Club 2000 | Round 11 | 1 October 2022
We were back to tyre normality after what felt like an eternity! All of the Rotax karts wore Mojos apart from a couple of drivers who'd opted to use up the last of their last Komets. It was good to see everyone on a level playing ground again. Out of the 67 entries, more than half were split between Honda Cadet and Rotax 177 - 21 entries in each!
The track was a bit damp and green to start with, thanks to some early morning rain. A puddle had formed at Senna and it caught almost everyone out on first practice.
The battles for the top three positions were epic and the elbows were fully out between Teddie Cooper (79) and John Richardson (48) in heat 3. Throughout the rest of the grid, there was some great racing too - even many of the novices had a fair share of battling.
Thanks to his very last lap in qualifying, Lewis Riley (90) lined up third on the grid behind Nathan Gange (89). In heat 1, he spent most of his time chasing. Lewis (90) managed to bring the gap down from 0.4s to nothing by lap 8 and he then made a good move for second. On the last lap, Nathan (89) took second back, though, and finished just ahead of Lewis (90) across the line.
Coming around the kink for the first lap of heat 2, a few drivers came together and the battenberg flags had to come out. Both George Phillips (44) and Lewis Riley (90) were sent into the tyres while Nathan (89) and Will Archer (66) took to the grass and lost a load of positions. Thankfully, all drivers were okay and racing resumed on the third lap. John Richardson (48) and Ethan Okoro (34) were promoted to second and third, respectively. To gain his first-ever podium at Red Lodge, Ethan (34) defended hard and well against Zachary Plumb (10) and then Will (66) in the last two laps. Will (66) made a great comeback to even get up to fourth, however, he was penalised 10s due to an OTY under the battenberg flag which dropped him to eighth.
After finishing second in heat 2, John (48) had his eyes set on a win for heat 3. Coming up to Senna, he made a great lunge past Teddie (79) and took the lead. He held it until he came around the Esses, where he ran a little wide and donated the lead back to Teddie (79). The pair settled down until two laps from the end when John (48) passed Teddie (79) down the inside into the Esses. Not long after, Teddie (79) made a switchback onto John (48) through the kink. Into 180, John (48) lunged for the lead but couldn't quite make it stick. Coming up to the last corner, the pair came together down the Simpson Straight (pictured), which donated the win to Nathan (89). Throughout the race, Lewis (90) and George (44) were pushing to make their way through the field. Impressively, the pair made it up to 9th and 12th, respectively.
The top three remained in order for the entire final but there was some great racing further back. Alfie Irvine (7) didn't have a great start and lost 6 positions within the first lap but he kept his head down and made up a good few positions. By lap 6, he'd already passed 4 drivers and was then behind Herbie Wiggins (58). Alfie (7) managed to close the gap from 2.5s down to less than 0.1s on lap 10. Herbie (58) wasn't hanging about and he picked up the pace in order to keep Alfie (7) behind. Ethan (34) was holding onto fourth place up until lap 10 where he, unfortunately, made a mistake and dropped to eighth. On the last lap, Alfie (7) made an optimistic lunge onto Herbie (58) into the last corner. It was well worth a try, but sadly it didn't pay off and Alfie (7) spun to avoid an incident with Herbie (58).
John Richardson | Final | 46.704s
1st – Teddie Cooper (79)
2nd – Nathan Gange (89)
3rd – John Richardson (48)
4th – Lucien Smith (43)
5th – Zachary Plumb (10)
Alex Chlebiej (7) had his first outing as a Junior instead of a Mini and had a few good battles too. Jason Ducis (16) had a mega start in Heat 1 and made his way up to third in just three laps after starting in 8th. After battling with Adam White (13) and Jenson Weston (34), his bumper came loose and, unfortunately, he had to retire just a few laps from the end. Sam Cooper (44) and Euan Richards (29) immediately began gapping the field from the start. Euan (29) couldn't quite catch Sam (44) as he'd made the gap to over 2s by lap 7.
In heat 2, Jason (16) had another mega start and went from twelfth to seventh in the first lap. Jenson Weston (34) and Euan (29) exchanged positions on the first lap but Euan (29) took second place back on the following lap. On lap 7, Ben Thompson (30) found a way past Jenson (34) but it, unfortunately, didn't stick as Jenson (34) took third back on the next lap.
For heat 3, Jenson (34), once again, got past Euan (29) on the start. This time, the move stuck. On lap 5, Euan (29) had enough of being behind Jenson (34) and made a mega lunge which promoted him back to second. Yet again, Jason (16) had waft on the start and he was just behind Adam White (13) after the first lap. Fast-forward to a couple of laps from the end - Jason (16) made the move onto Adam (13) and passed him for fourth.
For the fourth time and final time, Jason (16) was off like a rocket in the first lap. After a few laps of sitting in fourth, Adam White (13) started putting pressure on him. On lap 7, Adam (13) made a move with a bit of contact, so he was awarded a b/w warning. Just a few laps later, Jason (16) got back past Adam (13) and gave him a bit of contact too, so he was also given a b/w warning.
Sam Cooper (44) | Final | 41.306s
1st – Sam Cooper (44)
2nd – Euan Richards (29)
3rd – Jenson Weston (34)
4th – Jason Ducis (16)
5th – Adam White (13)
It was just the 10 entrants this round but still some great racing. Courtesy of the random grids, Bryn Evans (77) started last for heat 1. By the end of the first lap, he'd flown through to fifth place and, on the next lap, he was then third. It was at this point that some oil appeared on the Warren. With the slippery surface flag out, all of the drivers took it easy around the corner but it still caught a few of them out; Namely, Matthew Copsey (97) and Dan Beadle (32). They both went off and were forced to retire.
Everyone was exchanging positions at the start of the second heat. Charlie Flux (86) had a great start, passing 3 drivers within the first lap including Matthew (97). A couple of laps later, he made his way past Michael Thompson (30) for sixth. After a few laps of chasing, he then managed to pass Max Silvain (26) to ultimately take fifth. James Saville-stones (51) started pole and stayed there for a couple of laps until Bryn (77) made his way past. James (51) went on to hold second with a comfortable gap behind him for the rest of the heat.
In heat 3, it was Charlie's (86) turn to start on pole and he had Bryn (77) lined up behind him. With some great defence, he managed to hold him off until lap 7, when Bryn (77) made an insane lunge into 180. Meanwhile, Matthew (97) was on a charge and made some gutsy moves to get up to fourth by lap 6.
The final was quite lacklustre since everyone had settled into their average positions. Jeremy Lock (72) had a good start, moving up to fourth from sixth within the first lap. He managed to stay there until the very end, even with some pressure from Charlie (86) behind. Josh Twitchen (25) started in second ahead of Matthew (97) and held it until the fourth lap when they exchanged positions with a good move from Mathew (97).
Bryn Evans (77) | Heat 3 | 40.029s
1st – Bryn Evans (77)
2nd – Matthew Copsey (97)
3rd – Josh Twitchen (25)
4th – Jeremy Lock (72)
5th - Charlie Flux (86)
Senior Rotax 177
We had the 177s out first in the day and they didn't fail to set the standard. The first start was totally clean even though there were 20 drivers flying into Senna. A lot started happening almost immediately, too. Sol Patience (66) had a corker of a start and was up to twelfth by the end of the second lap, after starting in twentieth place. Gordon Chenery (28) also had a great start and it was all going well for him until lap 4 when he dropped down the order to fourteenth. As expected, Lloyd Bell (100) was making a big push toward the front and on almost every lap he was passing another driver. Just before the last lap, he took the lead from George Friday (52) and went on to take the win.
Heat 2 had a much more hectic start - only 2 drivers stayed in the same position they started in after the first lap! Practically straight away, Lloyd (100) took the lead from Phil Patience (46) and began driving off into the distance. Phil (46) held onto second with some strong defence until lap 5 when David German (29) managed to sneak past. He was on for a third-place finish until lap 10, where he made a mistake and then found himself in seventh.
Yet again, it was a hectic start for heat 3. On the start, Dan Jones (11) was sent off at the kink which brought out the battenberg flags. Once the racing resumed, Nick Aitken (21) began a push to the front. He'd got involved in the first lap incident so he had a lot of places to make up. By lap 6, he was up to twelfth and after spending some time behind Trevor Palmer (36), he only managed to get to eleventh.
Due to his failure to start heat 3, Lloyd (100) lined up in eleventh for the final. Sol Patience (66) started pole and he almost immediately began defending against David (29) who was piling on the pressure. Meanwhile, Lloyd (100) was cutting through the field like a hot knife through butter. By the 8th lap, he joined Stuart (92), David (29) and Sol (66) in the battle for the lead. A few laps later, David (29) made a move onto Sol (66) into The Warren but it all went a bit south. The pair came together which put Sol (66) out of the race with a broken exhaust and put David (29) down to sixth.
Lloyd Bell (100) | Heat 2 | 40.376s
1st – Lloyd Bell (100)
2nd – Stuart Smith (92)
3rd – George Friday (52)
4th – David Geman (29)
5th - Jamie Allen (34)
All photos are courtesy of Sprocket Photography.
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