COVKARTSPORT Winter Series 2015 – Round 2 – Whilton Mill
A foggy Whilton Mill circuit played host to the second round of the 2015 Winter Series with 84 drivers arriving to challenge themselves round one of Britain’s top circuits. With the racing closer than ever and one round to go after Whilton, a mistake could cost a driver the Winter title. After the disappointment of missing out on third place at the opening round, Daniel Beardmore bounced back at Whilton with a strong drive to victory in the Junior Final. Beardmore fought from fifth to second by the half way point of the race and took the lead as Matthew Tetley made a mistake at the end of the Zulu section, running wide resulting in a 360 degrees spin and continuing in fifth. Tetley managed to climb back to third but could n’t stop Beardmore claiming his first win of the season and moving into championship contention. Second place went to Daytona victor Sam Lovelace, who extended his championship lead to eight points and making him favourite to retain his Winter title from the previous two seasons. Series newcomer George Hucknall impressed on his debut with fourth place after starting the Final on pole position. Hucknall was involved in the battle for the lead for the most of the race and will be one to watch in the National Series, which starts in April. Fifth went to Dante Dhillon and boosted his championship challenge whilst Tom Sherriff followed Dhillon home, moving forward in the Final after starting on grid eleven.
2014 was an impressive debut year for Connor Marsh with a number of podium finishes but the first victory had eluded him. That was until Whilton. The youngster dominated the day finishing qualifying and his Pre-final in first place before cruising to victory, well clear of the rest of the field. Brandon Williams had to settle for second place whilst James Saunders consolidated his championship lead with third. Mark Bramford finished just off the podium in fourth to hold on to his lead in the Plus class but will go into the final round just one point ahead of Marsh. Kayleigh Vincent will go into the final round with a chance of the title after finishing fifth but will also only be two points behind younger brother Neil, who finished in eighth. A close battle for sixth was forged between two of the most experienced racers in the class, both former champions. Paul Cox, a former Plus champion, managed to hold off the attacks from Graham Wallace throughout the race to finish sixth with Wallace in turn holding off Neil Vincent for seventh.
Chris Daines has made a strong impression on the Heavyweight grid since making his debut during 2014 and this has continued during the Winter Series but after getting beaten on the last lap at Daytona, Daines was not going to let that happen this time. It was 2014 Winter Champion Wayne Lidgbird who took the lead off the line but it took Daines less than a lap to get the lead back as he undercut Lidgbird at the boot. Daines then disappeared as the next four drivers battled hard behind but once that had been settled with Lidgbird leading the group, the battle was on. Lidgbird closed down the gap and made his move on the final lap, which he made it stick. Daines’ worst nightmare was happening as he lost the lead on the final lap for the second event running but this time, he was determined not to let the win go. In a repeat of the opening lap, Lidgbird ran slightly wide at the boot and Daines didn’t need a second invite to drive up the inside of the final corner to claim the win. Behind the leading two, the battle was just as close for the final podium position.
David Whitehouse held it early on but was closed on by Jeff Chapman and Richard Middleton respectively, both who managed to get by at the boot in the same manner as Chris Daines at the front of the field and finishing in that order. These five were clear of the chasing back where Dean Davis and Alex Vangeen had fought through the pack after poor Pre-finals to finish in sixth and seventh. The final round of the Winter Series will take place at the Ancaster circuit, near Grantham with close battles in all the classes. Who will step up the pace to claim their respective championship?