A close run thing but Edmondson-Jones emerges triumphant
The battle at the front is close and some stand-out performances throughout, but it’s Edmondson-Jones who takes victory again.
I’m not sure what’s happened to Tim Hill. Only a few years ago he was a has-been. A once great driver who had long past his sell by date and was ready to be taken out to the pasture and put to sleep. In recent years he’s had something of a resurgence. The Quadrant class 2 championship win back in 2017, the heavyweight sprint championship in 2018, winning the last heavyweight sprint 60 meeting at Shenington and pole position for race 1 at Whilton Mill. I can only assume he’s being given some great sex.
But seriously, it was another great performance from Sir Timothy to top the timesheets. Daljeet Bahia lined up second ahead of more familiar names like Andrew Hall Jr and Stuart Martin. Mike Philippou switched from the lightweight class and duly qualified at the sharp end in fifth. Alex Lammin was sixth but ahead of championship leader Matt Edmondson-Jones. Next up was Tarik Almou and he was the fastest of the super heavyweights. Just behind his was Chris Dean, Alex Pritchard and Richard Allen who made up the rest of the top lady contenders.
Sir Tim led the field away, followed by Bahia and Hall Jr. Stuart martin and Alex Lammin both made poor starts and lost out to Philippou, Edmondson-Jones and Almou. Hall Jr was the man on the move and he quickly set about getting past Bahia and Hill to take an early lead. It soon became apparent that Hill was struggling and, having held on gallantly for a few laps, was eventually beaten into submission by the chasing back and dropped to seventh after some argy bargy.
Hall Jr continued to lead the way but catching him up was Matt Edmondson-Jones. He had made short work of carving his way through the field and was soon right on the tail of the race leader. These two had built up a lead of just over three seconds to the rest of the field which was now headed by Mike Philippou who, after dropping back a few places, was now back on the pace and up to third.
Tarik Almou was leading the way in the super tubby race. He had half a dozen karts between himself and Paul Goddard who had done a great job to get himself into the top ten and second in class. He was in a tight battle with Pritchard and Richard Allen. Some way further back and looking slightly off the pace in this race was Chris Dean.
There were a few close battles going on in the midfield. The Jennings brothers were in the mix along with Steve Lindley, Daniel Russell, Jeremy Deeks and Richard Hoodless.
As the race went on, Hall Jr was continued to lead but was coming under increasing pressure from Edmondson-Jones. On lap 20, Jones made a move and swept into the lead. Hall managed to stick with him and shadow him for ten laps before getting back past. Behind these two, Stuart Martin had got ahead of Philippou, Almou and Bahia and into third place but all eyes were on the front as the two leaders ran nose to tail. Ultimately Hall Jr held on to take the win ahead of Edmondson-Jones. Martin came home third on the road but was docked a place for cone abuse. This handed third (and the lardy win) to Tarik Almou. A great drive from Paul Goddard saw him come home second in the super heavies, just ahead of Richard Allen. Some dubious driving from Pritchard saw him lose a top three and gain a penalty.
So Hall Jr and Edmondson-Jones lined up on the front row for race two. Tarik Almou was third and first of the super heavies. Drivers to watch included Stuart Martin (fourth), Mike Philippou (fifth), Tim Hill (sixth) and Jack Noller (eighth).
While Hall Jr got away in the lead, Edmondson-Jones made a poor start and dropped to fourth behind Martin and Philippou. Almou got swamped at the start and lost out badly, although retained his class lead. Tim Hill benefited as did jack Noller who made up several places.
It was all rather frantic at the front in the early laps with the top six karts running in close proximity. Inevitably something had to give and it was Hall Jr who lost out, being run wide and dropping behind Philippou, Edmondson-Jones, Martin, Steve Jennings, Hill and Noller. A few laps later he was once again tipped into a spin and opted to retire as there was no time left to make up any ground.
Back at the front and there had been numerous changes of lead with Philippou, Edmondson-Jones and Martin all having turns. For much of the race the gap between the top five was barely a second. In the closing stages, Edmondson-Jones managed to break away from the pack slightly. Jack Noller was flying and got ahead of both Martin and Philippou and into second.
The super heavyweight class was also close. After his poor start, Almou had lost out to Chris Dean and Richard Allen. These three were running nose to tail and having their own little private race.
With three laps to go, Noller nailed Edmondson-Jones for the lead and made the move stick. This left Edmondson-Jones vulnerable to Philippou, which allowed Noller to extend his lead over the last couple of laps to take the win. Edmondson-Jones just managed to hold on to second with Philippou coming home just behind in third. A good recover saw Tim Hill take fourth ahead of Stuart Martin, although he was again docked places for multiple contact.
In the lardyboy race, Chris Dean fended off his rivals to take the win. Richard Allen did well to finish second and Almou took third.
Consistency more than anything gave Edmondson-Jones the outright win. Jack Noller did a superb job, especially in race two, to take the silver while Mike Philippou proved he’d made the right choice in switching class by taking bronze and his first podium of the year.
The chubby win went to Tarik Almou. Richard Allen finished second. His win in race two gave Chris Dean third overall.