#AnyoneButJonnyPlease – Wins 7 & 8 for Jonathan E.

Chris Simpson
Heavyweight Sprint Championship 2015, Rd.5,

Not in a malicious way you understand but one wag (thats not a wife or girlfriend but a humorous or jocular person; wit) quipped he was thinking of trying to start a club hashtag #AnyoneButJonny-Please (I added the ‘please’). So you know what’s coming next. It’s grudging admiration and indeed a backhanded compliment for our runaway championship leader Mr J. Elliott esquire who added wins number 7 & 8 to his tally in just 10 starts this season. He won the A Final by just 0.2secs but don’t read too much into that, my Belgian friend Eric Mignon told me afterwards he did not have enough va-va-voom to pass him nor would he have tried given he was heading for his best ever finish in sprints and trophies matter when you have not won a Club100 sprint one before (I know how it feels to get just one). It’s a shame as I’d have been cock-a-hoop for the likeable Belge to win outright and was willing him on for awhile. Stephen Docker’s 3rd place continued to place him well in what, if not mathematically is a race for 2nd place to the end of season, surely will be after Jonathan is crowned champion at Round 8 at Lydd on 20 September. Although I wouldn’t visit your local bookmaker to place a wager, not least because odds will be very short. Elliott won the Pre A Final by 2.2secs from Alex Fell and here again there was hiccup early on when Julian Clist tried to pass that gave the chasers hope, but they never got chance to punish him for it. Julian Clist is another benefiting from good points in the race for runners up spot, with Tim Hill, if he felt inclined to contest the rest of season (doubtful), Darrell Lowe, Josh Pettitt, Mignon, Simon Lloyd, James Hattersley, Daniel French and even as far as Mike Townley are in the fight for the runners up spot and it’s great racing. Thats why Heavyweights is over subscribed and the grid was another maximum 50 strong just for one class mind you and that probably contributed to the best B Final I’ve seen all year won by John Muscroft and he was joined by Dave Pethers for a run in A Final. But they are all just not quite in Jonathan Elliott’s league, certainly not in his current form.

The difference between pole position in Heavyweight Class for the Pre A Final and pole for the Pre B Final was a fraction over 4/10ths of second. Thats the top 20. Thats tough. That’s probably 3/10ths with a draft, if you’re crafty or a damned fine piece pedalling on your own.

It left some notables in the Pre B Final not least poleman Ben Cottle who had shown well at Whilton Mill, Nick Breadner on the front row with him, Lennie Wood, Roger Mullen on row 2, Josh O’Hagan a front runner on grid 5, same for Simon Lloyd, indeed Paul Williams on row 4, and while Dave Pethers on grid 22 had a long way to climb up as well, they all could expect to qualify from a normal Pre B Final, but only 4 can and that’s the rub along with other 18 drivers on a 26 kart grid.

Cottle converted pole into the lead, O’Hagan, Breadner and Mullen immediately made up what looked like a little cabal sitting on the qualifying spots. Lloyd wasted no time getting inside Jeff Chapman into Turn 2 for 6th place. Behind Paul Williams fumbled his entry and collected Nick Butler. Mullen in 5th would also have to get a shift on as Simon Lloyd moved to the head the pack. Mullen passed O’Hagan into the hairpin and set off after Wood, I saw an aggrieved arm up from Lennie out the Top Bend and Roger was through to 3rd and so was Josh. I didn’t see it but Roger picked up a 4 place penalty for Advantage By Contact, possibly right here. Lennie immediately retrieved 4th place from Josh into the chicane by now though Simon Lloyd was in drafting range of O’Hagan and had slingshot into Turn 2 and had towed Chapman up and on to O’Hagan’s bumper. Josh couldn’t hold Simon and perhaps sensing how he useful he was Jeff made a rather long lunge on Josh into the hairpin bouncing over the inside kerb to avoid contact. Simon was gone off after Lennie. Dave Pethers’ progress, optimistic goal at best, had stalled at 12th place, James Green had taken the position back from Dave, and John Muscroft had run him out wide off Top Bend to some consternation from Dave and he nearly lost out to Andy Katsantonis and Tim Parrott. The front of the race had settled in Breadner had shadowed Cottle but slipped away for a while and into Mullen who could not now qualify. Wood was going well and Lloyd, I like to think knowing Roger had a penalty was happy in 5th place. Josh O’Hagan was left dicing with Jeff Chapman, Mark Turner and Nicholas Reynolds trying to get up to join them. Closing stages Nick got his second wind and was pushing Ben Cottle for the win, there’s nothing to be gained in that but of course you can pick up a healthy draft worth 0.2-0.3secs to your lap time on someone’s bumper and a better grid position for the Trophy A if you’re already in a qualifying spot. Mullen towed up as well so it was a 3 kart dice and Simon was on Lennie’s bumper doing much the same. What am I talking about? Nick dived into the Horseshoe to take the lead on the last lap, because a win is a win!

C100_Clay-2097You know who was on pole position for the Pre A Final Jonathan set off and asked anyone who could to keep up. Debutant (in sprints?) Alex Fell said yes from grid 2, Julian Clist getting the better of Eric Mignon off the 2nd row and having a real go on Alex into Turn 2 to get 2nd but both were a few kart lengths off Elliott coming out of the chicane after doing so. Darrell Lowe was 5th, Roger Davis holding off Stephen Docker, Martin Gurnett and Josh Pettitt. Docker had the inside for the hair pin and didn’t brake as much as you would, figuring to go deep square it off hope to hold the position he’d just ambushed Davis for, trouble was Josh Pettitt got passed the pair and only being on the outside turning prevented Gurnett from pushing through Docker, side by side with Davis into the right hander, Stephen pointed as if to say I’m going that way, indeed he was for a bounce down the grass over the start line, Gurnett and Hill flashed passed into Top Bend, Mike Townley running around his outside into Billys to go 9th. All this fighting had detached the pack at 7th position with Tim Hill looking 2secs up the road for Josh Pettitt. I think Clist must have taken a long shot at leader Elliott into the hairpin, Jonny throwing a hand up and Julian being gobbled back up by what had become a top 6, Alex went 2nd, Julian desperately tried to hold on to 3rd by throwing himself into the Horseshoe and succeeded in only letting Darrell Lowe, Eric Mignon and Josh Pettitt passed by Top Bend. Julian’s efforts to pass Josh only worked to slice the top 6 into more defined 3 pairs. Elliott-Fell, Lowe-Mignon, Clist-Pettitt. Jonny edged out 0.2, 0.1, 0.3 on Alex. By halfway the gap was a second and that really was the order of things to the finish. Julian ran down Eric and Darrell. Lowe was then under pressure from Pettitt and Hill to the finish, Josh pushing Darrell into Turn 2 that probably copped him a 4 place penalty. Not an illwind though for Tim moved by and through Pettitt. On to the final lap Julian had caught up with Alex and took a big punt down the inside of Turn 2, no way could he hold a line and Alex was back through, the finish line came too soon for another more measured attempt. Elliott won by 3secs from Fell and Clist.

The B Final, I said at the time was a “rip snorter” which is defined else as “something extraordinary : humdinger” not so much of the former but certainly the latter. “Humdinger”. Probably can’t do it justice here, but the video ought to be worth a watch.
Roger Mullen on pole, Nicholas Reynolds, Dave Pethers and Paul Williams on row 2, after shambling first start, Mullen got the lead out of Top Bend, Pethers and Williams side by side into Billy’s, Reynolds in 4th with enough of a gap that he was spared the fun behind. James Green got spat to the infield on the approach to Turn 2, Tim Parrott was over the inside kerb trying something on with Mark Turner, not entirely sure what was but it lost all his momentum and he was swallowed up before the chicane. Andy Katsantonis may have got his contact penalty in there, Jeff Chapman probably got his down in the hairpin given the vehemence of Mark Turner’s arm wave – think of a bodybuilder throwing an imaginary breeze block like a Darts Player (yeah you got it). Pethers struck for 2nd into Top Bend, putting Williams on Reynolds’ nose and here was the crew fighting for 2 qualifying spots, Mullen barely clear of Pethers, Williams, Reynolds with Muscroft in his wake. Tim Williams had worked his way up from 9th on the grid to 6th but needed to close a 1sec gap. Muscroft went around the outside of the hairpin on Reynolds to have the inside going into the Horseshoe – it was great racing, only for Reynolds to throw it up the inside in the conventional way the next lap.

While Mullen was holding off Pethers and Williams he was only circulating at 42secs, not quick enough and Reynolds was bringing Muscroft into play, Williams got a run out of Turn 2, and that pushed Pethers into going inside of Mullen to make it three wide into the chicane. Mullen lifted but followed Pethers into the hole both hopping back on behind Muscroft up to 3rd and Chapman. Williams led, but made an unconvincing leader, he needed someone to follow, on a similar pace to Mullen who moved back in behind Tim Williams to make it a 7 kart train for the lead. Muscroft shaped up to pass Reynolds at the hairpin prompting Reynolds to make a successful attempt on the leader, Paul Williams, and he was run out wide out of Top Bend by Musrcoft so the 7 were two wide, 3 deep behind new leader Reynolds.

Reynolds managed to be 2/10ths quicker and that made a difference, what had become a leading line of 10 karts as Daren Townsley and Nick Butler joined for a short while. But the stretch got longer Muscroft managed to close and pass for the lead with 4 laps to go getting inside into the chicane while Paul Williams finally got passed Tim Williams to get off the tail of the group. Reynolds sailed too deep into the hairpin to try and get the lead back and Pethers was having 2nd place into the Horseshoe from him, far enough in to push Nicholas out wide. On to the last lap Paul had cleared Jeff Chapman but had to take a big punt down the inside of the hairpin with time running out to get on and up to Pethers for the last spot, Chapman came back through. The game was up. Muscroft and Pethers qualified.

C100_Clay-2274Last race of a lovely day in Dorset. Elliott comfortably converted A Final pole position into Top Bend ahead of Eric Mignon, Julian Clist and Stephen Docker from the second row got into line with Chris Murray ahead of Simon Lloyd as they had gridded from the 3rd row. gap to Daniel French and Stuart Kirk off row 4, but Martin Gurnett was under pressure from Mike Townley. Pretty much one long line of karts but with Elliott edging out a tenth here and there. Jonny got out to 1secs before he was pegged by Mignon. It was 5 laps before Docker kicked off the racing with a move inside Clist for 3rd into Turn 2, he had to do it again into the Horseshoe. Then a strange thing happened, Tim Hill’s ignition failed (that is strange) but also Eric Mignon was back on the leader’s bumper, a mistake? It appeared we had a race after all. But then again, no sooner than he was there then Elliott kicked again. 0.1 became 0.3, 0.4, 0.6, 0.7. Into the final third of the race, you knew the inevitable was coming. I figure Jonny dropped into safe mode, keep it tidy, don’t try something, and Eric kept pressing, 0.6, 0.5, 0.4. He had to push as Stephen Docker was edging up for a while.

Daniel French salvaged 4th place from a quiet day re-passing leading Super Heavyweight (again) Stuart Kirk, then Simon Lloyd and ultimately Julian Clist, who remains quick just inconsistent, a mistake in to Turn 2 let Simon Lloyd into 5th 4 laps from the finish, for points he may need at the end of the season. Elliott cruised into the finish for win ahead Mignon, Docker coasting in 3rd, French was pushed all the way by Lloyd for 4th. And that was the end of a good day.

Next stop is Buckmore Park on 9 August 2015