Aston romp to victory in Wales


Eddie Hall
Clubman Endurance Championship 2019, Rd.4,

Aston and CKS Throatpunchers leave everyone else in their wake.

Auditing Armageddon were absent from this race which could have consequences later in the year. They are certainly contenders for the championship and their absence gave CKS Throatpunchers and Aston Racing a great chance to extend their advantage. They qualified first and second overall as well as in class. Jaguar skills were right up their in third. The came familiar names like Pixel Pirates fourth, Clunge fifth, Slickspeed sixth. Conman Racing, Ballinger, All Torque, Lucid Initiatives and Keen As Mustard were next up in what was a slightly thin grid.

The front row got away cleanly with CKS Throatpunchers leading Aston Racing before the latter took the lead on lap four. Jaguar Skills also got past the pole sitters, demoting them to third.

Early stops for Aston and Throatpunchers handed Jaguar the lead which they held until their stop. By the time the first round of stops had been completed, it was business as usual at the front with CKS Throatpunchers leading Aston Racing by a few tenths. Jaguar Skills had a much slower stop and dropped well behind the leading two but still maintained third in class.

Conman Racing and Clunge were a few seconds behind third placed Jaguar Skills. Slickspeed and Pixel Pirates were also in the mix and battling hard. Ballinger law were ahead of Keen As Mustard, the latter trying to make up ground after a poor qualifying.

It was very close at the front between the two leaders. They swapped places several times in the first half of the race. It was Aston’s slicker work in the pits that got them out in front, with a stop over a second quicker than their main rivals.

The race was only ever really between these top two. They continued to pull out a sizeable gap over Jaguar Skills who now had Conman, Pixel Pirates and Slickspeed challenging them for that final podium spot. Ballinger had a decent lead over Keen As Mustard and Lucid Initiatives. Clunge were also in the mix.

After the third round of stops, Aston’s quick pit work and better use of the traffic gave them a good lead over CKS Throatpunchers. Conman and Slickspeed had both got past Jaguar Skills – whose skills in the pits weren’t quite a match for the more experienced teams. Nevertheless, the speed on track was there and they continued to harass their rivals, dispatching Slickspeed on lap 81 and Conman four laps later.

The final stint of the race was a fairly quiet affair up at the front. Aston had pulled out a lead of over 20 seconds in the second half of the race and were pretty much in a race of their own. They continued to eke out a gap over CKS Throatpunchers and came home over twenty six seconds ahead. The battle for third raged on behind them and Conman were fending off Jaguar Skills. The Jaguar boys’ attempts to close down the one second gap weren’t quite enough and they lost out on a podium finish by a very narrow margin. Slickspeed came home fifth but only just; Ballinger were all over the back of them and crossed the line less than half a second behind after two hours of intense racing.

So with victory in the last two races, Aston Racing are definitely the team on form and now sit just ten points behind CKS Throatpunchers in the championship. Auditing Armageddon’s absence drops them to fifth behind Conman Racing and Keen As Mustard. They need a good result at Buckmore to get back into contention.