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Covkartsport, Round 7 2014

National Series 2014 – Round 7 – Lakeside, 12th October

The Lakeside circuit is one of the favourites on the COVKARTSPORT calendar. The circuit allows no room for error with close barriers around the whole circuit and the tight twisty start to the track is equalled out by a flat-out blast around the back of the circuit, which includes the feared ‘Devil’s Drop’, which is taken flat by the bravest.

After entering the series for the first time at Ellough Park, Ethan Holmes sprung a surprise by taking overall victory around the tight Lakeside circuit. Holmes, who finished twelfth on his debut, produced three strong drives to take the win ahead of Daniel Beardmore and championship leader Sam Lovelace. Beardmore took second with his best points total of the season so far whilst Lovelace extended his lead to give himself one hand on the championship going into the final round. Fourth placed Skye Siddall continues to improve as the season goes on and has now set herself up for a top five in the championship standings. Another driver who continues to improve race by race is fifth placed Taylor Ashcroft, his best result of the season including his first race win. Jodi Humphreys’ sixth place meant that he stays in third in the championship but only one point behind James Saunders, who could only finish eighth at Lakeside. Splitting the two drivers was the highest Plus driver in the results. Joe Tuffin drove well to top the Plus class race standings for the first time and seals third in the Plus standings as well. Jack Baines sealed his first win on his return to the series on his way to ninth whilst Tom Sherriff rounded out the top ten.

With two rounds of the championship to go, the perfect way to stamp your authority on the championship is to take the penultimate victory and that is exactly what Brandon Williams did at Lakeside. Williams took the victory with a dominating performance, taking a full score of sixty points and a five point championship lead. Behind Williams in a distant second place came Connor Marsh, who scored his best result and first podium since the opening round at Sandown. Third place went to debutant Adam Kellett. Kellett scored two race wins during his first event and could be one to watch if he returns in 2015 as he had to fight off the attention of reigning champion Alex Harding to make the podium. Behind Harding came Daniel Truman and fifth place leaves him in a tight battle with Williams for the title. Sixth went to Mark Bramford, who is still looking for a race win this year whilst Neil Vincent led home a four-way tie for seventh. Any ties are decided on lap time so Vincent finished ahead of Richard Dunn, debutant Tom Murray with Tyler Mays rounding out the top ten. Chris Brookshaw finished sixteenth overall but claimed his first COVKARTSPORT race win during the day.

Former champion David Whitehouse has struggled for form in 2014 but kept himself in touch in the championship with victory at Lakeside. Whitehouse, who won the title in 2011 and 2012, now sits ten points off the championship lead going into the final round. Second placed Allan Smith pushed himself into the heart of the championship battle, finishing one point behind Whitehouse, whilst Marcus Lungley took the final step on the podium with another assured performance. Fourth for Wayne Lidgbird meant he still has a strong shot at title, now being only one point behind Allan Smith. Chris Smith returned to the series with a bang, claiming fifth overall and a race win during the day ahead of Mike Mooney and Robert Ford, who claimed his best result of the season with seventh. With all his championship rivals ahead, Jeff Chapman could have been disappointed with eighth at Lakeside but the way the dropped scores work, it meant he left the event stretching his lead out to five points from Allan Smith and Wayne Lidgbird and looking strong for Milton Keynes. Slawek Piskorz scored his best result of his debut season with ninth, his second top ten in a row, meaning Piskorz had all but sealed the Novice crown ahead of Dan Beech. Sam Foster lost his slim hopes of the title with tenth.

COVKARTSPORT race report

For the first time in the history of COVKARTSPORT, the series rolled into the town of Beccles to compete at the flat but technical Ellough Park circuit. The championship is well into the second half of the season and every lap counts for the title contenders but at least the dry conditions did not look like changing to play their part.

James Saunders kept his championship chances alive with a strong, consistent performance to claim overall victory in the Junior Class at Ellough. The win, three points clear of second place, allowed Saunders to close the gap to the points leader Sam Lovelace, who could only finish third. Matthew Tetley put his local knowledge to good use to split the championship rivals and looked on course for victory before struggling in the final heat to take a career best second overall.

Jodi Humphreys almost made the podium finishing one point behind Lovelace but fourth place was enough to keep him in contention, making it a realistic three horse race for the title. The only two female representatives in the Junior class put on a strong battle for fifth overall with Plus category leader Ami Jerger beating Skye Siddall to the position, whilst Daniel Beardmore’s speed deserved higher than seventh on the day. Joe Tuffin beat his season’s best of tenth, coming home in eighth overall whilst Luke O’Sullivan and Jack Lungley rounded out the top ten. It had not been the season that Lightweight champion, Alex Harding, wanted in defence of his title. Even more so that he had not managed to make a podium. Harding changed all that at Ellough with a visit to the top step of the podium and moved back in to championship contention in the process. Former Lightweight Plus champion John Stanton made a welcome return to the podium in second ahead of Daniel Truman, who in contrast scored his third podium out of six rounds.

Truman’s rival in the points, Brandon Williams, finished in fourth after equalling three other drivers on points. Gary Jones, Rikki Gunner and Christopher Dobson all finished equal with Williams but lost out due to a slower lap time but it was a career best for Gunner and Dobson, finishing in sixth and seventh respectively. Another former champion Graham Wallace took eighth ahead of impressive rookie Richard Harrison (who won a race on his debut) and Connor Marsh. Sean Brierley finally claimed his race win during the day but suffered a penalty in his first race to finish in 12th overall. For the fifth time in six rounds, a new name topped the podium in the Heavyweight class. Marcus Lungley has shown flashes of speed in his few races in the series but has never been able to put a day together. This changed at Ellough Park as he claimed his victory in a hard fought battle with championship contender Neil Humpherston. The duo finished equal on points with Lungley taking the win on lap time, whilst Humpherston could not be disappointed as he gained valuable ground in the points.

Third went to Mr. Consistent James Fitchew, who claimed his third podium in a row since joining the series at round four. Michael Holdcroft just missed out on the podium but finished fourth after holding off David Whitehouse on laptime by 0.01s. But the result was enough to keep Whitehouse in contention for his third title in four years. Sixth placed Tim Ellis had a strong run equalling Whitehouse and Holdcroft on points but dropped due to his slower laptime. Carl Bannister claimed a season’s best of seventh with more championship contenders in Allan Smith and Sam Foster close behind in eighth and ninth respectively. Tenth place was a best result of the season for novice racer Slawek Piskorz, who has impressed in his debut season. With two rounds left, all the title contenders know who they are fighting with but there are many others who could spoil the party and prove they will be the ones to watch for 2015.

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COVKARTSPORT – Round 5

National Series 2014 – Round 5, 20th July – Ancaster

Round five whilst also doubled up as the annual Open Championship. This allows guest drivers to take on the very best drivers that COVKARTSPORT has to offer.

This also features a change in the format. While the drivers still compete in three races that count towards the championship, they also take part in finals based on the points accumulated during the day. The finals don’t count towards the championship but allow the drivers to do battle for the Open crown.

After qualifying fourth for the final, Jodi Humphreys raced hard to carve past the early leaders and take victory in the Junior class ahead of polesitter James Saunders. Following Humphreys through the field in the early stages, the fast-improving Skye Siddall scored her first podium in COVKARTSPORT as she pulled clear of fellow female driver Ami Jerger, who finished as the winner of the Junior Plus class and fourth overall. Championship leader Sam Lovelace followed home in fifth after a quiet final, leading home the second of the Plus category drivers Matthew Tetley, who continues to improve and impress after missing the opening round. Tetley is now Jerger’s nearest challenger for the Plus title and the next circuit is his ‘home’ event at Ellough.

Stephen Allsopp claimed the Lightweight Open Championship title with a dominating display from second on the grid. Allsopp, who started second on the grid, overtook Gary Jones on the opening lap and never looked back, winning ahead of Rhianna Purcocks, who took her first COVKARTSPORT podium in second. Another newcomer to the podium was third placed Mike Eccles, a local to the Ancaster circuit making his debut in the series. The Lightweight Plus Champion came home in fourth in the form of Richard Dunn. Dunn, who started fifth, managed to retain his points lead going into the summer break as he fought off the attention of fellow Plus category racer Adam Wheeldon. Fifth place gave Wheeldon his best result of the season after a tough first half of the year and sixth placed Neil Vincent moved up to fourth in the points and first of the lighter Lightweight drivers. Sean Brierley continues to be more and more of force with consistency being added to his speed as he came home seventh and scored good points to move up to seventh in the championship points table whilst the extremely consistent Connor Marsh finished in ninth and is still looking for his first race win after five second places in his debut year. Pole position holder Gary Jones suffered during the ‘A’ final and finished down in ninth place but with a strong points total from the heats, Jones closes the gap to Dunn by five points. Joshua Tomlinson rounded out the top ten and James Curtis came out as the top Novice ahead of Aaron Hipkiss. The top vetran in COVKARTSPORT went to Lightweight Plus driver Stuart Lindsay, who finished thirty-third overall.

Chris Daines may not be taking part in a full campaign this year but he became the first two-time winner as he claimed the Heavyweight Open Championship. Despite leading every lap of the A final, Daines had to fight off the attentions of three other drivers to take the win, especially Russell Endean who finished second on his debut in the series. Third in line at the finish was James Fitchew. The Whilton Mill round winner scored his second podium in only his second start in the series, certainly one to watch for the rest of the season and could have a say in where the title goes at the end of the season. Dean Davis pressurised the top three all race long but could not make his way past, settling for fourth ahead of Michael Holdcroft, who fought with Ed White until late in the race. Sixth placed Sam Foster did his championship challenge no harm by outscoring all of his closest rivals, including a second race win of the season during the day. Wayne Lidgbird managed to pass David Whitehouse going on to the final lap to take seventh and Allan Smith followed home in ninth. Richard Middleton rounded out the top ten during a strong round with top Heavyweight Plus driver Nicklas Mason in fourteenth overall after making the A final with a move in the B final in the last few metres. Slawek Piskorz finished as top novice in 20th, four places ahead of his closest rival.

Chris Daines was announced as the Overall COVKARTSPORT Champion, which is decided by the amount of the points all the A final winners had scored throughout the day.

The drivers now have a summer break to reflect on their championships so far and plan their next move for the final three rounds. The next round of the series is at Ellough Park on Sunday 14th September.

COVKARTSPORT – Round 5

National Series 2014 – Round 5, 20th July – Ancaster

Round five whilst also doubled up as the annual Open Championship. This allows guest drivers to take on the very best drivers that COVKARTSPORT has to offer.

This also features a change in the format. While the drivers still compete in three races that count towards the championship, they also take part in finals based on the points accumulated during the day. The finals don’t count towards the championship but allow the drivers to do battle for the Open crown.

After qualifying fourth for the final, Jodi Humphreys raced hard to carve past the early leaders and take victory in the Junior class ahead of polesitter James Saunders. Following Humphreys through the field in the early stages, the fast-improving Skye Siddall scored her first podium in COVKARTSPORT as she pulled clear of fellow female driver Ami Jerger, who finished as the winner of the Junior Plus class and fourth overall. Championship leader Sam Lovelace followed home in fifth after a quiet final, leading home the second of the Plus category drivers Matthew Tetley, who continues to improve and impress after missing the opening round. Tetley is now Jerger’s nearest challenger for the Plus title and the next circuit is his ‘home’ event at Ellough.

Stephen Allsopp claimed the Lightweight Open Championship title with a dominating display from second on the grid. Allsopp, who started second on the grid, overtook Gary Jones on the opening lap and never looked back, winning ahead of Rhianna Purcocks, who took her first COVKARTSPORT podium in second. Another newcomer to the podium was third placed Mike Eccles, a local to the Ancaster circuit making his debut in the series. The Lightweight Plus Champion came home in fourth in the form of Richard Dunn. Dunn, who started fifth, managed to retain his points lead going into the summer break as he fought off the attention of fellow Plus category racer Adam Wheeldon. Fifth place gave Wheeldon his best result of the season after a tough first half of the year and sixth placed Neil Vincent moved up to fourth in the points and first of the lighter Lightweight drivers. Sean Brierley continues to be more and more of force with consistency being added to his speed as he came home seventh and scored good points to move up to seventh in the championship points table whilst the extremely consistent Connor Marsh finished in ninth and is still looking for his first race win after five second places in his debut year. Pole position holder Gary Jones suffered during the ‘A’ final and finished down in ninth place but with a strong points total from the heats, Jones closes the gap to Dunn by five points. Joshua Tomlinson rounded out the top ten and James Curtis came out as the top Novice ahead of Aaron Hipkiss. The top vetran in COVKARTSPORT went to Lightweight Plus driver Stuart Lindsay, who finished thirty-third overall.

Chris Daines may not be taking part in a full campaign this year but he became the first two-time winner as he claimed the Heavyweight Open Championship. Despite leading every lap of the A final, Daines had to fight off the attentions of three other drivers to take the win, especially Russell Endean who finished second on his debut in the series. Third in line at the finish was James Fitchew. The Whilton Mill round winner scored his second podium in only his second start in the series, certainly one to watch for the rest of the season and could have a say in where the title goes at the end of the season. Dean Davis pressurised the top three all race long but could not make his way past, settling for fourth ahead of Michael Holdcroft, who fought with Ed White until late in the race. Sixth placed Sam Foster did his championship challenge no harm by outscoring all of his closest rivals, including a second race win of the season during the day. Wayne Lidgbird managed to pass David Whitehouse going on to the final lap to take seventh and Allan Smith followed home in ninth. Richard Middleton rounded out the top ten during a strong round with top Heavyweight Plus driver Nicklas Mason in fourteenth overall after making the A final with a move in the B final in the last few metres. Slawek Piskorz finished as top novice in 20th, four places ahead of his closest rival.

Chris Daines was announced as the Overall COVKARTSPORT Champion, which is decided by the amount of the points all the A final winners had scored throughout the day.

The drivers now have a summer break to reflect on their championships so far and plan their next move for the final three rounds. The next round of the series is at Ellough Park on Sunday 14th September.

COVKARTSPORT – Round 4

National Series 2014 – Round 4 – Whilton Mill

Whilton Mill is always a popular circuit with many drivers and Round Four of the COVKARTSPORT series was no exception.

Warm but overcast conditions greeted all 128 drivers, an attendance record for the series, as they arrived at the circuit and took part in the customary track walks and these conditions stayed the same for the majority of the day.

A consistent start to the season for reigning champion Sam Lovelace meant that he entered round four in second place in the points but that all changed as he finally scored his first win of the season with a dominant display around the Northamptonshire circuit. Lovelace scored a perfect score with three heat wins out of three as he dominated the day, five points clear of a close battle for second, settled in the favour of Luke O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan continues to impress and fought hard to see off the attentions of the equally impressive Matthew Tetley, who claimed his first podium in the series and is now in a position to challenge for the Junior Plus title even after missing the opening round. Fourth place for Daniel Beardmore was his best position of the season whilst title rivals James Saunders and Jodi Humphreys battled hard to keep in touch with points leader Lovelace but had to settle for only fifth and sixth respectively. Reece Lycett claimed seventh ahead of Ami Jerger, the current Junior Plus championship leader while ninth and tenth went to Taylor Ashcroft and Joe Tuffin respectively as they continue to have impressive seasons and securing their places in the top ten of the points table at the half way stage of the season.

In the Lightweight class, Neil Vincent claimed his first podium of the 2014 season and he did it in the right way by taking the top step position. After watching his sister Kayleigh take overall victory at Red Lodge, Neil repeated the feat with a score that included two wins during the day and in turn, moved himself into a strong position to fight for the championship going into the second half of the season. Behind Neil, there was a close battle for the remaining podium positions as Daniel Truman got the better of championship rival Richard Dunn by one point for second whilst the same gap meant that 2013 champion Alex Harding had to settle for fourth. Fifth place went to series newcomer Rhianna Purcocks, who kept out of trouble for a strong result ahead of Jack Wallace and Sean Brierley. Tom Evans raced well to win a close fight between himself, Mark Bramford and another series newcomer Michael Weddell, all the drivers on 48 points and only lap time separating them. This gave Weddell a top ten on his debut, which impressed in a field of 57 drivers in the Lightweight class. Kayleigh Vincent, Rikki Gunner and Steven Lester all scored race wins throughout the day but all finished outside the top ten showing just how competitive the Senior Lightweight class is in 2014.

At Whilton Mill, the Heavyweight class featured its fourth different winner in four rounds as series newcomer James Fitchew claimed overall victory. Fitchew, on his local circuit, had to fight hard for the win with Wayne Lidgbird only a point behind in second. The final step of the podium was taken by Ben Filer, who returned to the series after missing the first three rounds of 2014. Championship leader Jeff Chapman had a strong race day in fourth to increase his championship lead at the halfway point of the season and is looking good to defend his Heavyweight title. Thomas Martin scored his best result of the season with fifth, scoring the same as the championship leader and keeping clear of a titanic battle for sixth between Allan Smith, Sam Foster and David Whitehouse. All three drivers finished the day on 50 points leaving lap time to decide the positions with just over a tenth of a second covering all three. Smith took sixth ahead of Foster while former champion Whitehouse must have been pleased to score his first race win of the season during the event. Josh Overhill kept his points total ticking with ninth and Carl Bannister scored his best result of the season with tenth overall after missing round three. Neil Humpherston and Dean Davis both scored race wins while finishing outside of the top ten in twelfth and fifteenth respectively and after coming close on a number of occasions. Alex Vangeen scored his first COVKARTSPORT race win in the final race of the day.

So it’s Sam Lovelace, Richard Dunn and Jeff Chapman at the top of the championship tables at the half way point of the season. Will they be at the top at the end of the season? The story continues at the Ancaster circuit near Grantham where round five also includes the chance for anyone to become the Open Champion.

Covkart Race Review

National Series 2014, Round 1, Sandown Park

The COVKARTSPORT crew head to Sandown, with 111 drivers signing on to face tough conditions and tough racing!

A new circuit to the series, Sandown Park hosted the opening round of the 2014 National series and also COVKARTSPORT’s highest ever attendance. 111 drivers signed on at the circuit as the rain poured down but as the racing begun, the rain stopped and a day of mixed track conditions tested the field to the maximum. The format for all the drivers is three sprint races with the points scored added up to produce a round winner. Any tie in points is decided by the driver’s fastest lap throughout the day. All the points go towards the driver’s championship total.

Jodi Humphreys has shown flashes of pace during his time in the series but Sandown was the round when it all came together for the youngster. Humphreys, who has had a number of podium finishes in his career, claimed a first round victory with a dominating win in the Junior class giving him an early championship lead. Hot on his heels though is reigning champion Sam Lovelace. Championship favourite Lovelace took two race wins and a second place whilst getting the better of Sam Nicholas, who took his debut podium on only his second ever start in the series. After missing the winter series, Oli Baines returned with a strong fourth place overall ahead of a three way tie for fifth. Last season’s novice champion Luke O’Sullivan managed to hold off series newcomer Reece Lycett and Daniel Beardmore, all three looking like they will be competing for wins this season. A close battle for eighth involved four drivers, two being championship contender in the winter series, James Saunders and Plus Winter Champion Ami Jerger, finishing in eleventh and eighth respectively. Meanwhile, Joe Tuffin scored his first race win, after a few years of trying, in the opening race of the day but suffered in the changing conditions to finish in a respectable twelfth overall.

Sandown Park played host to another new winner, this time in the Lightweight class. After a successful debut season in 2013, Richard Dunn started this season in perfect fashion, claiming a clear victory ahead of second placed Connor Marsh, who is showing how consistency works after scoring three top ten results overall in the winter series without actually winning a race. The final podium spot was fought over by Brandon Williams and Winter Champion Daniel Truman, Williams winning this battle on lap time. 2013 Plus champion Mark Bramford’s plan to move up to Heavyweights did not quite come off but he still had a successful day with three strong results on the way to fifth overall, fighting off the attentions of series debutant Tom Eastwood and regular Danny Henney. Eighth went to Gary Jones, who is looking to win back his Plus championship from Bramford, whilst ninth placed Alex Harding will not be worrying just yet about retaining his title from last season. With such a competitive grid this season, even race wins for former champion Graham Wallace and Rikki Gunner could not save them a place inside the top ten overall, finishing thirteenth and twenty-sixth respectively.

After debuting in the series at the final round of the winter series, 16 year old Ed White showed the field that he will be a contender for the title with a dominating display, winning all three of his races and claiming a clear victory overall. Behind the dominate White came Neil Humpherston and last year’s National champion Jeff Chapman in second and third respectively, both showing strong form early in the season. Winter champion Wayne Lidgbird kept up his form with fourth ahead of Allan Smith and Jonathan Carty. Smith and Carty are both expected to be in contention for the title when we reach the final round in November and have given them a decent start. Paul Lycett scored another top ten for the family, after his son Reece was sixth in the Junior class, fighting off Nicklas Mason for seventh overall. Michael Holdcroft’s win in his opening race helped him to fifthteenth overall whilst novice Slawek Piskorz scored an excellent thirteenth on his debut, which could have been a top ten with his pace. Lawrence Watt did not have the best of days but second place in his second race means he is still looking for a first race win after scoring seven second places in races since he joined full time last season.

With only one round gone, no-one is out of the running for the championship but there is pressure on some drivers to kick start their championship at Red Lodge so that they do not leave themselves with too much catching up to do throughout the year.

To find out more about the series, come and visit our ‘new for 2014’ website at www.covkartsport.co.uk.