Club 2000, Round 9, 2 October 2021
Report by Nathan Blake
After some light rain during the night, the track started off a bit damp but seemed to dry up until the light rain returned in the late morning. Coming up to lunch, it got heavier and the meeting was declared open from 12:15pm. The rain barely eased up all day leaving some drivers happier than others.
The Pharoah name made a return to Red Lodge when Marcus Pharoah (24) joined us this round and the ex-bambino driver had to get used to the track on the fly. The rain presented a challenge to the young drivers with a few spins here and there but overall, everybody adapted well. After a 4-month hiatus, Nathan Gange (89) returned and put on a good performance to finish 1st in the final.
The fastest lap was set before the rain came in Qualifying by Teddie Cooper (79) – A 48.007s; a whole second quicker than the rest of the field.
We started just after the tyre choice was declared open so everyone had opted for their wets. For the first lap, Nathan Gange (89) braked a bit too late into Senna and bumped the rear of Will Rogers (53). Will (53) was sent into a spin and recovered in 6th. Nathan (89) was handed a black and white warning. With the order shaken up quite a bit on the start, Harlie Cooper (82) found himself in 4th shortly before being passed by Will (53) due to a great switchback around Senna. Meanwhile, Marcus (24) was showing off his kart control, pulling off nicely controlled power-slides out of Senna. On lap 4, Archie-lee Bullock (14) pulled into the pits and sadly retired. On the last lap, Teddie Cooper (79) spun leaving Will (53) to inherit 3rd and finish where he started.
Heat 2 brought us some clean racing. Into the first lap, Harlie (82) got a good start and pulled ahead of Marcus (24). However, looking to take the position back, Marcus (24) looked up the inside and tapped Harlie (82) around. In the next corner, 180, Marcus (24) spun and slotted just in front of Harlie (82). Nathan (89) was constantly gaining on Kiean Sullivan (26) who had the lead. Kiean (26) was defending very well even when Nathan (89) got a great run out of 180 and held it around the outside of the Warren. Towards the end, Nathan (89), again, got a great run out of 180 but instead pulled a switchback to have the inside up the back straight. Kiean (26) conceded and slotted in behind. Coming up to the last corner, Nathan (89) spun and Kiean (26) seemed to panic and do the same. Scrambling to get going again, Kiean (26) pulled off first and Nathan (89) followed behind.
In the Rotax 177 race prior, the rain came pouring down. For the start, Nathan (89) was too keen to set off and jumped in front of Kiean (26), picking up a 10s penalty. Archie-lee (14) got a poor start, dropping down to last before the end of the first lap but soon after passed Harlie (82) to gain a position back. Marcus (24) had a great couple of opening laps, passing Archie (14) and Will (53). However, Will (53) fought back and took 4th position back from him. After the first few laps, everybody spread out. On the last lap, Will (53) made a mistake and faced the tyres on Senna. A marshal ran over to push him back, however by the time he was facing the right way, Will (53) had lost 4th again to Marcus (24).
The rain was still lashing it down, making it a very wet final. Into the first corner on the opening lap, Teddie (79) looked to the inside of Kiean (26) but the pair made contact leaving Kiean (26) to spin and Will (53) unluckily being collected. Archie (14) profited well from this, momentarily shooting up into 3rd but after Kiean (26) passed him back, he settled into 4th. After plummeting to last, Will (53) was set for a great comeback and after a couple of good overtakes, he settled into 5th with not enough time to reel in Archie (14) in 4th.
1st – Nathan Gange (89)
2nd – Kiean Sullivan (26)
3rd – Teddie Cooper (79)
4th – Archie-Lee Bullock (14)
5th – Will Rogers (53)
Once again, Alex Beale (43) was the only Minimax in attendance this round so he joined the Junior Rotax grid. Alex seemed to love the rain. As it got heavier, the driver out drove many of the, naturally, slightly quicker Junior Rotaxes. Impressively, in the wet conditions, Alex (43) managed a 5th place finish in heat 2 after passing 7 karts in 7 laps. His fastest lap was in Heat 1 with a 43.075 on a greasy track.
1st – Alex Beale (43)
These drivers were the first to experience the greasy conditions on the track as they were first on the running order. As he was getting to grips with the conditions, Jenson Weston (34) held an impressive drift around the Warren in practice. Jake Robinson (15) didn’t have much chance to show off his pace today as he suffered from some pretty bad luck in the heats. Anthony Ward (33) thrived in the wet conditions even making his way up into 3rd in the final. Matthew Copsey (97) put on a show for us in the 3rd heat making his way from last up into 1st with some great overtakes. Matthew (97) also set the fastest lap with a 41.277s in Heat 1.
For the first lap, it was a bit of a mess. Coming into Senna, Alfie Campbell (40) and Cameron Pottle (7) had a spin in succession. Into the last corner, Paddock, Anthony Ward (33) and Jake Robinson (15) had a coming together unfortunately putting Jake (15) into the tyre wall between Paddock and 180. Both drivers were okay and Jake (15) retired. While there was a yellow flag for the marshals to quickly repair the tyres, Adam White (13) made a move onto another driver, picking up a 10s penalty for overtaking through yellows. After the scrambled-up start, Jenson Weston (34) found himself in 2nd after starting 5th.
The conditions were now fully wet as it poured it down during lunch. The start was very clean this time despite a lot of drivers exchanging positions. Despite a good start to the day, Matthew Copsey (97) appeared to struggle with his kart as it continuously bogged down. After 2 laps, the driver came in leaving Jenson (34) the lead. Alfie (40) had a great start moving from 6th to 2nd by the end of the first lap. A couple laps later, Cameron Pottle (7) had an unfortunate spin on the exit of the French Curve, unfortunately dropping the drier from 6th to 10th. Elliott Reed-hughes (95) then attempted a switchback on Sam Cooper (44) but the move didn’t stick until the next lap when Elliott (95) made a move and that time, stayed ahead. On the last lap, after having around a 2.7s gap to Alfie (40) behind, Jenson (34) unluckily spun coming out of Paddock, leaving Alfie (40) to take the chequered flag.
For the start of this race, Anthony Ward (33) was knowingly running an incorrect set of tyres. After finishing in last in the previous heat, Mathew (97) started from the back. Coming out of Senna, Euan (29) and Jake (15) had a tangle, unfortunately dropping Jake (15) into last place and taking Euan (29) out of the race. By the end of the first lap, Matthew (97) already made it up into a very impressive 5th place. Onto the second lap, Matthew (97) made it past Elliott (95) and Sam (44) in quick succession. After reeling him in for a few laps, Matthew (97) soon caught Jenson (34) and got a great run out of 180 to pass him into the Warren. Matthew (97), on the last lap, approached Alfie (40) in the lead and moved to his inside into the French Curve and passed rounding off an amazing comeback drive. Unfortunately, Alfie (40) was excluded for a technical infringement regarding his axle width.
After the contact in heat 3, Euan (29) had sadly gone home due to a bent axle. For the start, Anthony (33) was rapid, passing 3 drivers by the end of the first lap and moving up into 5th. As he made his surge through, he had a coming together with Alfie (40) around the Esses unfortunately causing Alfie (40) to spin and retire. On the fifth lap after everyone had settled a bit, Cameron (7) had a stroke of bad luck with a spin on Paddock followed by another spin on Senna shortly after dropping the driver into last. On lap 7, Anthony (33) made a pass up the inside of Elliott (95) to take 4th. A lap later, Anthony (33) then got a great exit out of the Warren and passed Sam (44) up the back straight to finish 3rd. Although he had an exclusion for his tyre choice, this was a great achievement for Anthony. On top of this, he went home £10 richer as his dad made a bet with him to finish 3rd.
1st – Matthew Copsey (97)
2nd – Jenson Weston (34)
3rd – Sam Cooper (44)
4th – Elliott Reed-hughes (95)
5th – Jake Robinson (15)
The weather broke the usually very uniform racing with some drivers seeming to perform much better with the presence of rain. Everybody adapted to the conditions very well with almost no spins throughout. One of these drivers, was Oliver Bowen (55). As it got wetter, he made up more and more positions, ultimately taking 1st in the Final. Luke Jarman (18) set the fastest lap overall with a 42.282s just a couple laps before the rain came, cementing it for the rest of the day.
In the first heat, it was a very clean start. Jessica Fitch-hall (22) got a good start moving up 2 positions by the 2nd lap. After getting passed on the first lap, Oliver Bowen (55) was putting pressure on Jessica (22) and after a couple of laps, he spotted his opportunity and passed into Paddock. A few rain-drops started appearing on the visors but the track stayed dry. Luke Jarman (18) attempted a pass to the inside of Freya Woodall (16) into the Esses but Freya (16) held it around the outside and had the inside for the right hander. Freya (16) defended well and kept the lead until the end.
The, now, wet conditions shuffled up the order. Into the first corner, the leader, Freya (16) overestimated the grip levels and ran wide dropping to 3rd. Luke J (18) had a poorer start dropping from 2nd to 5th by the end of the first lap. Leon Frost (59) and Jake Cox (26) were promoted to 1st and 2nd respectively. A lap later, Freya (16) unfortunately had a spin exiting Senna dropping her 3 positions down to 6th. With the pair now close together, Luke J (18) and Freya (16) were rubbing side-by-side around Senna owing to the very close racing between the two. On the penultimate lap, Luke Bate (95) made a great move up the inside of Jake (26) into 180 and took 2nd. Onto the last lap, Jake (26) was defending hard from Oliver (55) but was passed for 3rd.
Oliver (55) got a great start in this heat, taking the lead after getting a great run out of 180. After a lap of leading, Leon (59) took it back and drove well to prevent another attack from Oliver (55). On lap 4, coming out of Senna, Jake (26) had a spin leaving Freya (16) to inherit 5th. Meanwhile, Jessica Fitch-hall (22) pulled over on 180, couldn’t get started back up and retired.
Again, Oliver (55) got a great start, gaining 2 positions by the 2nd lap. After passing William Briant (97) on the first lap, Jessica (22), again, struggled with the kart as it kept stalling. On lap 4, despite Luke B’s (95) great defence, Oliver (55) pulled alongside him out of Senna and the pair fought side-by-side all the way up to 180 where Oliver (55) stayed ahead. After reeling him in, Oliver (55) finally caught Leon (59) on the last lap. Coming into Paddock, Oliver (55) pulled along the inside, braked early and took a late apex to pass Leon (59) to the line and take the win. It was a beautiful move and a well-deserved win for Oliver (55).
1st – Oliver Bowen (55)
2nd – Leon Frost (59)
3rd – Luke Bate (95)
4th – Luke Jarman (18)
5th – Jake Cox (26)
Again, some very close and exciting racing between everyone. Straight away from practice, Reece Bright (27) was spotted wearing his waterproofs leaving no chance for the rain to catch him out. After a 10s jump start penalty in Heat 1, Reece (27) was fighting the whole day to make his way to the front of the grid. William Bloom (56) was untouched and in the lead all day. The driver also set the fastest lap in Heat 1 – a 44.583s.
Starting off in our first heat, unfortunately, Reece Bright (27) moved off from the line early. In doing so, he passed James Drabwell (5) and picked up a 10s jump start penalty. After 4 laps, Cassidy Beeton (66) caught Alfie Wilkes (22) and lunged up the inside of him into Senna to take 4th. It was a forceful but fair move. Cassidy (66) began defending really well from Alfie (22) as he remained very close behind for the rest of the race.
More rain had fallen since the last heat, leaving the drivers no practice but to jump straight into a wet race. Reece (27) was keen to get a good start this time. He reacted well but, ahead of him, Alfie (22) was slow leaving Reece (27) nowhere to go except gently into the back of him. James (5) had a slow start losing out to Cassidy (66) and Alfie (22) by the end of the first lap. Coming out of Senna, Harvey Cursley (44) got caught out by the conditions and spun. Onto the second lap, James (5) was keen to take his position back and he started with a move up the inside of Alfie (22) into the Esses. A lap later, James (5) again took the inside into the Esses but ran deep and couldn’t quite make it stick past Cassidy (66). For the third time, James (5) went to the inside of Cassidy (66) but this time, he held it nicely and stayed ahead. Another lap later, Cassidy (66) spun around the Esses leaving Alfie (22) and Reece (27) to inherit 3rd and 4th respectively.
On the first lap, Alfie (22) got a good start and made his way past James (5). Fast-forwarding to the 3rd lap, James (5) made a great lunge into the right hander coming out of the Esses onto Alfie (22) and Reece (27) followed him through. A lap later, Alfie (22) gained his position back from Reece (27) and another couple of laps later, Reece (27) got a good run out of the Warren and passed Alfie (22).
For the start, Cassidy (66) reacted a little slowly to the lights but she defended her position well into the first corner. On lap 2, Reece (27) switched to the outside of Alfie (22) out of 180 and passed cleanly around the outside of the Warren. Next lap, Harvey (44) made a good overtake around the Esses onto Cassidy (66) to take 5th. After putting in some quick laps, Reece (27) caught James (5) and had a great battle with him from 180 into the Warren to take 2nd.
1st – William Bloom (56)
2nd – Reece Bright (27)
3rd – James Drabwell (5)
4th – Alfie Wilkes (22)
5th – Harvey Cursley (44)
The rain didn’t really shake the order up – probably owing to the more experienced drivers. For the first time this year, Ben Maxim (26) joined us and he was able to demonstrate his wet driving skills. On the other hand, Arundel Hughes (24) and Dylan Tatham (55) seemed to struggle in the rain with the pair not demonstrating their usual pace. Ben (26) also set the fastest lap which was in 2nd practice – A 40.538s
Ahead of the 1st heat, light rain began falling with heavier rain due. Arundel Hughes (24) got a great start moving past 3 drivers up into 2nd. Stuart Smith (92) stayed ahead of him as he had passed Ben Maxim (26) and Charlie Flux (86) to take the lead. Lewis Fagg (64) had an unlucky start as he bogged down and dropped into 6th. On lap 4, the rain became heavy and the track became treacherous. Misjudging the grip levels, Stuart (92) ran wide on Senna leaving Ben (26) and Arundel (24) to pass in that order.