Club 2000 | Round 12 | 5 November 2022
We had, in my opinion, great weather conditions for racing. The track was damp for the day and every time it started drying up, a spell of light rain would coat the track again. It became a true test of driver skill. In the finals, the floodlights added another element to the racing (pictured). It was a great way to send off the year!
We had 20 Cadets lined up for heat 1 and, into the first corner, we had a couple of spins. After a good qualifying lap to put himself in 6th, Albey Smith (99) was one of the spinners who unfortunately dropped down the order to last. Lucien Smith (43) had a quick start and got past Ethan Okoro (34) up the inside into Senna to take 4th. Teddie Cooper (79) and Nathan Gange (89) almost immediately started battling and Nathan (89) managed to get ahead on the first lap. Into the Esses, he donated the lead back to Teddie (79) as he ran deep on entry. Over the course of a few laps, Alfie Irvine (7) and Riley Mason-lewis (95) had a great battle and exchanged positions multiple times. Alfie (7) managed to hold him off with some good defence all the way until the end. It all kicked off on the last lap between the leaders; while negotiating lapped karts, Teddie (79) came together with John Richardson (32) and the pair both lost their positions. Lucien (43) was following close behind and took the lead with half a lap to go. He was ahead by a few seconds so he cruised across the line to take his first win.
In heat 2, Nathan Gange (89) had a great launch past Teddie (79) and then down the inside of Lucien (43) for the lead into the first corner. Benjamin Lorne (80) had a great start, too, and passed three drivers within the two opening laps. After a few laps, John (32) lined up a good move onto Lucien (43) by taking a late apex out of the Warren to pass him along the back straight. The midfield was very close; Harlie Cooper (82) was at the front of the pack holding them off with some good defence. A few laps from the end, while lapping traffic, John (32) was held up which allowed Lucien (43) to take an alternate line and pass him and the backmarker. With three laps left, he did a good job of holding him off until the end.
The start of heat 3 was a lot calmer than the previous heats. Coming out of 180 on the first lap, Teddie (79) had a good run and passed Nathan (89) for the lead. Lucien (43) sat on Teddie's (79) bumper and managed to follow him through for 2nd. Almost immediately, Nathan (89) started putting pressure onto Lucien (43). After a few laps, he gambled on a big lunge into Senna and it paid off. A lap later, Nathan (89) moved to the inside of Teddie (79) into the Kink. In an effort to keep him behind, Teddie (79) squeezed him to the inside into Senna but Nathan (89) still got a great exit and took the lead.
The track was a little more sodden for the final which, of course, made it a bit trickier. Again, Teddie (79) had a good start and passed Nathan (89) for the lead by taking the inside into the Warren. Ethan Okoro (34) also had a good start and moved from seventh to fifth by the end of the first lap. A few laps in, Teddie (79) lost the lead coming out of 180 as Nathan (89) got a better exit. After a not-so-great day so far, Theo Hamilton (30) was making a decent comeback, having made up four places within the first few laps. A few laps from the end, coming out of the Warren, Teddie (79) lost grip at the rear and got a poor exit. Lucien (43), who was following close behind, managed to drive past up to the Esses. Around the long left-hander, there was contact between the pair and Lucien (43) lost out on second place.
George Phillips | Heat 3 | 50.734s
1st – Nathan Gange (89)
2nd – Teddie Cooper (79)
3rd – Lucien Smith (43)
4th – John Richardson (32)
5th – Ethan Okoro (34)
22 karts flew around the track for qualifying and it was Euan Richards (29) who took pole with a lap time that was an incredible second and a half quicker than the next quickest driver, Elliot Reed-Hughes (95). Seamus Cox (79) was very close in third, just 4 hundredths shy of Elliot (95). Quite a few drivers were excluded from qualifying due to a technical infringement, so the grid was quite mixed for the start of the first heat.
Not many drivers kept the original positions they started in after the first lap. Championship winner, Jenson Weston (34) went quite aggressive from the start, passing three drivers within the first lap but he undid all of his hard work on the second lap and dropped back to seventh. Elliot (95) didn't quite have pace on the start so he lost a couple of positions. He began defending hard to Jason Ducis (16) behind but his defence turned into an attack on lap 4, as he overtook Sam Cooper (44) for third. Adam White (13) had some work cut out for him after a technical infringement in qualifying put him down in eighteenth. He overtook a driver per lap all the way up to lap 7. Next up the road was Ben Thompson (30). He managed to bring the gap from 1.5s to nothing and passed Ben (30) on the last lap with a good exit out of 180.
After passing Adam (13) on the first lap of heat 2, Ben Thompson (30) made an unforced error around the Esses on the second lap which plunged him into the tyres and dropped him down to last. He shrugged it off and almost immediately began pushing back through the field. At the front, the top three were cemented in position for the entire heat; there wasn't a moment where they made a mistake. Joel Dixon-Coen (67) had a good heat. He started in fifteenth and after just a couple of laps, he'd made it up to eleventh. With the unfortunate retirement of Cameron Pottle (7) on lap 12, he took the chequered flag in tenth.
Both Cameron (7) and David Celi (16) had mega starts - by the end of the first lap, they'd already made up five places each. While Cameron (7) continued this aggression, David (16) was caught out by the conditions, as the rain began to get thicker and the track more sodden. He suffered a spin and dropped to the back. Before the rain came, Euan (29) was working hard to defend his lead from Seamus (79). As the track became wet, Euan (29) found grip where Seamus (79) didn't and the gap then extended to over a second.
It's not often I mention formation laps but, to be honest, the one for the final was hectic. The first time around, the drivers came around the last corner way too quickly, so it was a false start. Then, coming down the back straight, a couple of drivers weaving to heat their tyres crashed into each other which sent a rear wheel flying off onto the grass! On the third formation lap, a kart pulled off along the back straight and couldn't get going again.
Once the race finally got going, Jenson W (34) began pushing. He'd passed Jason (16) and Jenson M (85) within the first two laps but the top four were out of his grasp, as they extended the gap lap after lap. Adam (13) hadn't had the best of days so far but he made up for it in the final. After cutting his way through from ninth to fifth, he began closing the gap to the top 4 by a second a lap. Will Rogers (53) had a big lock up into Paddock which sent him into the tyres - thankfully, he was okay. Since the kart was in a vulnerable position, the battenberg flags came out to neutralise the racing and the final finished under these conditions.
Jason Ducis (16) | Heat 1 | 46.308s
1st – Euan Richards (29)
2nd – Seamus Cox (79)
3rd – Sam Cooper (44)
4th – Elliot Reed-Hughes (95)
5th – Adam White (13)
The seniors set a great example with their clean, fair racing. We witnessed the return of Joshua Vallance (28) to Club2000 who'd last raced with us a little over four years ago. Despite such a break, he made the regulars look like novices, to put it bluntly!
In the first heat, Bryn Evans (77) started pole ahead of Arundel Hughes (24). By the end of lap three, Bryn (77) was already over 6s clear of the field. Josh V (28) had a great start and had made it from ninth to fourth by the second lap. There were some great battles happening all over the grid, including a lengthy battle between Max Silvain (26) and Josh Constable (12) just a few laps in. After defending for a couple of laps, Josh Twitchen (25), who was up in third, could no longer keep Josh V (28) behind him.
Matthew Copsey (97) lined up on pole this time, however, he didn't hold onto it for long. On the first lap, he suffered a spin and before he was able to rejoin the track, the field had already passed him. Charlie Flux (86), on the other hand. had a mega start and gained five positions by the end of lap two. James Saville-Stones (51) was under a lot of pressure from Arundel (24) a few laps in. With some good defence, he managed to hold off Arundel (24) until lap 6. A couple of laps from the end, Jeremy Lock (72) and James (51) had a coming together which tangled them up around the Esses. Charlie (86) cruised past them while they untangled and, luckily for them, they only lost one position.
James (51) had a blinding start to heat 3. He cruised past Charlie Flux (86) up to the first corner for the lead and, by the end of lap three, the gap was opened up to 1.5s. Josh V (28) had started sixth and was already up to second on lap four. Impressively, it only took him two laps to close the gap and pass James (51). After losing a couple of places on the start, Jeremy (72) made a couple of moves to ultimately finish where he started. First, he passed Charlie (86), then he pulled off a switchback onto Max (26) as he'd gone deep into Paddock.
It was a bit slippier in the final and Josh T (25) found that out quite quickly when he spun on the first lap. Jeremy (72) managed to find a way through the first-lap chaos and was up in seventh after starting twelfth. On the following lap, Ian Stallwood (16) had a spin on the Warren and James (51) had little time to react. After slamming the anchors on, James (51) came to a stop just as his front bumper tapped Ian's (16). Meanwhile, Arundel (24) and Matthew (97) were having a great battle for third. Matthew (97) managed to pass and stay ahead on lap 5, then he began driving away in an attempt to catch the leaders. It wasn't a fruitful attempt, though. When the chequered flag came out, Josh V (28) was 7s ahead of Bryn (77) then it was another 6s to Matthew (97).
Joshua Vallance (28) | Heat 3 | 45.755s
1st – Joshua Vallance (28)
2nd – Bryn Evans (77)
3rd – Matthew Copsey (97)
4th – Arundel Hughes (24)
5th - Jeremy Lock (72)