Club 2000 | Round 2 | 4 February 2023
102! We haven't had this many entries in around 10 years... Nevertheless, the day ran smoothly and mostly on schedule. There was some great, close racing on every grid so, overall, it was a corker of a day. So we didn't run into the evening, practice was scrapped which meant the junior classes went straight into qualifying.
Cadets & Micro Max
There were 23 drivers on the Cadet grid. 16 of which were 160s, 5 were 200s and 2 were Micro Max. It was a busy grid with a rather large skill spread as some drivers were still getting used to their karts and the technical track.
Heat 1 - The 200s lined up ahead of the 160s, and then it was the Micros. Theo Hamilton (30) lined up 3rd in the 160s but he wasn't there for long. Into The Warren, he had an unfortunate spin which demoted him to 21st overall. On the following lap, he'd spun again but around The Esses to drop to dead last. However, this didn't seem to knock his confidence as he began making places up lap after lap with some brave moves. Meanwhile, Ethan Okoro (34) in the 200s, had built up a big lead on the entire pack. By the time the chequered flag came out, Theo (30) had worked his way up to 8th in class and 12th overall.
Heat 2 - This time, it was the 160s ahead of the 200s and Micros. Leading the way was Lewis Riley (90), then John Richardson (32). Harlie Cooper (82) made a first-lap move to the inside of Beau Winslade (28) into The Esses to take 4th. Almost immediately, a train began forming behind him, as he strongly defended his position. It wasn't just the 160s who wanted to pass him, too. He was also under pressure from a couple of 200s and a Micro. On the last few laps, the quicker karts managed to find a way past Harlie (82). He did a great job of closing the door to the 160s, who could've easily followed the quicker karts through if Harlie (82) wasn't careful.
Heat 3 - In the previous heats, John (32) was constantly close behind Lewis (90). This time, John (32) had got a great start and shot into the lead past Lewis (90) up to Senna. Within a couple of laps, Lewis (90) found a way back past John (32) and retook 1st. Throughout the heat, John (32) kept the pressure on but even still, Lewis (90) didn't falter.
Final - Yet again, John (32) had a great start and shot past Lewis (90) in the first lap. After keeping the pressure on for 5 laps, Lewis (90) then found a way through the inside into Senna. Meanwhile, Theo (30), who'd mostly struggled in the morning, gained a few places and put himself into 5th by the third lap. John (32) was still hungry for a win. It was the last lap with just a few corners to go. Going into The Esses, John (32) moved to the inside of Lewis (90) and the pair clashed. Lewis (90) pirouetted onto the grass while John (32) took the lead. The stewards decided on a 1-lap penalty for John (32) which demoted him to 19th overall.
Nathan Gange | Micro Max | Heat 3 | 46.368s
Ethan Okoro | Honda 200 | Heat 3 | 46.467s
John Richardson | Honda 160 | Heat 3 | 46.671s
1st – Connor J Winfield (27)
2nd – Lewis Riley (90)
3rd – Theo Hamilton (30)
1st – Ethan Okoro (34)
2nd – Freddie Houseago (69)
3rd – Archie-lee Bullock (4)
Inter Max & Mini Max
We had 8 Minis and a couple of Inters so we finally had something to write about! Due to time constraints, the first practice was scrapped. Considering most of this month's Minis were new to the circuit, we saw some fairly cautious driving in qualifying.
Heat 1 - As previously mentioned, these new drivers were cautious which became problematic on the rolling start, with the front driver setting a fast pace. It took a few tries but once the leader, George Phillips (62) had slowed down enough, the race began. Max Wheatley (12) and Angus Mcqueen (53) started from the back as they were in the inters and, by the time lap 3 came around, they were already 2nd and 6th respectively. From that point on, the majority of the drivers were focused on staying on the black stuff. It was very close between Ayrton Rai (18) and Archie Richards (73) until the last lap, where Archie (73) made the move for 4th.
Heat 2 - The first few laps were pretty much the same as heat 1 for the inters. Ayrton (18) dropped behind Oscar Waters (4) on the first lap but, he put his foot down on the following lap and regained his position. After keeping the pressure on for 4 laps, Jamie Faggin (23) made a move past Oscar (4). On the following lap, Archie (73) passed Louie Millington (52) and began extending the gap to secure 3rd place.
Heat 3 - In the opening lap, Louie (52) pinched the position he'd lost in heat 2 back from Archie (73). Jamie (23) had a rough start, dropping behind Oscar (4) and Herbie Wiggins (58). A bit further ahead, Archie (73) was hot on Louie's (52) heels. Lap after lap, Archie (73) kept applying pressure. After doing a good job of keeping him behind, Louie's (52) defence cracked on the last lap and Archie (73) went through for 3rd.
Final - After sitting comfortably in P2 all day, Riley Mason-lewis (95) made a mistake on the first lap and spun, dropping to last. Just like heat 2, Louie (52) had a good first-lap pace and got past Archie (73) in the first lap. Riley (95) began putting in some decent laps to regain his lost time. After passing Herbie (58) and Oscar (4), he began narrowing the 8.2s gap to Angus (53). By the time the chequered flag came out, he was just 1.3s shy - it was a strong effort.
George Phillips | Mini Max | Final | 42.702s
Max Wheatley | Inter Max | Final | 43.875s
Mini Max Results
1st – George Phillips (62)
2nd – Archie Richards (73)
3rd – Louie Millington (52)
4th – Ayrton Rai (18)
5th – Riley Mason-lewis (95)
Inter Max Results
1st – Max Wheatley (12)
2nd – Angus Mcqueen (53)
As usual, there was some great racing between the Juniors. We're starting to see a lot of last year's drivers really hone in on their talent.
Heat 1 - It was only 7 tenths that separated P2 from P7 in qualifying and pole-sitter Seamus Cox (33) set a time that was 4 tenths quicker than the rest. Adam White's (13) day didn't get off to the best start; after qualifying fourth, he'd dropped to eighth by the end of the first lap. On the second lap, Seamus (33) began feeling pressure from Liam Phillips (3). Despite putting some effort in, Adam (13) could only manage to pass Isaac Reynolds (61) and he settled into seventh place.
Heat 2 - In the opening lap, Adam (13) and Isaac (61) both made up 4 places. It didn't go so well for Seamus (33) - after limping his kart along for a lap, he peeled off into the pits and retired. Ben Thompson (30) didn't have a good start either. He lined up in 4th but dropped to 12th by lap 3. He began putting the work in, though and made some good moves including a lunge onto Alex Chlebiej (7) into The Esses. Ben (30) continued pushing to gain time on the pack ahead but, ultimately, he finished 9th.
Heat 3 - After having a successful day so far, hanging out at the front, Harry Clogger (72) let it slip by making a mistake on the first lap and dropping to 11th. Cameron Pottle (17) suffered on the start too, losing four positions. On the other hand, Alex (7) had a mega start and moved from 12th to 6th in just one lap. Ben (30) made good progress on his push toward the front with another 3 positions gained throughout the heat. Cameron (17) had almost immediately begun working his way toward the front, too. Halfway through, he'd already regained three positions and he finished the race with a great last-lap move inside of Isaac (61) into The Esses. Harry (72) made a last-lap move too, cracking Alex's (7) strong defence.
Final - Having now sorted out the issues with his kart, Seamus (33) lined up in last with a lot of work to do. Adam (13) lined up in second ahead of Cameron (17) but he wasn't there for long. Cameron (17) had a quick start and passed Adam (13) up to Senna. For three laps, he made his kart as wide as possible until Adam (13) pulled off a switchback around Paddock which put him on the inside into The Kink. All the while, Seamus (33) had been making overtakes every lap and made it back up to 7th by lap 4. From then on, the whole grid remained in order until Seamus (33) lunged to the inside of Ben (30) into Senna on the last lap to secure 6th.
Liam Philips (3) | Final | 40.689s
1st – Liam Phillips (3)
2nd – Adam White (13)
3rd – Cameron Pottle (17)
4th – Harry Clogger (72)
5th - Joel Dixon-Coen (67)
Paired with a couple of TKMs, there were 21 drivers in total this time and they put on a great show! We had wholesome moments, even some heartbreak and, of course, some great racing. Every heat had a different winner so we were all left guessing who would come out on top throughout the day.
Heat 1 - Even with 21 of them barreling into the first corner, it was a clean start. Alfie Campbell (40) started pole ahead of Elliot Reed-Hughes (95). Max Martin (126) took 3rd from Matt Davey (85) on the opening lap but, three laps in, he began feeling the pressure of a big pack forming behind him. it all got a bit hairy on lap 4 as the pack attempted to funnel past Max M (126). Matt (85) initiated a move into Senna. Jeremy Lock (22) attempted to follow him through but ran wide on exit, leaving Jenson Weston (34) to take his place. Just a lap later, there was a bit of a pileup at Senna with a fair few drivers getting involved including Jeremy (22) and Jenson W (34). Meanwhile, at the front, Elliot (95) was tailing Alfie (40) closely. While negotiating lapped traffic on the last lap, Alfie (40) had a lapse of judgement and Elliot (95) managed to sneak through to pinch the win.
Heat 2 - Josh Twitchen (35) was on pole this time and, after the start, he was joined by his best mate Bryn Evans (77) in 2nd who'd passed Scott Smith (60) to be there. It wasn't long before Matthew Copsey (97) began putting them under pressure. After starting toward the back, Jenson W (34) and Jake Boydell (88) were driving hard. The pair made some brave moves. Jenson W (34) even lunged to the inside of two karts into The Esses in one fell swoop while still keeping it clean. Jake's (88) work was undone on lap 3, though, after suffering a spin around The Esses. A few laps later, Jenson Holloway (3) (who'd made up 9 places so far) clipped the tyres exiting The Esses which put an unfortunate end to his race. Jenson W (34), following close behind, had nowhere to go but into and then over Jenson H (3). After laps and laps of holding off Matthew (97), Josh (25) and Bryn (77) crossed the line to take 1st and 2nd. On the in-lap, the pair shook hands and looked ecstatic to take the win together. (pictured above)
Heat 3 - Despite being cursed to start at the back as a novice, Dan Beadle (32) had some great heats and he had his best start so far this time. From 19th, he'd made up 10 places by lap 4. His AIM compatriot, Anthony Ward (33) had a great start too and was up into 7th. Elsewhere on the first lap, Mark White (92) had a side-on whack with Kieran Twardowski (61) which dropped the pair a ton of positions; from 2nd and 4th to 15th and 18th. After trying to find a way past Jeremy (22) for the lead, Jake (88) had to turn his attack to defence as he came under pressure from Jenson H (3). Into Senna, he made the move and demoted Jake (22) to 3rd.
Final - It was a great start for Matthew (97) - on the first lap, he cruised past Elliot (95) and Bryn (77) up to Senna and took the lead. Having had some great pace all day, Max Silvain (26) started 4th but he quickly came under pressure from Jeremy (22). On lap 4, the floodgates opened as Jeremy (22) made a move into The Esses. Not one, not two but three drivers behind Jeremy (22) followed him through and past Max (26) along the Simpson Straight. A couple of laps from the end, Matthew's (97) gap to 2nd was a mighty 2.3s. On the very last lap, he had to negotiate 4 lapped karts and was a bit hesitant. As he struggled, Bryn (77) closed the gap to just 0.15s. It was ridiculously close but, luckily for Matthew (97), he'd reached the chequered flag first.
Matthew Copsey (97) | Final | 39.838s
1st – Matthew Copsey (97)
2nd – Bryn Evans (77)
3rd – Elliot Reed-Hughes (95)
4th – Jeremy Lock (22)
5th - Jenson Holloway (3)
Senior Rotax 177
What a grid! There were 25 177s in total which made for some hectic moments. Aside from some silly incidents, the racing was clean. There were some bold moves being made from quick drivers who'd started at the back - not surprising, considering there were a lot of drivers to get past to get to the front!
Heat 1 - It was a messy start and only 1 driver stayed in the same position they started in after the first lap - Mike Boswell (73), who also had the lead. Two of the Cobbett brothers, Harry (5) and Jake (72) made the marshals giggle on the first lap. Coming out of The Esses, Jake C (72) got a great exit and passed Harry (5) while waving at him. The smile was probably wiped off his face though as Sol Patience (66) cruised past the both of them while they were busy taunting each other. A few laps in, Jake Baker (96) had a spin out of The Warren and Jay Ford (99) whacked into the side of him. Oliver Moss (44) took to the grass to avoid joining them but he struggled to get his kart going once he'd returned to the tarmac. After starting 16th and being lucky enough to avoid the incident, Sam Yaxley (97) emerged in 6th. His strong pace continued and with a couple of brave moves on the last couple of laps, he'd made it up to 3rd.
Heat 2 - After the first lap, the top five remained in order for the entire heat. It was Sam (97) who led the pack after a great first lap. Further back, Tom Thompson (32) had a mega start and made up 10 places in just three laps. Although, his progress was halted when he came up behind the well-defending Phil Patience (46). Meanwhile, Sol (66) worked his way towards the front. As he made a move past Stavros Athanasopoulos (55), the pair clashed and Stavros's (55) kart climbed up Sol's (66). They both managed to continue but Stavros' (55) race ended just a lap later - contact with Gordon (28) put him onto the grass and out of the heat.
Heat 3 - It was Justin Clarke's (48) turn to start pole this time and he was almost immediately under pressure from Tom (32). Jay Ford (99) and Stuart Smith (92) were almost holding hands this heat, as Stuart (92) tailed him, following through on every move Jay (99) made. After 6 laps, Justin's (48) defence cracked as he left the door open for Tom (32) into 180. From lap 3 to lap 7, Sol (66) began closing in on Jake Baker (96). Once he was in striking distance, he made the move to secure 3rd.
Final - Scoring 8 more heat points than Sol (66), Sam (97) started pole. After having a strong pace all day, Peter Smith (22) started 4th but his first lap was less than ideal - losing two positions to Stuart (92) and Oliver (44). Mike Boswell (73) was quick too but, three laps in, he'd had an incident and lost 7 places. At the same time, Justin (48) had a corker of a lap and passed five drivers including the unfortunate Mike (73). After breathing down his neck for 8 laps, Oliver (44) passed Stuart (92) for 4th. A couple of laps after, he'd also passed Sol (66) to secure 3rd place. Meanwhile, it went from bad to worse for Mike (73). On the last lap, he came together with Gordon (28) - the pair dropped to last. Considering Mike (73) won the first heat, it was a bit of a rollercoaster day for him.
Sam Yaxley (97) | Heat 3 | 40.581s
1st – Sam Yaxley (97)
2nd – George Friday (52)
3rd – Oliver Moss (44)
4th – Sol Patience (66)
5th - Stuart Smith (92)
All photos are courtesy of Sprocket Photography.
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