After the long winter break, it was good to get back to the world of Club100 karting; a championship that comprises some of the best karting talent with a true club spirit and camaraderie that you won’t find in any other championship. To emphasise this point, all classes were sold out with a packed grid of 33 premier teams lined up on the grid for this; the first race of the season.
There were a number of notable driver changes. Controversial behind the scenes manoeuvring saw Lee Clackett without a drive. As a result, Team Carbon atomised and Ministry of Speed was reborn out of the molecules. Alex Kapadia switched from Jammy Dodgers to join Jordan Hill and Pete O’Connor with his place at Dodgers being taken by Andy Cowell for this race and Lee Clackett for round 2. Oli Allwood joined Tanked Up to partner Daz Teal and Chris Powell. Chris Hanson joined the newly promoted British Columbia and Lee Kemp was back for a full season and joined Dan Gore at RBB. Jay Elliot was also in the team for this race only, deputising for the elusive Simon Young. Along with the two promoted Clubman teams, there was a new team in the form of Pure Racing. The much sought after Jonny Goddard teaming up with the equally sough after Jon Maycock with Bell L Cool J joining them.
Having pulled out mid way through last year, High Times were back and duly put it on pole position after a stunning lap in qualifying. Tanked Up were second with Steve Kendall doing an excellent job to qualify third for Club16-48. The Animals, British Columbia, Galliard and RBB all started from the back of the grid after post-qualifying kart changes.
Paul Higham returned after his year’s sojourn to rediscover his mojo and was delighted with the return to form for his old team.
“We are very happy with that and I just hope the race goes as well. Parm put in a great lap and it’s the best place to be so we’ll have to see how it goes.”
A clean start saw all the teams file through turn 1 in one piece. There was an exciting battle for the lead in the opening stages between High Times and Tanked Up. Club16-48 joined the party too and these three teams soon started pulling a gap on the following karts. Barely a few tenths covered these 3 right up to the first round of pit stops. Just So were watching from a distance of a few seconds, ready to pounce.
Tanked Up and High Times were battling closely for the lead for the first 40 minutes of the race. Just So were ever present, albeit a few seconds further back. Stuart Symonds was hoping for more out of his steed but was confident of pulling together a solid result.
“We spent a lot of time in the pits during practice and I think our kart is behind everybody else terms of loosening up. We struggled a little bit in qualifying but we are picking the pace up so hopefully there’s more to come.”
The first major upset at the front hit Tanked Up Racing. Being on probation by his new team anyway due to his penchant for destroying exhausts, Oli Allwood was a naughty boy and picked up a black flag. This sadly put Tanked Up out of contention, although certainly not out of the race.
Meanwhile, Slipstream were starting to show great pace after admitting to struggling in the first couple of stints. They had made great progress from their mid-grid slot and were starting to make serious inroads into the leading pack. Ministry of Speed were also working their way up and by half distance were well in the top 3 and looking like serious contenders for the win.
A great start to the day for Club16-48 saw them right at the sharp end and even leading several laps during the pit stops. Even by half distance they were well in there. Unfortunately they dropped off the lead group later on and would finish further down the order than they would have liked. Nevertheless, it was a great showing from the Kendall duo. Jammy Dodgers were also a team challenging the front but they too dropped off the leading bunch in the latter stages of the race.
It was a baptism of fire for the two promoted teams. Es Car Go and British Columbia were in the mid-field and Jose Soler was bemoaning a lack of top-end. A black flag for Chris Hanson was another setback. Pure Racing – a team that may well spring a surprise or two this year – were looking rapid. However, a couple of blunders including a black flag and the team misunderstanding Jon Maycock falling out of his seat as a signal to push him out of the pits meant they lost a potential podium finish on their debut.
Galliard were moving up the order after starting from the back of the grid. The Animals were also working their way up through the field after an off. RBB were also a team down in the mid-field. Dan Gore suffering from man-flu and Jay Elliot having a nice airborne moment over a Clubman kart at the exit of the first hairpin probably didn’t help. Cartman were also in this race! They had a black flag.
Back at the front and Ministry of Speed were flying. By the time the lap counter had got into 3 digits, they were chasing down Just So for the lead; these two separated by just over a second. However, a contentious black flag for Just So would hand the grateful Ministry the lead.
Over the final few laps, Ministry were comfortably up front and they duly cruised home 30 seconds clear of Tanked Up who recovered well from their earlier penalty. Just So did enough to secure the final place on the podium but were left bemused by their penalty.
“The cone was hit by a generic drone: One of those black suited, white helmeted gang that there are about fifty of out there. There were three of us; the drone, Angus Boath and me. The guy at the front hit it and it bounced off my kart and I got the penalty. Nothing I can do about that.”
Jordan Hill was more delighted than usual to win given the events that had gone on behind the scenes with his erstwhile team mate. I would elaborate but it’s really not that interesting. Anyway, Alex Kapadia gave his views after the race.
“We just didn’t make any mistakes. Everything was really tight and every single lap we were going for it. We got lucky with the kart because I think a few people struggled and we also got a bit lucky with Just So and their penalty but we were consistent and came through. It’s a great start to the year.”
2012 has got off to an interesting start. With so many competitive
teams, there are bound to be a number of different winners this
CLUB100 Racing Ltd, Bon Accord House
Castle Road, Eurolink Commercial Park, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 3SJ
Tel: 01795 422455 Fax: 01795 427606
Home | Sprint Series | Endurance Series | Testing | Testimonials | Brochure | Membership Forms | Technical Spec | Calender | Latest | Articles | Race Reports | Tracks Directory | Forum | Rules & Regs | Links | Midweek Events | Club100 TV