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National Series 2014 – Round 5, 20th July – Ancaster
Round five whilst also doubled up as the annual Open Championship. This allows guest drivers to take on the very best drivers that COVKARTSPORT has to offer.
This also features a change in the format. While the drivers still compete in three races that count towards the championship, they also take part in finals based on the points accumulated during the day. The finals don’t count towards the championship but allow the drivers to do battle for the Open crown.
After qualifying fourth for the final, Jodi Humphreys raced hard to carve past the early leaders and take victory in the Junior class ahead of polesitter James Saunders. Following Humphreys through the field in the early stages, the fast-improving Skye Siddall scored her first podium in COVKARTSPORT as she pulled clear of fellow female driver Ami Jerger, who finished as the winner of the Junior Plus class and fourth overall. Championship leader Sam Lovelace followed home in fifth after a quiet final, leading home the second of the Plus category drivers Matthew Tetley, who continues to improve and impress after missing the opening round. Tetley is now Jerger’s nearest challenger for the Plus title and the next circuit is his ‘home’ event at Ellough.
Stephen Allsopp claimed the Lightweight Open Championship title with a dominating display from second on the grid. Allsopp, who started second on the grid, overtook Gary Jones on the opening lap and never looked back, winning ahead of Rhianna Purcocks, who took her first COVKARTSPORT podium in second. Another newcomer to the podium was third placed Mike Eccles, a local to the Ancaster circuit making his debut in the series. The Lightweight Plus Champion came home in fourth in the form of Richard Dunn. Dunn, who started fifth, managed to retain his points lead going into the summer break as he fought off the attention of fellow Plus category racer Adam Wheeldon. Fifth place gave Wheeldon his best result of the season after a tough first half of the year and sixth placed Neil Vincent moved up to fourth in the points and first of the lighter Lightweight drivers. Sean Brierley continues to be more and more of force with consistency being added to his speed as he came home seventh and scored good points to move up to seventh in the championship points table whilst the extremely consistent Connor Marsh finished in ninth and is still looking for his first race win after five second places in his debut year. Pole position holder Gary Jones suffered during the ‘A’ final and finished down in ninth place but with a strong points total from the heats, Jones closes the gap to Dunn by five points. Joshua Tomlinson rounded out the top ten and James Curtis came out as the top Novice ahead of Aaron Hipkiss. The top vetran in COVKARTSPORT went to Lightweight Plus driver Stuart Lindsay, who finished thirty-third overall.
Chris Daines may not be taking part in a full campaign this year but he became the first two-time winner as he claimed the Heavyweight Open Championship. Despite leading every lap of the A final, Daines had to fight off the attentions of three other drivers to take the win, especially Russell Endean who finished second on his debut in the series. Third in line at the finish was James Fitchew. The Whilton Mill round winner scored his second podium in only his second start in the series, certainly one to watch for the rest of the season and could have a say in where the title goes at the end of the season. Dean Davis pressurised the top three all race long but could not make his way past, settling for fourth ahead of Michael Holdcroft, who fought with Ed White until late in the race. Sixth placed Sam Foster did his championship challenge no harm by outscoring all of his closest rivals, including a second race win of the season during the day. Wayne Lidgbird managed to pass David Whitehouse going on to the final lap to take seventh and Allan Smith followed home in ninth. Richard Middleton rounded out the top ten during a strong round with top Heavyweight Plus driver Nicklas Mason in fourteenth overall after making the A final with a move in the B final in the last few metres. Slawek Piskorz finished as top novice in 20th, four places ahead of his closest rival.
Chris Daines was announced as the Overall COVKARTSPORT Champion, which is decided by the amount of the points all the A final winners had scored throughout the day.
The drivers now have a summer break to reflect on their championships so far and plan their next move for the final three rounds. The next round of the series is at Ellough Park on Sunday 14th September.