Southern Race Review

As some Winter Championships come to an end, the 2014 championships kick off across the country

Clay Pigeon Kart Club Championship Round 1 & NKRA Blue Challenge (South & Wales) Round 1
Clay Pigeon, 9th March
Words by Mary-Ann Horley. Photo by Terry Thorne

Clay Pigeon’s first club championship round also included the first round of the NKRA Southern Blue Challenge. The first final out was Junior Rotax and Josh Pickford led all the way, finishing over 12s ahead of Oliver Holden, who had to gain five places in six laps to get to 2nd, followed at a distance by Barney Fry. TKM Extreme and TKM Masters were running together, with Michael Eastwell winning after passing Charlie Bruce-White and early leader Lewis Round to win by 2.2s. Tom Hackett took 3rd after a battle with Jamie Patten and Lee Evans gained seven places to finish as top Master. Junior TKM and Junior Blue were also combined with Alex Rees winning by three tenths from Harry Millward after fighting all race.

Cole Edwards took advantage of this for a brief spell in the lead but unfortunately didn’t finish. Luke Lattimer, a novice, won Blue from Thomas Massarella. Minimax was a close race with Tommy Foster, Riley Philips, Daniel Lamport and Harry Gooding all finishing in the same second, although Foster held on to the lead all race. Philips took 2nd ahead of Lamport late in the race. Guy Cunnington led Honda Cadet lights-to-flag but that was the only thing that did stay the same in that final with lively racing going on throughout the field. Ryan Taylor-Trueman took 2nd after staining seven places in the first few laps. Ben Wooldridge won by 3s in the widely-spread IAME Cadet field ahead of Shay Keough. In the combined Senior Rotax, 177 and 177 Masters final, James Moorcroft won Senior and overall, Julian Howell 177 and Rob Prince Masters. Senior Blue was competitive with Ian Branfield taking the win by 0.155s from Chris Derrick, who overtook Keith Wilson halfway through.

Lydd Kart Club Winter Series Round 4 9th March
Words and images by Gary Kimber

The Winter series at Lydd concluded with another excellent meeting, full of fine racing on a glorious sunny day. The Bambino title had already been decided in favour of Tristan Thorpe, while with Charlie Humphreys absent it meant the main focus was on the battle between Ethan Barford and Oliver Denny over 2nd and 3rd in the series. Oliver set himself up for the win on the day by topping the times in the first two runs, while Ethan produced his fastest ever Bambino time on his very last run before he graduates to the Clubman class. Carla Simpson-Stacey scored a very clear win in the Honda Clubman B Final ahead of Sebastian Bloch, Louis Horsley and Jamie Perilly, but her good run ended on the first attempt at running the A Final when she got assaulted by another kart on the opening lap – prompting the red flags.

Connor Clifford led the final away from the start and eased away to win by over 3s, his victory also enough to claim the title from Conner Garlick. Callum Tadman held off the attentions of James Wharrier to secure 2nd, while Aston Millar took 4th. After a first corner incident put off a promising battle, Daniel Brett got the better of the start and led from Sam White and Tom Kite.

On lap 9 though, Daniel suddenly slipped to 4th as Sam led from Tom. They maintained positions to the flag, with Alfie Smith in 3rd. Nick Packham and Charlie Peet completed the top six, while the 177 victory went to Ossy Yusuf ahead of Jack Bird. Cameron Clarke‚Äôs four wins in the first four rounds had already secured him the Championship even though he wasn’t racing this month. Alfie Glenie went through the day unbeaten in the Honda Cadet class, taking two very clear Heat wins before leading all the way in the final as well. The final was a closer run thing, but he still eased clear to an untroubled win. Bradley Hardy passed Freddy Simpson-Stacey for 2nd on lap 2 and held off a late challenge from Harry Whiteley to claim his best result since moving up from Clubman at the start of this Winter series. Alfie‚Äôs win means he pipped Harry to the Championship by a solitary point.

The IAMEs were in the same race with Harry Pears taking the win. The ProKart category again saw Marcus Shephard claim an unbeaten run through the day, claiming the title along the way. Clinton Dunn took 2nd on the day, just ahead of Paula Partridge. Thomas Manning took two very comfortable wins in the heats in Minimax, but was made to work much harder in the Final as Ben Hodge put in a strong performance to finish less than two tenths down. Sam Powell took 3rd on his first outing with a GMS X30 chassis.

Llandow Kart Club Championship Round 2 15th March
Words by Craig Llewellyn

The weather gods again looked kindly on Llandow Kart Club as Round 2 of the 2014 season was accompanied by dry and sunny conditions, although a blustery breeze kept drivers on their toes in South Wales. The Bambino category featured the same three drivers as February and Nathan Browning, Ella Stevens and Max Hall all acquitted themselves well over the full circuit, achieving silver awards all round. The combined Cadet field boasted 15 runners, with the Honda section the best represented. However, it was IAME driver Shay Keough who crossed the line first in the final, holding off the Honda-powered Ferguson brothers by less than a second, with Comer winner Max Fenlon in 4th.

Junior Honda was once again dominated by Celtic Challenge champion Kristian Prosser, who claimed victory in all three heats before cruising to an 11s win in the final. Patrick Hill and novice Jack Bligh completed the top three each time – remaining in the that order despite being closely matched. Rob Ellis remained unbeaten throughout the Junior Rotax competition, although his margin of victory remained at around 4s as Thomas Croydon, David Spiller and Tom Ford took it in turns to give chase.

Despite Spiller’s ever-presence in the top three, it was Croydon who emerged at the head of the battle for runners-up honours in the final. Minimax was again claimed by Riley Phillips, who won his class in three of the four outings, and the day’s other win went to Jem Hempworth, who comfortably headed Kieran Clarke and novice Callum Beeken in the battle for 2nd in the main event. Yousuf Ashraf saved his best for last in Junior TKM, building on a series of top three heat results to finally come out on top when it mattered in the Final. Alex Rees (twice) and Hugo Holmes won heats but had to settle for 3rd and 4th respectively in the main event as Ashraf and Sam Johns pulled away to be separated by just 0.12s at the chequered flag.

Rees, however, was later rewarded with Driver of the Day honours. Ben Stevens (twice) and Cristiano Nardone claimed the heat wins and Danny Griffiths and Chris Lipscomb were forced to take a watching brief, but came good in the main event to fill the top two spots, with Nardone also finding the podium after Stevens was left with a DNF. Senior Rotax proved to be the domain of Gareth Taylor and Dilip Singh. Having finished second overall in Round 1, Taylor opened up with victory in heats 1 and 3 and 3rd in heat 2, but it was Singh, after a quiet start, who came good at the end, denying his rivals by a couple of seconds in the Final with the fastest lap. Taylor’s day ended with another top three result, but he had to be content with 3es on the road after Josh Gray stole into 2nd spot to add to his heat 2 victory.