Club 100 Sprint Championship Round 4
Bore Da! Croeso i Llandw.
Round four for the Elites, Clubman’s, Lights and Heavies at the quick and physical Welsh venue. A super circuit this with its quirky start line followed by the fast right, left, right of the Hook. A great overtaking opportunity here but get it wrong and you’re right under the eyes of the Clerk of the Course! Out of here and down the Bomber straight before the left hander into Surtees and then on to the double apex right at Macwhirters, round the very slight Lancaster curve and down the very slight gradient to the right handed Chandlers. Then it’s a blast along the Spitfire straight before the chicane at the Dell. Exit this onto the first part of the Hanger straight, sweep thought NGK chicane which splits the Hangar straight and then the flat out run to the quick Raymond’s hairpin. Watch the Niki Richardson DVD to see how to take this corner correctly. It’s an awesome piece of Kart control. Round the corner and onto the start/finish straight to complete the lap. At Just over a thousand metres long it may not be the longest of circuits but its quick, challenging and offers good overtaking opportunities at almost every corner. High cloud, cool temperatures but no threat of rain, and everyone looking forward to a great days racing.
Theodorou made the most of pole to lead as the pack swept into the Hook for the first time. And it was great place to be avoiding all the pushing and shoving behind. But there were no major casualties. Theodorou still led after the opening lap chased by Lowe and Scully with a gap back to Neale and Martin. Whitehouse was already dropping down the order having started fourth. He would be down to twelfth after three laps and battling over the position with Hedges who had fought his way up from eighteenth. His enthusiasm got the better of him unfortunately as a spin sent him to the back of the field. Theodorou continued to lead but it was Scully hard on his bumper now having fought his way past Lowe with Neale fourth and Martin keeping a watching brief in fifth. Neale was really going for it and duly swept by Lowe for third whilst Scully was now right with Theodorou and looking for a way by. Penultimate lap and he was through followed by Neale whilst Lowe had dropped off the pace a little. Scully took the win finally finishing over half a second to the good from Neale with Theodorou third from Lowe. Justin Buck set the fastest lap. It was something of an untidy first race of the day with an awful lot of contact being made right through the field
Osborne led the field away but as the pack went through the Hook we had yet more bumping and boring. Races can’t be won on the first corner but they can be lost. By the end of lap one Osborne still led chased by Townley with Sharman third ahead of a very fast starting Moore who had shot up from eighth. He’s been a bit too aggressive however and would be penalised four places at the end of the race. Hornsby was running fifth but not for long as he spun out and would eventually resume a lap adrift. Pagano was making steady progress moving up from ninth to fourth by half distance. Osborne continued to lead from Townley but there was little in it and the latter eventually forced his way by. But his lead would only last a lap before Pagano out dragged them both out of the hairpin to move into the lead. And there he stayed. Townley hung on for second with Chris Dixon in a fine third. Having made progress up from tenth he judged his final lap to perfection. Moore was next on the road but classified eight whilst former leader Osborn was fifth but promoted to fourth after Moore’s penalty. Jamie Pender set the fastest lap.
A shortened race this after the first start saw a multiple off at the exit of the Hook. Yet again drivers not giving each other racing room and trying to win the race on the first lap. Respect your fellow driver’s guys. Buck led away from the restart with Dixon slotting in behind. Everyone made it through the Hook and settled down for what was largely a clean race. Penny dropped from third to fourth with Pagano up to third and chasing down the leaders whilst Bolton, Moore and Pender were running fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. Pagano took a few laps to find a way round Dixon which allowed Buck some space at the front. Once by he quickly chased down the leader but never got quite close enough to be able to make a pass. Buck came home just a couple of tenths to the good in what was a well judged win from Pagano whilst Bolton snatched third on the final lap from Dixon by just 0.049 at the line. Penny came home a solid fifth with Pender sixth having got the better of Moore on the final lap. Taylor set the fastest lap.
So when all the points were added up we had Chris Dixon on pole from Pietro Pagano. Harry Neale and Justin Buck on row two with Jack Bolton and Stefan Scully on three, James Taylor and Mike Townley on four and the top ten completed by Stuart Osborn and Martin Theodorou
All the drivers had been warned about how easy it was to jump the start given the unique layout at Llandow and certainly from my position it looked suspiciously like Pagano jumped the start. What I didn’t see was that he had been given a helping hand from behind as poleman Dixon was a little slow away from the line. No matter, no penalty was called and the field raced down into the Hook with Pagano emerging at the front. It was a frantic first lap throughout the field but by the end of the lap Pagano led from Buck with Townley up to third from eighth. Dixon had dropped to fourth and would be down to seventh at the end of the second tour. Neale was back to fifth ahead of a fast starting Theodorou. Bolton held seventh ahead of Hollingsworth and Scully ninth from Taylor. With two down Pagano still led from Buck and Townley but it was Neale up to fourth. Theodorou had dropped back to tenth behind Scully.
Into the Hook for the third time and Hornsby came steaming in way too hot. In a heartbeat Scully was turned around and going backwards across the grass. He then committed the cardinal sin of failing to get his foot on the brake and rolled across the circuit bringing Theodorou and Moore to a halt. Villain of the peace Hornsby continued but would suffer post race exclusion and admitted that it was totally his fault. Scully and Theodorou both got going again whilst the totally innocent Moore was last to be recovered and headed into disconsolate retirement. Meanwhile at the front Pagano was coming under increasing pressure from Buck, Townley and Neale and was soon back in fourth and struggling. With four laps run the race settled down but it was Neale leading from Buck and beginning to pull away. Buck in turn was beginning to drop the battle for third headed by Townley. By the flag Neale had a comfortable lead from Buck who was in turn well ahead of Bolton in third who grabbed the place from Townley with just one lap to go. A good battle this as was the fight over fifth between Hollingsworth and Darvill whilst Pagano made it over the line in seventh ahead of Dixon and Martin. A good effort this from Martin coming up from grid twenty. Pender completed the top ten with Neale setting the fastest lap.
Podiums and Championship places.
All smiles on the podium. Jack Bolton’s third place sees him top of the standings whilst Justin Buck’s second place sees him third just behind Pietro Pagano. Winner Harry Neale is way down the order but he missed the first round and with two top step finishes he’s clearly going to be in the mix.
Report written by Chris Simpson
Photography: Jack Mitchell