NKRA grande Finals at Clay Pigeon on September 13 and 14th 2014
A last minute let down by the original host club in Scotland but Clay Pigeon Club was selected after several clubs offered their services, so we could run the final round of the year.
Heat 1 of the Senior Blue class saw Ian Branfield take the victory after a strong battle through the pack from 9th on the grid. Kevin Ford managed to make up a place to take second but man on the move was ross Adamson who fought his way through from 18th on the grid to take third. Duncan McLeod also laid down his intent with a 4th place finish from a 17th place start! In heat 2 Branfield did it all again, this time from 19th showing he would be a force to contend with over the weekend. Ross Adamson was again up in the top 3 but this time taking second place with Duncan McLeod claiming third. Having travelled down from Scotland Brian Lees must have wondered it was all worth it as he recorded his second non-finish. The father and son Dudley duo never made the grid still busy changing bent axles.
Sunday morning dawned dry, albeit a little cooler than Saturday. rob Mortimore and David goode joined the fray having, due to pre-arranged commitments, missed Saturdays two heats. Into heat three and something near normal service was resumed as Duncan Mcleod scored his first victory of the weekend with Ross Adamson showing real quality to record his third top three finish of the weekend. Martin Wheeler made the podium for the first time in the heats to record a third place. It was the turn of novice Dominic Turner to shine in this heat. He progressed from grid 27 up to 16th whilst his brother ended up track side having made contact with decelerating Stoddart-stones, unfortunately badly damaging his kart in the process. It was heat four that saw Ross Adamson achieve the breakthrough he had been battling for all weekend when he took the victory with a commanding drive from Pole Position. Duncan McLeod , despite all his experience could find a way past and crossed the line a mere 1.5 seconds adrift. Danny rice recorded his first top three finish of the weekend to take third.
With the heats decided, it was all to play for in the final with Adamson and McLeod lining up on the front row. Branfield and Ford took up row 2 with Wheeler and rice occupying grids 5 & 6. McLeod got the better start and dropped Adamson to second and looked to be settling in for the win. It all got a bit worse for Adamson when Ian Branfield got past him. Digging in Adamson, regained the place the following lap and set about reeling in Mcleod taking him on the last lap to snatch the victory. McLeod had to settle for second with Branfield taking third. In fourth was Martin Wheeler who after a strong but consistent season had to settle for 2nd overall in the year’s Championship. Having had a faultless year, Martin and his team were, no doubt, disappointed that their only problems had to manifest themselves at the Finals. Behind this leading group were Stuart gray, Danny rice and Brian Lees locked together only separated by only 0.37 seconds. Lees having had a disastrous Saturday, was really racing well on the Sunday.
The Final was no different with him making places the whole race to finish 7th from a grid start of 13. The best novice was Dominic Turner finishing in 14th. In the Junior Blue class, Jake Calvert was dominant in the early laps to break through the pack to take the lead in heat one on lap 3. Pole man, Thomas Massarella had to settle for second with Luke Lattimer in third. Heat 2 was almost a repeat result of heat 1 and Calvert again came from fourth to take the victory with Massarella taking second. However, it was Taylor Waldron who paid for this, dropping from pole to finish third. Sunday morning saw Calvert make it a hatrick of wins taking a lights to flag victory. Massarrella also made it a hatrick of second places although he probably wasn’t as happy as Calvert! Lattimer took another third place showing the closeness of the top 3 drivers.
Heat 4 and Calvert was demonstrating that it didn’t matter where he started as he collected his fourth victory of the weekend after starting second. Lattimer recorded his third top three finish with second place whilst Massarella was left to collect third place. By the time it had come to the final, the smart money was Calvert to make a clean sweep of wins and that is what it looked like as he led the pack from the lights to the final chequered flag of the day. Lattimer battled past Massarella to record a well-earned second place with Massarella finishing third. However, Calvert was dramatically excluded from the final for a technical issue, with a non-compliant carburetor manifold, promoting Lattimer to the top step, Massarella into second and a grateful Nathan Wells into third. It was a fitting final round of the year for this exciting class and the close competitiveness of both classes bodes well for 2015.