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.