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Clay Pigeon IKR

With continued growth in all of the main classes as well as a visit from F100 90’s, the Summer Series finale was the busiest meeting yet. This was to be the day that the championships were decided and all was still to play for across the board.

Cadet – Champion, Luke Adams
Luke Adams began the day with a 2 point advantage over brother, Jake. The boys benefited from early commitment to the series, as the class has grown from just 3 entries at Round 1 to 9 at Round 3. Bradley Sheppard continued his form from Round 2, showing great pace from the outset, but newcomer Dan Mackintosh threatened to upset the apple cart with a strong showing in qualifying and the heats. Ethan Perry was also looking competitive and clearly determined to keep Dan and Bradley on their toes. The final was hotly contested, with Dan ultimately taking the honours from Bradley in second and Ethan in third. Another strong performance from Luke Adams ensured he finished at the front of a closely fought battle for fourth, just ahead of Jake Adams and Ollie Tyler. Congratulations to Luke on securing the first ever Clay Pigeon IKR cadet title!

Senior Rotax – Champion, Alex Cobb
Consistently the largest and most competitive grid in the series and you can always rely on these drivers to put on a show. The day began with four drivers separated by as many points, Alex Cobb holding a 2 point lead over nearest rival, Peter Jeanes. After winning R2, Peter was still doing his best to recover from an incident at R1 that put a big dent in his title hopes. He went about his business the only way he knows how, flat out and did what he could to take the title. A dominant display saw him take the final, closely followed by Luke Chard-Maple. Ultimately however, the end result was out of his hands and Alex knew what he had to do. Quick and consistent as always, he brought his kart home safely in third place and secured the Championship.

Senior TKM + Easy Kart – Champion, Oli Nitch-Smith
You’ve got the theme by now, more drivers in this class too and in both sub-classes. It won’t be long before we have a separate Easy Kart grid but for the time being friendly racing with TKM’s provides some good battles, with the lighter TKM’s perhaps having a slight edge in the bends and the Easy Karts powering away in the acceleration zones. The TKM title was Oli Nitch- Smith’s to lose and he didn’t disappoint with another dominant display. Easy Kart newcomer Darren Smith kept himself just ahead of Oli for the whole day, finishing first on circuit and in class. The runner up spot was less of a certainty as a mixture of poor reliability and downright stupidity in previous rounds left Nick Cridge and Chris Cox locked in an incredibly close battle for the honours. On this occasion Chris just about held on for second in class on the day but that wasn’t enough to overcome Nick’s 2 point advantage in the Championship.

Senior Pro Kart – Champion, Joe Higgins
5 entries at R1 developed into 14 at R3, though no change at the front as Joe Higgins and Jeff Johnson showed they were still the daddies of the class in qualifying. Unfortunately, other commitments at R2 for Jeff meant that Joe was almost certain to claim the title as long as he finished with a half decent result. Behind them was the battle for runner up between Steve Grose and Gareth Evans. On lap times the two were very close but Gareth consistently managed to stay 2 or 3 places ahead of Steve on track. The final is where it matters though and Steve was able to keep Gareth just about close enough to ensure he took second in the Championship by a single point. Meanwhile, Jeff and Joe treated us to possibly the best battle of the day as they fought for the race win. Jeff held the lead for almost the entire race, Joe getting past briefly mid-way through only to be repassed at the next corner. In the end though, Jeff’s resolve gave in just too soon as Joe passed on the final lap and took the chequered flag.

Rotax 177 – Champion, Antoine Marcade
A class in its own right since round 2, the 177 title went down to the wire, with Antoine Marcade coming in holding the advantage. Gary Prebble wasn’t ready to give up though and showed great pace, getting in amongst the top runners in the lightweight class. Gary completed a sterling drive to finish 5th on track but Antoine held off Andy Cutliffe to finish third in class and take the title by one point.

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Two tracks upgrade their timing

Multi-sector timing has gone live at Clay Pigeon Kart Club and West of Scotland Kart Club, enabling members to benefit from the same level of information that Super One drivers use.

The move to multiple sector times has been done without the need to replace their existing MyLaps transponders or decoders saving the club and their members tens of thousands of pounds. Alpha Timing recently teamed up with MyLaps to offer a two-for-one deal on additional MyLaps decoders necessary for the providing multiple sector times and the committees at both Clay Pigeon and Larkhall took up the offer immediately.

Rod Taylor, treasurer at West of Scotland Kart Club commented: “Before committing to the Alpha system I thoroughly researched the market for a new timing system. There was great pressure to move in the direction of the system being adopted by a couple of clubs and championships, but the cost is huge. The Alpha system seemed to offer just what we wanted and at a sensible price. I can’t say how pleased my club are that we made this choice. Alpha have been totally supportive during the installation and training period. Our Race Control team took to it extremely quickly and found it easy to use.”

Clay Pigeon Race Report

Clay Pigeon Race Report

Championship Round 2 & Formula Blue O Plates, 14th April 2014

The second club round of the year was enhanced by the Junior and Senior Blues competing for   their O Plates.

Daniel Lamport won the MiniMax final after an early-race battle with Tommy Foster but when Foster retired, the way was clear for Lamport. Harry Gooding was 2nd by 0.5s with Riley Philips less than a tenth behind.

Junior TKM and the Junior Blue O Plate field raced together with Blue Jake Drew Calvert leading all the way ahead of TKM Cole Edwards. The next Blue home was Taylor Waldron in 8th overall. Ross Deal moved up to second in TKM.

Shanaka Clay won Junior Rotax by a large margin from Alex Forshaw while the only X30 in the race, Josh Pickford, won overall just ahead of Clay.

In the combined Cadet class Ethan Rees won IAME four-tenths ahead of the Honda winner Guy Cunnington. Second IAME was Reece Lycett in 10th.

Even more classes were combined on the main Senior grid where James Moorcroft won Rotax and overall. Sammy Bourlet won in X30, Leon Lerego KGP and Julian Howell in Rotax 177.

Senior Blue had a full grid with a B Final which was won by Elis Jackson who made it up to 14th in the A Final. Martin Wheeler led all the way in the A Final to win by over 6s. Douglas Simpson was 2nd for the first half of the race but he was overtaken by Ross Adamson, James Rees and Stuart Gray who finished in that order.

Michael Eastwell took the lead of the TKM Extreme and Masters final on lap four and pulled away from Charlie Bruce-White and Jamie Patten. Anwar Beroul-Smith was the Masters winner in fourth.

IKR series for Clay Pigeon

A non-MSA “IKR” series has been announced for Clay Pigeon, initially for three meetings in July, August and September.

“We have created a fresh and exciting set of regulations, designed to reduce the cost of kart racing to a minimum, without sacrificing the competitive edge we all enjoy,” the organisers say.

Registration for the Championship costs £70 and includes slick tyres for the series. Several local teams, including Sam Jenkins Motorsport and Poole Bay Racing have already pledged their support.

The championship classes will run on the Duro SL46 racing slick tyre, known for providing strong levels of grip with outstanding durability. Competitors will be limited to a single set of slick tyres for the duration of the Championship.

Further information is available on claypigeonikr.co.uk

Driver’s Diary – Chris plays away at Clay Pigeon

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The cleanest of karts fi tting perfectly into the back of a Golf Estate

Yes, as you might have noticed from the new title, I am technically no longer a beginner. After completing six race meetings, including an ARKS test, I’ve left my “novice” label behind and moved to green plates. Yet my promotion is tinged with sadness as this month Forest Edge Kart Club in Hampshire lost one of its members.

John Fleming was just 22 when he died suddenly during a trip to Germany. A tribute to John is elsewhere in this edition but I cannot help but remember his smiling face and glasses as I reflect on my first season in karting. We started as novices with our examination in February and this month he too was due to come off his black plates. It will inevitably be a sombre experience when the club gathers next time at the track.

When it comes to tracks, 95% of my karting experience has been focused on Forest Edge. The club’s been good to me, ever helpful in the Wright Technology Centre, and its location just north of Winchester makes it close to home too. But this month I have been somewhat unfaithful — with a trip down to Dorset.

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Victory to David brought some cheer to Team Wright

Team Wright headed to Clay Pigeon for a much-needed practice session for me. My last race left a lot to be desired with a DNF in the final and poor performances in the previous heats. I failed to concentrate properly on practice the previous day and this had a direct effect on the Sunday. If there is one thing I have learned, it’s the knowledge that it is vital to use practice to maximum effect. Tracks vary from hour to hour, so set up has to compensate for that and not making the most of that time leaves you highly exposed to rival drivers. Thankfully, David Wright secured a win in his class to give some cheer to the team.

I wanted to learn as much as I could from Clay to improve my kart’s handling. As my car pulled up on the Friday, the first thing that hit me was how cold and windy it was. Hardly surprising perhaps on top of a hill, but this was still meant to be the height of the British summer.

It wasn’t long before I got chatting to a couple of guys at the track with what I can only describe as the most immaculate karts I’d ever seen. They looked like they’d just emerged from a Kensington showroom. There were no marks on the bodywork; there wasn’t even dust on the axle or the side of the frames. A quick glance at my battle-scarred CRG sitting on its trailer took me back eight months to when it too looked brand spanking new.

Time was marching on and soon the WTC was in position. But before practice could start, I needed a few repairs. The August round of racing saw my battery holder fall apart and a stub axle wasn’t looking too healthy either.

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Tricked up with sensors – a full report in the next issue

David and his Dad Colin set to work on the CRG and before long I was pounding the shorter circuit that is Clay. It feels a great track, with some tight sequences challenging a driver’s precision. My favourite is the long straight punctuated by the slight kink left which tests any karter’s mettle heading into Billies.

It was here that my problems surfaced with an extremely twitchy rear end under braking. The brakes had always been fierce – either full on or full off – but by now

something needed to be done. Colin took the kart out as this was the best way to fully understand what was wrong. Within a few laps he was already a second quicker than me. In the pits, he tweaked the brakes and adjusted the front and rear track.

After a few more laps and a few more tweaks the kart was feeling 1000% better, balanced into Billies and more predictable under braking. A heavy shower halted proceedings a bit before the final session of the day. Suddenly, there were big power issues. The Rotax 125FR wouldn’t rev beyond 11,500rpm. On another lap, the spluttered to a complete halt!

Were these the first signs of the engine needing a rebuild? I certainly hoped not as the kart needed to make the rest of the season within the life of this current build. The only thing for it was to remove the engine and give it a good looking over.

A couple of weeks later I got a call from Chief Engineer David. A fuel pump was totally blocked, starving the unit and the power valve had stuck because it was coated with carbon. The carb was also filthy inside. These problems had now been solved, to my great relief.

It’ll be back in action in the first week of September, when I’ll also be fully testing some very interesting data-gathering sensors from Aim Technologies. Cannot wait to properly analyse my speed, GPS position and lateral and linear G-forces heading into Winger’s Dip!