brabander holding off Kout. Jost was up to fourth spot with Morley leading Dredge and Clark. Elkmann increased his lead on the next lap but then Kout closed in as they completed three laps. Morley and Clark got past Jost who then had the throttle stick open and went off at Coppice. Dredge lost a top six place when the PVP motor seized on lap 5. Elkmann’s tyres started to work better and he put in a string of quick laps to increase his lead. At the end of lap seven Kout slowed as he crossed the line and then the gearbox locked up leaving two black line on the track and spinning him off onto the grass, fortunately without hitting anything. This gave Elkmann a lead of just under six seconds over De Brabander who was a similar distance ahead of Morley and Clark who were scrapping for third place. Elkmann set a new lap record on lap 9 but as he exited the Melbourne Hairpin on the next lap he dramatically slowed and stopped at the entrance to the pit lane, thumping the steering wheel in frustration. The coil had failed and his race was over. This put De Brabander in the lead by 6.8s with Clark now ahead of Morley in the scrap for second place. Over the closing laps, De Brabander eased his pace and was being caught by the battling Brits. At the flag, he squeezed home by 1.841s. Morley set his best lap of the race on the penultimate lap as he moved past Clark for second place and just failed to catch the Belgian driver with Clark third only 0.55s behind. Hulme finished an excellent fourth after a race long dice with Maasmann. In the Mono Cup, Ford was in a class of his own. He pulled clear of his rivals and set a new lap record at half distance. Bennett chased the flying Aussie but was nearly twenty seconds behind at the flag. Platt struggled with a down on power Gas Gas and had to settle for third in class.

Race One (13 laps)

1 Yannick De Brabander (MS Kart VM)

2 Liam Morley (Anderson DEA)

3 Daniel Clark (Anderson VM)

4 Carl Hulme (Anderson VM)

5 Marcel Maasmann (Anderson VM)

6 Vesa Lehtinen (MS Kart VM)

Record Lap Peter Elkmann (Anderson VM) 1m 26.282s (103.78mph)

 

Because of his gearbox problem in the earlier race, Kout had to fit his spare engine for race 2. He wasn’t expecting great things as it was older and potentially slower. But that didn’t stop him taking the fight to Elkmann. With concerns over rebuilt engines and the lack of warming up time due to the noise curfew, the start was delayed by about 5 minutes. Kout led through Redgate for the first time but Elkmann was soon ahead. The German led at the end of the opening lap but he had Kout and De Brabander hot on his heels. Jost held fourth spot after outbraking Clark into Goddards with Morley sixth. Elkmann eked out a small lead over Kout but it stabilised at 0.8s. De Brabander couldn’t maintain the pace of the pair ahead and he gradually lost ground so that by half distance he was six seconds behind. Jost continued to keep the Brits at bay with Morley now ahead of Clark. Dredge had been holding seventh place but a gearbox problem brought him into the pits at the end of lap 6. Kout broke the lap record on lap 8 and closed the gap, but Elkmann responded and two laps later he set a new benchmark fractionally quicker. Elkmann reeled off the remaining laps to take the win by 8.773s as Kout slowed on the final lap. De Brabander took it easy when the leaders disappeared up the road and came home in third spot. Jost couldn’t hang on to fourth place when he started experiencing brake problems. He ran wide at the Melbourne Hairpin on lap 7 which let Morley through and then made a mess of the Fogarty Esses two laps later that allowed Clark past.  Morley looked to be heading for fourth but a problem with the cush drive let Clark ahead with two laps to go. In the Mono Cup, Jordie Ford led the first two laps, but a popped reed valve in the DEA put him out. Bennett took over, however a broken exhaust brought him into the pits at the end of lap 10 and into retirement. This handed the win to Platt, the last unlapped runner. Layton just held of James at the flag by 0.269s

Race Two (13 laps)

1 Peter Elkmann (Anderson VM)

2 Adam Kout (MS Kart DEA)

3 Yannick De Brabander (MS Kart VM)

4 Daniel Clark (Anderson VM)

5 Liam Morley (Anderson DEA)

6 Andreas Jost (Anderson VM)

Record Lap Elkmann 1m 26.257s (103.81mph)

 

CIK-FIA European Superkart Championship Points (after 2 rounds)

1 Yannick De Brabander      41pts

2 Liam Morley                     31

3 Daniel Clark                    29

4 Peter Elkmann                 26

5 Carl Hulme                     21

6 Adam Kout                      20

 

CIK-FIA Superkart Mono Cylinder Cup Points (after 2 rounds)

1 Paul Platt                        41pts

2 Jordan Ford                     34

3 Gavin Bennett                 33

4 Jack Layton                     31

5 Gareth James                  26

6 Don Kennedy                  24

Written by Gary James

Images courtesy of Nick Purdie

 

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