Aston Racing’s day at Whilton
Aston win as Wildcards falter. Clunge return with some controversy.
Round three of the Clubman endurance championship was at a rather different looking Whilton Mill. The venue has finally caught up with the other international level tracks and got itself a rather posh looking clubhouse with a fancy upstairs bistro, with prices that should pay off the cost of the build within the week.
Clunge were back in endurance racing after two years racing in the short-lived Quadrant series. They were as surprised as me to find themselves in the Clubman class. Nevertheless they are hoping to compete in the rest of the season.
D&D Wildcard were on fire in qualifying and took the overall pole position. Aston Racing were a close second with Conman third. CKS Throatpunchers and Auditing Armageddon were next up in fourth and fifth respectively. Not having such a great session were Runtime Exception Racing in twelfth, Clunge in sixteenth, Lucid Initiatives in seventeenth and keen As Mustard in 21st. As usual, it was all very close between the 33 karts that lined up on the grid.
The front two got away well and maintained their position up to the first pit window. JRG were up well and running third, batting with some of the premier teams. Unfortunately, two black flags in the first 45 minutes scuppered any chance they had of getting a good result.
There were plenty of contact and kerb warnings throughout the race but, at the front, D&D Wildcard continued to extend their lead. As we approached half distance they had built up a lead of almost an entire lap to Aston racing, although they were on a slightly different pit strategy so it was difficult to get a completely clear picture. Clunge Racing were up to third and fending off a challenge from CKS Throatpunchers. Auditing Armageddon were not far behind and were ahead of All Torque, who were gradually making up ground after a poor qualifying session. Keen As Mustard were also in the mix.
Further down the order, JRG were now down in seventeenth and fending off the Loughborough Old Boys, Slickspeed and Pixel Pirates. Ballinger Law and Runtime Exception Racing were further down the order than is to be expected, struggling for pace.
It was turning into a bit of a nightmare for the likes of M&M, Lucid Initiatives and Conman Racing. All these three were well out of position at the back.
It was all calm at the front as the leaders continued to build on their advantage. Aston Racing were comfortably in second and CKS Throatpunchers had got in front of Clunge for third. The latter was now coming under serious pressure from Auditing Armageddon. Keen As Mustard and All Torque were in a close battle a few seconds further back.
Lap 109 and drama as The Wildcards lost a lap. I’m assuming this was a black flag but I was busy trying to raise enough money to buy a cup of tea in the clubhouse. In any case, this dropped them behind Aston Racing. With an extra visit to the pits, this cost them dearly as they dropped even further back after their last stop and emerged in fourth. With their race completely unravelling, this handed the lead to the grateful Aston Racing.
The late race drama gave Aston Racing a clear run to victory. Auditing Armageddon took advantage as well and came home an impressive second. CKS Throatpunchers held of Clunge for the final spot on the podium. However, the latter was found to be underweight and were promptly excluded, handing fourth to the no doubt disappointed D&D Wildcard.
Clunge weren’t the only team to be found underweight. Runtime Exception Racing were also excluded as were JRG – not content with numerous black flags.
Another podium finish saw CKS Throatpunchers retain their championship lead. Another solid result sees Auditing Armageddon right behind them in second ahead of Aston Racing, whose win puts them right in the hunt going into Llandow.