Elite Karting League – Round 7 of 7

Round 7 of 7 at Teesside, Saturday 8th November 2014

It was a Titanic battle for the championship at a wet and cold Teesside but the racing was hot!

The Saturday forecast was good for ducks that could stand the cold. A dryish spell was to be followed at lunchtime by a deluge and so it came to pass. This variation in weather was arranged by Kat Franklin to provide a further interest to the day.

The Driver’s Championship

This was initially scheduled for the Friday evening but the inclement weather had stranded travellers throughout the country in traffic jams and 17 of the 29 entries could not make the start time. The decision was taken to slot this event in early on Saturday morning.

The drivers were allocated karts by lottery and split into two heats of 14 + 15. The grid positions were decided by Timed Qualifying. The conditions were cold , damp and slippery. For the first 2 heats the top 10 would be eligible for the Final. As well as rewarding good , conservative driving, the conditions heavily penalised wild lunges and if you found yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time it was race over.

In the Final, last year’s winner Ed White moved into the lead and set about building a gap. He was helped by Adam Nichols attempting to hang on to 2nd. By the time the rest got by Adam then Ed was away and had built an unprecedented lead of 9.7sec at the finish.

Congratulations to Ed White, the multiple winner of The Driver’s Championship

The start of the Driver’s Championship

The gross scores from October had 21 Titan Tornadoes with a healthy lead over 4 Worcester Raptors of 165 points and with a maximum of 1800 pts available, everyone in the top 10 was in with a shout. However, the reality was that the lowest score would be dropped. 1 Titan Motorsport already had a zero from an earlier round. When we subtracted the lowest score from the rest , we came up with an interesting table. The teams are listed in their top 10 net pts positions , and the gross points tell a slightly different story.

Titan Motorsport now jumped into the lead. The gap between 2nd and 3rd was now only 54 points and so it went on.

For the day we were joined by 50 SG Petch, 51 SG Petch Rejects and 52 Masters of Durham. This brought up to 41 the number of teams that have taken part. We have missed the participation of the 2 Kartforce teams and hope that they will return next year.

Sprints

Three wins for 1 Titan Motorsport and three wins for 21 Titan Tornadoes meant that their Championship push was on track. Two wins for 37 Maidens left only one win each for 2 Thunder, 7 Bulldogs, 4 Raptors and 6 Tigers.

Race of Champions – Dash for Cash

Again 1 Titan Motorsport, 21 Titan Tornadoes and 4 Worcester Raptors dominated qualifying. 8 AKS Angels improved from 4th in Quallie to take the 3rd podium from 4 Worcester Raptors.

Our lovable Mr Pope threatened to change the prizes to 1st a Hamper from Harrods, 2nd a Hamper from M&S and 3rd a Hamper from Lidl.

However, sanity prevailed and 1st 1 Titan Motorsport, 2nd 21 Titan Tornadoes, 3rd 8 AKS Angelswere awarded the usual prizes.

2 hr Endurance

Qualifying had an unfamiliar look about it as 20 Hoddeson Vixens were 3 sec better than 1 Titan Motorsport and 21 Titan Tornadoes. Also 52 Masters of Durham, 5 Coseley Cougars and 16 Cambridge Cobras were in front of 4 Worcester Raptors by hundredths.

During the race in wet, cold and dark there were a multitude of mistakes as tiredness from the long day of racing set in. The experience of 21 Titan Tornadoes and 1 Titan Motorsport told as they finished 1st and 2nd respectively. 16 Cambridge Cobras were still on the lead lap and challenging as they completed the podium for 3rd.

Women’s Team Trophy was won again by 37 Northampton Maidens from 8 AKS Angels, 12 Teesside Angry Birds, and 20 Hoddeson Vixens

So last year’s winners are also this year’s winners and to rub salt into the wounds, the second team also finished 2nd.

Observations

The fleet of new karts with GX200 Extreme engines will be faster and more exciting.

The format of Sprints / Dash for Cash / Endurance has been very successful and will be retained for next year.

The number of teams taking part has again increased over the year. We expect with the changes / improvements that next year will be a bumper year.

There have been 6 Ladies teams who have competed with the best and won many heats and trophies. They have shown that this is a suitable environment for the fair sex.

The venues for next year have again been added to and will provide variety and spice.

The Championship Results are much closer than previous years showing that drivers and teams are gaining experience hence improving their racing performance and that the kart preparation is also to a high, consistent standard.

The series is so successful because of the efforts of the Organisers Bob Pope, Kate Franklin, Paul Franklin, Tracy Pope and Ange Hutchinson, Bob Hutchinson, Kelvin Nicholls, Paul Beatty, Martin Howells, and the marshals. However, the commitment and enthusiasm of the drivers makes it all worthwhile.