TW Steel DMAX Heats Championship Round 8 Report

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Light – Heat 1

Paul Cox led the field away, but soon lost out to Ben Leslie as Leslie grabbed the lead. Leslie then lost out to Axel Slijepcevic on the run down to turn 6 with a text book move up the inside, earning Slijepcevic the lead of the race. Leslie tucked into 2nd with Cox dropping back in 4th, but getting away from Max O’Shaughnessy and Joshua Craft.

Nat Thomas, Tom Golding and Jake Butler were now getting involved as well as the group headed into The Boot with Craft moving ahead of O’Shaughnessy briefly, only to have O’Shaughnessy get back ahead and for Craft to fall into the clutches of Butler and Golding. Slijepcevic was extending his lead at the front with 1.914 seconds in hand after 4 laps.

The top three were spread out and enjoying a drama free race, further behind however, it was far more frantic as Butler got ahead of Craft and set after O’Shaughnessy for 4th with Golding trying to move ahead of Craft. Butler was onto the back of O’Shaughnessy and looking for a way through and made the move on the final lap. Slijepcevic came around the final corner and took the win for the first heat, 4.443 seconds clear of Leslie and Cox with Butler and O’Shaughnessy completing the top 5.

Inters – Heat 1

Jonathan Purton and Ben Oliver led the field away with Purton leading the field away as Oliver came under attack from Oliver Peacock and Lee Hollywood. Purton completed the first lap still ahead, but Hollywood had quickly moved up from 12th into 2nd and was passed Purton for the lead into Christmas corner on lap 2.

Bobby Trundley had moved up into 3rd and was next onto the back of Purton with Peacock and Luke Cousins in tow. Trundley was very keen to get ahead of Purton to get on terms with his Championship rival, Hollywood, but Trundley had to balance attack with defence as Peacock wanted Trundley’s 3rd place. Hollywood was stretching his lead as Trundley, Lacey and Peacock got ahead of Purton after some good defensive driving from Purton. Xander Mahony, Cousins and Mark Ridout were next to line up behind Purton with Mahony sliding it up the inside into turn 6 as Cousins got turned around.

Chris Alcock was the offending driver, missing his braking point, and picking up a black flag. Simon Ross repeated Alcock’s mistake a lap later and picked up a 60 second penalty as time ran out to give the black flag out. Hollywood claimed the first win of the day ahead of Lacey, Peacock, Trundley and Stuart McKay.

Heavy – Heat 1

Chris Peberdy led the pack into turn 1, but as they emerged from turn 2 and shot up the hill, it was Rob Moore that held the lead. A few too many drivers then tried for the same piece of track into turn 6 with some drivers losing ground. Chris Carter certainly wasn’t as he completed lap 1 in 5th and then grabbed 4th on lap 2 ahead of Tom Pughe and on the back of Chris Munro. Malcolm Clark then ran wide out of the final corner and hit the barrier, resulting in a full course yellow. All drivers slowed down accordingly with gaps remaining as they were before the full course yellow.

The green flag got the racing back underway with Moore leading Tomasz Zaustowicz, Munro, Carter and Pughe. Zaustowicz was quick to close the gap to Moore and got a bit of a run on the straight up to Christmas corner and out-braked Moore from a kart length behind and just about made the move stick. Pughe then tried for a move at turn 6, but out-braked himself, knocking Carter and Munro with Pughe picking up a black flag as Zaustowicz started the final lap ahead of Moore and Carter with Pughe not yet serving his black flag. Zaustowicz took the win ahead of Moore, Carter, Munro and Lee Witney.

Light – Heat 2

Jake Butler got off to a good start and had several kart lengths as the field made their way up to Christmas. Joshua Craft muscled his way into 2nd ahead of Heat 1 winner, Axel Slijepcevic and Graeme Cobb. Slijepcevic closed the small gap to Craft on the remainder of the first lap and passed Craft for 2nd into Christmas on lap 2 as the chasing pack closed in. Butler completed lap 2, 3 seconds up the road from Slijepcevic, who had his own lead of 1.8 seconds over Matthew Bees, Craft, and Karlis Elmanis.

Butler was setting a searing pace at the front and was opening the gap up over Slijepcevic by fractions of a second each lap as Golding set a new fastest lap in 6th place. Slijepcevic soon responded with 2 and a half minutes left and dropped the gap to 2.5 seconds to Butler, but was rapidly running out of time. Bees was looking good in 3rd, but had Kameron Khan taking a quarter of a second a lap out of him with just a second between them and two laps to go. Butler cruised across the line to take the win by 1.281 seconds from Slijepcevic, Bees, Khan and Golding.

Inters – Heat 2

Tom Eastwood led away from pole but had Stuart McKay and Simon Ross breathing down his neck on the run up to Christmas. Eastwood held on and continued to lead the field as they made their way back down the hill. As they headed toward The Boot, McKay lost several positions as Eastwood completed lap 1 half a second clear of Ross.

Xander Mahony was on the move and slotted into 3rd and gave chase, setting a new fastest lap on lap 2, but had Lee Hollywood closing in. Hollywood soon grabbed 3rd from Mahony and was onto the back of Eastwood and Ross on lap 3 and managed to pass the both of them into turns 1 and 2. Mahony moved into 2nd, dropping Eastwood to 3rd with Ross dropping back in 4th and holding off Richard Lacey, Oliver Peacock, Bobby Trundley and Luke Cousins. Peacock tried to get Lacey into Christmas, but couldn’t get far enough alongside, slowing him down and allowing Trundley to have a go on the run down to turn 6.

Mahony had found some extra pace and was closing the gap to Hollywood as Peacock and Trundley got ahead of Lacey. Hollywood and Mahony started the final lap just 0.346 seconds apart as they matched each other for pace. Hollywood just held on to win as Mahony set a new fastest lap. Eastwood finished 3rd ahead of Ross and Peacock.

Heavy – Heat 2

Tomasz Zaustowicz led the field away with Carter in tow. These two quickly broke away from Tom Pughe and Lee Witney as Carter was right on Zaustowicz’s rear bumper. Carter set himself up for a move on Zaustowicz through The Boot, and got the move completed the through the final corner. Carter ran wide however, with Zaustowicz now having a run into turn 1. Carter was aware of this and held Zaustowicz off to secure the lead as they started lap 2.

Pughe was cruising up to the back of Zaustowicz as Carter broke away with Witney trying to hold on and get away from Rob Moore in 5th – up from last on the grid. Zaustowicz responded to Pughe’s pace to stabilise the gap and was just about matching Carter for pace, holding Carter’s lead at 1 second. A new fastest lap on lap 7 changed this however – a 53.033 – to move 1.4 seconds clear at the start of the penultimate lap. Vinod Hirani was holding 6th, just a quarter of a second ahead of Munro in their fight for 2nd in the Super Heavy class. Carter claimed the win in heat 2 as Zaustowicz set a new fastest lap in 2nd. Pughe took 3rd ahead of Witney and Moore.

Lights – Heat 3

Sam Hampshire held the lead into turn 1, but had Tom Golding and Levi Anderson on his rear bumper. Anderson quickly claimed the lead as Golding and Max O’Shaughnessy moved into 2nd and 3rd respectively on the opening lap with Hampshire now in 4th. Anderson was running well on his own at the front, pulling 1.4 seconds over Golding, but Golding soon responded to start matching Anderson as Ben Leslie set a new fastest lap in 4th.

Leslie was closing in on O’Shaughnessy and began putting him under pressure, snatching 3rd on lap 5. Axel Slijepcevic was on the move and running in 8th having started well down the order and looking for a solid result having taking a 1st and 2nd so far. Golding set a new fastest lap and started to take chunks out of Anderson’s lead as he got onto the back of Anderson as they started the final lap just 0.256 seconds apart. Anderson was now in defensive mode and was placing his kart just where he needed to. Anderson held on to win from Golding with Leslie, O’Shaughnessy and Ollie Ursell completing the top 5.

Inters – Heat 3

Luke Cousins held the lead from pole with Lee Hollywood following to take 2nd. Cousins and Hollywood quickly broke away from the chasing pack, but Hollywood’s early attack on Cousins began to slow them down and allowing Filippo Fiorini Miotti to close back up with Richard Lacey. Lacey moved ahead of Fiorini Miotti as Cousins continued to hold off Hollywood, bunching up the pack behind him. Oliver Peacock was now into 3rd and then got the better of Hollywood to take 2nd as Bobby Trundley moved into 4th and was next to try and attack Hollywood. Hollywood got a run out of turn 6 and got ahead of Peacock into turn 7 with Trundley following him through and dropping Peacock to 4th.

Lacey and Xander Mahony were just watching on a kart length behind as Trundley repeated Hollywood’s move a lap later with a tap from Peacock just aiding Trundley and took 2nd with Peacock moving back into 3rd. Hollywood regained 3rd through The Boot and immediately got back on terms with Trundley. Trundley got a run coming out of Christmas on lap 7 and was up the inside coming down the hill and through for the lead with Hollywood following through and holding Cousins out to dry as Peacock and Lacey also got through. Peacock then moved back into 2nd with a small gap appearing on the penultimate lap between the leading pair and the rest of the pack headed by Hollywood as Trundley started the final lap with a new fastest lap. Trundley took the win ahead of Peacock, Hollywood, Lacey and Cousins.

Heavy – Heat 3

Lee Meayers held the lead through the first two corners, but Vinod Hirani had a run up the hill towards Christmas, earning Hirani the race lead. Tomasz Zaustowicz was into 2nd by the end of the first lap and had Chris Munro for company. Chris Carter was into 4th by the time he got to Christmas on lap 2 as Zaustowicz looked for a way into the lead. Zaustowicz saw his chance into turn 7 and grabbed the lead from Hirani.

Zaustowicz was quick to escape up the road as Hirani now came under pressure from Munro and Carter with Carter passing the pair of them through The Boot to take 2nd and set after Zaustowicz. Zaustowicz was stringing together some fastest laps to extend his lead over Carter as Hirani continued to keep Munro behind for 3rd overall and the top spot in the Super Heavies. Tom Pughe was running 5th with Lee Witney just a kart length behind with a move into The Boot on Munro not paying off for Pughe and allowing Witney to sneak through. Witney then got onto the back of Munro and a lap later was passed Munro through The Boot to take 4th. Zaustowicz claimed the win, 4.406 seconds clear of Carter in 2nd. Hiarni held onto 3rd ahead of Witney and Munro.

Finals

Lights

Axel Slijepcevic and Jake Butler lined up on the front row and led the field around on the rolling up lap. Slijepcevic and Butler were side-by-side into turn 1 with Slijepcevic holding on as Golding and O’Shaughnessy gave chase. There were some spinners at Christmas as too many drivers went for the same piece of track. At the end of the first lap it was Slijepcevic from Butler, Golding, O’Shaughnessy and Matthew Bees with 1.6 seconds covering the 5 of them. Slijepecevic was building a small lead over Butler as O’Shaughnessy set a new fastest lap with Golding closing in on Butler and getting onto his rear bumper. A run out of turn 2 and up the hill almost saw Golding go for a move at Christmas, but he thought better of it as Slijepcevic continued to edge away – his lead out to 1.4 seconds after 4 laps as Golding, Butler and O’Shaughnessy completed the lap in very close company. O’Shaughnessy appeared to be the faster of the trio at this stage in the race with their battling aiding Slijepcevic’s bid for the win.

Butler was soaking up all of the pressure from the two drivers behind him as Golding had another look going into The Boot with O’Shaughnessy needing to get out of the throttle as a result and losing some ground. O’Shaughnessy quickly regained the time lost and was with the pair once more as Golding tried again to get Butler into The Boot, but Butler again held Golding behind. All the while, Slijepcevic was posting fastest lap after fastest lap, extending his lead further.

Golding snuck into 2nd on lap 8th with O’Shaughnessy nearly through passed Butler on the run into The Boot as Bees and Kameron Khan joined in. Slijepcevic was 4.5 seconds up the road by this stage which would be a tall order for Golding as he got away from Butler with O’Shaughnessy still looking for a way past. Despite breaking free of Butler, Golding was unable to make a dent in Slijepcevic’s lead as Slijepcevic continued to get away. A mistake from O’Shaughnessy saw him drop down to 9th, moving Bees into 4th and giving Butler some breathing space as Slijepcevic set yet another fastest lap.

Bees closed the gap on Butler in the dying stage and was through at turn 8 with Khan getting a run on Butler onto the back straight and giving him 4th into The Boot on the final lap. Slijepcevic claimed the win by 6.097 seconds from Golding and Bees with Khan and Butler completing the top 5.

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Inters

Championship rivals Lee Hollywood and Bobby Trundley led the field into the first corners with Trundley taking the lead. Hollywod went for a move into Christmas but misjudged it and tapped Trundley wide and dropping Trundley down to 7th. Lacey inherited the lead ahead of Oliver Peacock as Hollywood was given the black flag.

Hollywood dropped back down the order as Trundley moved back up to 4th, just behind Simon Ross. Lacey was breaking away at the front, setting a new fastest lap with Peacock 3.5 seconds clear of the battle between Ross and Trundley with Luke Cousins just three quarters of a second behind. Peacock responded to Lacey’s pace and set his own fastest lap on lap 4 to reduce the gap to 0.733 seconds. Trundley had managed to get himself in front of Ross and into 3rd with a new fastest lap on lap 5 closing the gap to the two in front, but with 4.3 seconds still to close. Peacock was right on Lacey’s tail at the halfway stage as Cousins had Ross, Xander Mahony, Chris Alcock, Hollywood and Mark Ridout all lined up behind him.

Peacock was still shadowing Lacey around the circuit, but couldn’t get himself into a position to challenge for the lead. Trundley was still pushing hard and got the gap down to 2.832 seconds and knew if the two in front started to squabble for position, he could still challenge for the lead. Peacock began to ramp up the pressure on Lacey as Trundley edged further forwards them and the time began to tick away. The ‘Last Lap’ board went out and now was Peacock’s time to attack as Trundley got the gap down to a second. Lacey was keeping it clean, avoiding mistakes and Lacey held Peacock at bay, taking the win by 0.168 seconds from Peacock with Trundley recovering to 3rd. Hollywood finished 4th on track, but didn’t serve his black flag and Cousins crossed the line in 5th.

**Hollywood’s Black Flag was the third of his season meaning an automatic 0 points score for the round.**

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Heavy

It was the familiar site of Tomasz Zaustowicz and Chris Carter on the front row with Zaustowicz moving to cover Carter at the start and holding the lead on the run up the hill to Christmas. At the end of lap 1 it was Zaustowicz from Carter, Chris Munro, Rob Moore and Lee Witney. Carter initially lost ground to Zaustowicz but responded to get back on terms with him and start pushing to get into the lead. Carter was on the back of Zaustowicz on the run into The Boot and managed to steal the lead, completing the move as the pair headed into turn 1, giving Carter the race lead. Munro was still holding onto 3rd, but had Tom Pughe, Witney and Moore lined up behind him. Zaustowicz got the run on Carter out of Christmas and unexpectedly went through at the fast right hander at turn 5 and repassed Carter for the leader.

Pughe then out-braked Munro into turn 6 and was up into 3rd ahead of Munro. Pughe quickly broke away from the pack behind, but had a large gap to bridge if he wanted to catch the leading pair of Zaustowicz and Carter. Carter managed to get a late lunge into The Boot and caught Zaustowicz off-guard, getting ahead and reclaiming the lead with a gap of 1 second to Zaustowicz to go with it. Pughe posted a new fastest lap on lap 10 and got the gap to Zaustowicz down to 1.712 seconds with a chance of taking 2nd.

Munro was still driving the widest kart in the DMAX fleet as he kept Moore, Hirani and Witney behind him. Moore found a way through on lap 11 with a run out of Christmas getting him ahead at turn 6. Pughe was still posting fastest laps and was closing in on Zaustowicz, but with 0.921 between them and one lap to go, it was not going to be easy for Pughe. Carter claimed another win at Whilton Mill, 0.621 clear of Zaustowicz with Pughe completing the podium ahead of Moore and Munro.

The next round is at Daytona Tamworth on Saturday 15th October for Lights and Sunday 16th October for Inters and Heavies. Call Mark on 033033 27870 to reserve your space on the grid.

Report and Images courtesy of Daytona Motorsport

 

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