Club 2000 | Round 1 | 8 January 2022
The weather didn’t seem to put a damper on the day as we welcomed some new and old faces to Club 2000 for the first round of 2022. From the morning, the rain seemingly got heavier and heavier up to lunch. When we returned to the track, it had stopped although the track remained wet. At the beginning of the finals, not only did the rain pick up, but the wind did too, resulting in some quality off-track entertainment as we saw a group of people trying to tame a wild gazebo.
Please note - Events written here are from my point of view for your entertainment and may differ to what happened in your point of view.
Out of the 12 entries, we had a grand total of 8 novices this round - some of which had raced with us before. Many of the drivers struggled getting used to the wet track in practice but for qualifying, they began to hone it in. 2021 Champion, Teddie Cooper (79) was quick and was quite unchallenged, taking home maximum points and taking the fastest lap in each race – the quickest being a 53.255 in the final.
After missing out on qualifying, Max Wheatley (12) had an impressive start, passing 5 drivers and taking 7th on the first lap. The start was quite jumpy as tensions were high but with no advantage taken from the few who were twitchy, no penalties were given. The race seemed to be quite scrambled as drivers kept spinning while pushing the limits. The pair in the lead, Teddie Cooper (79) and Harry Samuel (11) kept in control the entire race, gapping the rest of the competition by 8s as they crossed the finish. After keeping up with the leaders quite nicely, Alfie Rich (37) had an unfortunate spin coming out of the last corner on the last lap, leaving Max (12) to inherit 3rd after starting 12th.
Again, it was quite scrambled. Harry (11) had an unfortunate start, spinning around on the first corner and dropping to 8th. Despite this, he put his head down and began his charge toward the front. As he made his way through the field, he made a few good overtakes, including a great move past Arthur Pharoah (24) around 180. Theo Hamilton (30) also had a good race, putting in some clean laps and capitalising on others spinning, putting him in 7th after starting 11th.
Being a bit too excited to get going, Freddie (69) took off a bit too early and picked up a jump start penalty, despite this, he put his head down and put in some good laps. Meanwhile, towards the front, Teddie (79) immediately began pulling a huge lead as 2nd to 4th were having a close race. Despite Max’s (12) defence, Harry (11) spotted a gap to the inside into the French Curve. It was brave considering the conditions but it paid off and he took 2nd. Soon after, Alfie (37) passed Max (12) too and took 3rd. Gradually making his way through the field, Arthur (24) made an impressive move around the outside of Harlie Cooper (82) around the Esses and took 8th.
The rain returned and coming around the first corner, we had some synchronised spinning from a few drivers. Luckily, everyone came out unscathed and they continued racing. Onto the 2nd lap, Alfie (37) got a good run out of Paddock and bravely moved to the inside of Max (12) into the kink and took 3rd. Alfie (37) began putting pressure on Harry (11) but he was defending well. On lap 6, Alfie (37) finally found a gap and took 2nd. A lap later, Sam Howell (8) found his way past Max (12) and took 4th place.
1st – Teddie Cooper (79)
2nd – Alfie Rich (37)
3rd – Harry Samuel (11)
4th – Sam Howell (8)
5th – Max Wheatley (12)
In the Honda Cadet class, any driver who has never finished within the top 5 in a final participates in the Clubman class. Trophies are awarded to the highest finishing drivers within this class alongside their Honda Cadet results.
1st - Alfie Rich (37)
2nd - Harry Samuel (11)
3rd - Sam Howell (8)
4th - Max Wheatley (12)
Last year’s lonely driver, Alex Beale (43) has moved up to Junior Rotax and ex Honda Cadet driver, Will Rogers (53) is fulfilling the title for the first round. Hopefully we’ll see some more entries for Minimax for the rest of the year but for the first round, Will (53) was getting some necessary seat time. It was tough for him as the conditions were less than favourable, however he held his chin up high, and kept driving. His fastest lap was a 54.833, set in heat 3.
Many of last year’s drivers stayed with us for this year and as expected, Alex Beale (43) has had his Minimax restrictor taken out to be promoted to Junior Rotax. Euan Richards (29) started off the year strong with, I believe, his best round so far in his Club 2000 career – a quadruple 3rd place finish. 2021 Champion, Matthew Copsey (97) was challenged by a strong-looking Jenson Weston (34) but ultimately came out on top, with Jenson (34) ending the round just 4 points behind. Jenson (34) set the fastest lap however – a 49.559 in heat 3. Cameron Pottle (7) also started the year well, driving aggressively in all the right ways.
Most of qualifying was run under yellow flag and as Euan Richards (29) set a rather quick lap early-on, he started in 2nd. Jenson Weston (34) got a good start though, and took 1st by the end of the first lap. On lap 4, Jenson made a mistake, allowing Matthew Copsey (97) to take the lead. A lap later, Cameron Pottle (7) suffered a spin leaving Elliot Reed-Hughes (95) and Alex Beale (43) to take 5th and 6th respectively. A couple laps later though, Cameron (7) took 6th back from Alex (43).
Again, Jenson (34) had a good start and got past Matthew (97) for 1st. Meanwhile, Elliott (95) also had a good start and passed Sam Cooper (44) for 4th. A lap later, Alex (43) and Finnlay Stubbings (58) passed Cameron (7) to take 6th and 7th. Onto lap 6, Elliott (95) seemed to have had an issue as he peeled off into the pits and retired. On track, Cameron (7) made his way past Finnlay (58) when just another lap later, Alex (43) suffered from a spin around the Esses – Cameron (7) and Finnlay (58) went through to finish 5th and 6th.
Coming into the French Curve, there was a bit of a tangle from 5th backwards with, seemingly, nobody at fault. Finnlay (58), Alex (43) and Will Rogers (53 Minimax) passed through unscathed. Cameron (7) suffered the most, dropping from 5th to 10th. Almost immediately, he passed the Jnr TKMs and on lap 3, he passed Will (53 Minimax) coming out of 180 to ultimately finish 6th with Sam (44) pulling off into the pits. Meanwhile, at the front, Matthew (97) had been reeling in Jenson (34) at a good rate and on the last lap, he was in striking distance. Coming into Senna, he bravely lunged down the inside and cleanly took 1st.
Coming into Senna, there was contact between Cameron (7) and Finnlay (58) who seemed to misjudge the braking point, resulting in a black and white warning flag. Alex (43) capitalised from this and took 5th by the end of the first lap. At the front, Euan (29) was putting pressure on Jenson (34). The pair drove well but Jenson (34) didn’t crack and Euan (29) couldn’t find a way past. Coming up to lap 7, Cameron (7) put in some quick laps and was within striking distance of Finnlay (58). He quickly got past and took 6th place.
1st – Matthew Copsey (97)
2nd – Jenson Weston (34)
3rd – Euan Richards (29)
4th – Sam Cooper (44)
5th – Alex Beale (43)
Many of last year’s Junior TKMs haven’t returned so far this year, leaving us a pair of evenly-matched drivers, William Briant (97) and Liam Bermoy (27). The duo drove together at the back of the Junior Rotax grid and they both challenged each-other well although many of their battles were broken up by blue flags. For next round, we hope to see more drivers to allow the grid to race alone. William (97) took home the most points but Liam (27) set the quicker lap time – a 55.259 in heat 3.
1st – William Briant (97)
2nd – Liam Bermoy (27)
Junior & Senior Prokart
After a year of racing junior rallycross, we saw the return of Alfie Campbell (40). He took time to hone his pace in but once he did, he was quick. Jeremy “Iceman” Lock (72), named for his cool and collected driving style, returned to Club 2000 too but this time, in his Senior Prokart. Harvey Cursley (44) started the year with great pace and had three 1st place finishes. After seemingly struggling a bit with his kart in the morning, Alfie Wilkes (22) also picked up some decent pace and put himself into 2nd in every race.
Harvey Cursley (44) secured pole with a lap-time impressively 1.1s quicker than Alfie Campbell’s (40) in 2nd. On the start, Alfie C (40) struggled and dropped behind Alfie Wilkes (22). Coming around Paddock, he then bashed wheels with Oscar Coughlan (62) as the pair fought very closely. Immediately, Jeremy (72) and Harvey (44) began pulling away from the rest of the field which had spread out a lot. Alfie C (40) was right behind Oscar (62) for a while, waiting for the right moment - which he found on lap 6 to take 4th.
This race was quite uneventful to be honest. The start was very tidy and the drivers remained very uniform. On lap 3, Oscar (62) suffered a spin. When he got back on track, one of his engines had cut out. With the novice unsure what to do, he stayed out and was stuck driving, essentially, an overweight Honda Cadet.
Again, it was a rather uneventful race. This time, Alfie C (40) was close behind Alfie W (22). On lap 6, the pair were at their closest but their driving was faultless, leaving no room for overtakes to be made. After lap 6, Alfie W (22) picked up the pace and almost reeled in Harvey (44). With, maybe, a couple more laps, he could’ve made a move. However, he didn’t get within striking distance in time.
We had an interesting start to the final. Being Senior, Jeremy Lock (72) started pole. As the lights went green, he couldn’t launch off the line and pulled to the left out of the way. Harvey (44) and Alfie W (22) were hindered but Alfie C (40) found a path through, kept his foot in and took the lead. Once everyone had passed him, Jeremy (72) jumped up and calmly restarted his stalled engine to continue. Out front, Alfie C (40) drove well and just about held off Alfie W (22) who was never more than a second behind.
1st – Alfie Campbell (40)
2nd – Alfie Wilkes (22)
3rd – Harvey Cursley (44)
4th – Oscar Coughlan (62)
Many of the usual suspects returned this year including last years champion, Arundel Hughes (24). As usual with the Seniors, there was some great, close racing from everyone. Stuart Smith (92) looked particularly strong even with his string of unfortunate events in the third heat. Harvey Hollick (55) was quick too, winning heat 1 and 3 against a very competitive grid. The fastest lap was set by Stuart (92) while he was pushing to make his way to the front in heat 3 – a 49.654.
On the rolling start, Charlie Flux (86) bogged down, holding up the line behind him. Stuart Smith (92) who was directly behind, managed to gain some time back and, soon, he passed Charlie (86) to take 3rd. On the next lap, he bravely moved to the inside of Josh Twitchen (25) into the French Curve and took 2nd. On the start, Arundel Hughes (24) capitalised on the slow line of drivers and took 5th by the end of the first lap. A few laps later, Charlie (86) began to look vulnerable to Vincent Anderson (21). Despite his defence, Vincent (21) found a way past at Paddock. Bryn Evans (77) had a close battle with Arundel Hughes (24) with the pair even banging wheels fighting side-by-side around Senna. On the penultimate lap, Arundel (24) passed and stayed ahead. On the last lap, Vincent (21) suffered a very unlucky spin on the last corner and donated Josh Constable (12) and Charlie (86) 6th & 7th place.
Stuart (92) had a great start. From last, he made his way to 4th by the end of the first lap including a great lunge onto Josh T (25) into 180. After battling with Stuart (92) on the first lap, Harvey Hollick (55) spun on paddock and dropped to last. Soon after though, he had a good battle with Vincent (21). After being passed a lap prior, Vincent (21) got a great run out of Paddock to pass Harvey (55) across the start finish line. Into Senna, Harvey (55) lunged to the inside and stayed ahead only to unfortunately drop his chain a lap later. On the penultimate lap, Stuart (92) moved to the inside of Arundel (24) into the long left-hander of the Esses and took the lead.
After some great pace leading up to now, it fell apart for Stuart (92) in this heat. On the start, he pulled away much before the start lights and picked up a 5s jump start penalty. Coming around the Warren, Harvey (55) executed a perfect switch-back onto Stuart (92) and had the lead on the back straight. Sadly, Stuart (92) misjudged his braking point, tapped the rear of Harvey (55) and sent him into the tyres. Harvey (55) was okay and continued racing from last. On the other hand, Josh T (25) had a good start, moving up to 2nd just before Arundel (24) pirouetted around Paddock, dropping to the back. Coming into the French Curve, Vincent (21) had a near miss with the boundary tyre wall as he spun and parked next to it at high speed. Although he was perfectly okay, he couldn’t get going again and retired.
After some great battles in the previous heats, the final was quite uninteresting, A few shuffles on the start saw Harvey (55) take 2nd from Josh T (25), Arundel took 4th from Bryn (77) and Vincent (21) passed Charlie (86) and Josh C (12) for 6th. 2 pairs of drivers remained close throughout the race with the rest of the pack spreading out. After being passed on the start, Josh T (25) began putting pressure on Harvey (55) and Josh C (12) stuck closely to Vincent (21). Both defending drivers drove very well and never left a gap open to allow their attackers through.
1st – Stuart Smith (92)
2nd – Harvey Hollick (55)
3rd – Josh Twitchen (25)
4th – Arundel Hughes (24)
5th – Bryn Evans (77)