Ben Benneyworth WINNER!!! WINNER! WINNER!
Bora da! Croeso i Glan y Gors Parc Cartio! The scenery might be somnolent but there’s nothing peaceful about this majestic Welsh track. It’s fast and spectacular for the drivers and offers great viewing for the spectators from the Clubhouse balcony. It’s not the greatest of places to get too but the rewards more than make up for the journey. To miss GYG as it’s affectionately known is to miss out on one the greatest Kart driving experiences in the British Isles. It’s a short run from the start line into the flat out right hander at Club. So important here to get a good exit because it’s’ a long run up the hill on the Dragon straight, round the right hander at the top and then on the brakes for the right handed Spoon corner. A good overtaking spot. Out of Spoon accelerating hard through the left hander and down the hill to the double apex Carousel. Another good overtaking opportunity. Then it’s back up the hill through another flat out right and into the Compression corner, an off camber right hander which is so easy to get wrong. Next it’s into the Druids complex followed by the Devil’s Elbow with its wicked dip and then into the final corner at Paddock Bend before completing the lap, hopefully in the lead! And when it’s cloudy as it was on Sunday there’s always the threat of rain to liven up proceedings.
Into the afternoon for the Lightweights, Heavyweights and the EssexFlatPack Superheavyweights. The weather remained overcast and just occasionally a few drops of light drizzle would sweep in from the west. Not enough to soak the circuit but enough to catch out the unwary.
Ben Benneyworth took Group 1 and probably had the biggest smile of the day after setting a 50.155 lap over a tenth up on second placed Alexander Lammin. Martin Gurnett left it late to set his fastest time doing so on his final flying lap. Dan Taylor and Steve Bosley were fourth and fifth with just seven tenths covering third to fourteenth. Jordan Salter was the fastest SHW.
Seb Algieri was the early pacesetter in Group 2 setting his quickest time on his first flying lap and remaining top of the order until Ben Cottle pipped him by just 0.012 late in the session. SHW leader Trevor Randall took third from Mark Ridout and a guesting David Whitehouse.
HW/SHW Pre B Final
Four to progress and Philip Charman on pole from Nima Oparver. Mike Bodnar and Aaron Stevens on row two with Shenington winner Michael Ballinger and the first of the SHW’s Jordan Salter on row three. Paul Williams and James Edwards on four with Adrian Brammer and Chris Scivier completing the first five rows. Charman led the field away with Oparver tucking in behind as they climbed the hill for the first time. Bodnar was a little tawdry getting away and Stevens slipped into third with Ballinger fifth. Edwards slipped back down to eleventh whilst Jonathan Mcleod climbed from grid twelve to eighth. Charman continued to lead from Oparver and Stevens whilst Ballinger moved into the fourth qualifying spot ahead of Bodnar only for the latter to take the place back a lap later. Now at this point you might have thought that the front four would settle down, work together and pull away. But no. Stevens decided he wasn’t safe in third and moved to the front just after half distance. Oparver felt third wasn’t good enough and took Charman for second whilst Ballinger moved from fifth to third in the space of two laps. Bodnar came under pressure from Williams and duly succumbed. Stevens was well clear at the front running some three seconds clear of Oparver who was in turn clear of third placed Ballinger. Charman though was coming under pressure but holding fourth. Until he spun on the very last lap promoting Williams into fourth and the final qualifying spot. Brammer missed out by just a tenth having closed up over the final laps with Germon next after a strong late race run. Bodnar finished seventh ahead of Chidgzey, Salter and Scivier.
HW/SHW Pre A Final
Benneyworth on pole with Lammin alongside from Gurnett and Cottle on row two. Algieri and Taylor on row three from Bosley and Randall with Ridout and Whitehouse completing the first five rows. Benneyworth led the field away but Gurnett got a great start to slot into second as the field climbed the Dragon straight. Algieri too got off to a flyer to move into third but Cottle’s chances evaporated with a spin whilst Lammin dropped to fourth. Bosley too made a great start and was up to fifth. With two laps run Benneyworth still led but it was Algieri into second having taken Gurnett at the top of the hill. A lap later and Bosley was up to third with Gurnett running fourth. Randall was running sixth and leading the SHW division but he lost out slightly, running wide in the final turn and getting taken by Whitehouse, Hill and Taylor. But he was soon back on the pace and giving chase. Benneyworth continued to lead from Algieri with the gap fluctuating between two and three tenths with Bosley third almost two seconds adrift but clear of Lammin in fourth. Two thirds distance though and Bosley began to close the gap.
Algieri too upped his pace and closed to within a tenth of the leader but Benneyworth responded and kept himself just far enough clear to prevent Algieri getting a run on him. He took the win by just over a tenth from Algieri with Bosley third having closed to within half a second of Algieri. Whitehouse took fourth but was well adrift with Hill crossing the line next only a few hundredths adrift. But he’d taken a penalty dropping him to eighth and promoting Lammin to fifth. Lennie Wood crossed the line next after a storming run from grid sixteen which also saw him set the fastest lap of the race and establish the record. But he too had picked up a penalty and dropped to tenth promoting Randall to sixth ahead of Jennings. Nick Trafford came home ninth. Another to put in a strong drive, up from grid nineteen after a disappointing qualifying run.
HW/SHW B Final
Brammer on pole from Germon with Bodnar and Chidgzey on row two. Salter and Scivier next from Edwards and Johnson on the fourth row with Goddard and Brudenell completing the first five rows. The pace Kart brought the pack slowly round to the start. Some felt too slowly and indeed Brammer on a tighter line round the final corner on pole appeared to bog down.
Germon kept his foot down and by the first corner he was a length clear. But he had jumped the start and was duly penalised. Inexperience caught him out here. He should have backed off when pole did although he felt he would have bogged down and stalled. His best course of action would have been to have given the place back as they climbed up the hill. But with a clear track in front of him enthusiasm got the better of him. I’m sure he’ll learn from the error of judgment. But he kept his foot down and crossed the line in the lead at the end of the lap with Bodnar running third at the head of a great fight with Chidgzey, Salter and Scivier. Two laps run and Brammer was back in front. But only for a lap. As they swept into the final corner for the third time Germon dived up the inside. Brammer shut the door and contact was made but it was a racing incident and no action was taken. Brammer was clearly upset as Bodnar got better traction out of the first turn and took second up the hill. Germon and Bodnar immediately began to pull clear as Brammer dropped to sixth behind Scivier, Chidgzey and Salter. Germon still led but Bodnar was closing in and dully slipped by for the lead. Thereafter he pulled steadily away eventually taking the win by over six seconds and setting the fastest lap of the race. Germon was safe in second but it would not be good enough. Behind these two though there was a real battle for third. Scivier held the place but Salter and Brammer were pressing him hard all round the lap. Brammer finally took them both after getting a run on Salter up the hill and carrying enough pace to jump Scivier too as the latter got a little out of shape as they came down the hill. Salter too made it by.
The order looked to be settled but Salter was still pushing hard to pass Brammer. Down the Hill for the final time and Brammer was defending hard. Out of the final turn he got just a touch out of shape oversteering onto the rumble strip. Salter got better traction and just beat Brammer across the line by 0.028. Stirring stuff. Germon’s penalty dropped him to a very disgruntled fourth with Chidgzey fifth from Scivier. Germon did have the honour of setting the fastest lap in the SHW division but it was scant consolation.
HW/SHW A Final
Benneyworth on pole from Algieri with Bosley and Whitehouse on row two. Lammin and SHW driver Randal on three from Jennings and Hill with Trafford and Wood completing the first five rows. Benneyworth and Algieri led the field away but it was Bosley who made the better start moving into the lead at the top of the hill. Whitehouse tucked into fourth. A lap later and he was into third at the expense of Algieri with Randall next from Gurnett who had moved up from grid sixteen.
Bosley continued to lead but Benneyworth was pressuring him hard with Whitehouse and Algieri just a couple of tenths back. Then Benneyworth took over at the front and immediately began to pull clear as Bosley defended from Whitehouse. And Randall was closing in rapidly. Half distance and Benneyworth was half a second clear at the front from Bosley whilst Algieri and Randall both out fumbled Whitehouse at the top of the hill to run third and fourth with Gurnett sixth from Wood. Then Randall got caught out on the run down to the final corner. He lost momentum along the straight and was easy prey as for both Whitehouse and Gurnett. This battle allowed the front runners some breathing space from the pack. Bosley closed up to the leader but Benneyworth immediately responded growing the gap to almost a second over the space of a couple of laps. Randall meanwhile fought back up to fourth as Whitehouse slipped back behind Gurnett and Ridout the latter having started from grid nineteen. Penultimate lap and Bosley succumbed to Algieri. But could the young man hold on? Benneyworth crossed the line almost one and a half seconds clear of second place. Down through the final corners and Algieri left the door open. Bosley pounced. Algieri cooperated and Bosley took second just a couple of tenths clear at the flag.
A great battle this and it was all hugs and smiles in the paddock afterwards from all three of the frontrunners. Great to see and just what racing in Club 100 is all about. Great racing with great sportsmanship. Randall came home fourth and took the SHW honours with Gurnett crossing the line fifth only to be penalised down to ninth after a jumped start thus handing Whitehouse fifth a tenth up on Ridout. Downes and Lammin were next with Lammin setting the fastest lap. Wood Completed the top ten.
Stuart Jones continues to lead the HW division despite not figuring at GYG. Ben Benneyworth and Seb Algieri are tied on points. Both looked ominously quick at GYG. Nick Trafford is down to fourth. After a strong start to the season he’s dropped away a touch but freely admitted that he needs to lose a little weight to get his championship challenge back on track. Steve Bosley is next and running into form at the right time whilst had Tim Hill not retired at GYG it’s not inconceivable that he could have been second in the standing.
In the EssexFlatPack SHW Championship Trevor Randall leads the way from Paul Williams and Jordan Salter.
Always a great day at GYG even when it’s wet!. Such a shame that more drivers don’t want to make what is admittedly a long journey for some. It’s well worth the trip though because it is such a fabulous circuit. Still, JV did do his best to keep the grids full and everyone I spoke too thought the special offer on entry fees was a great imitative. And no one lost out in the respective Championships.
Speaking of which, just for a bit of fun and unofficially I’ve revised the scoring for the EssexFlatPack runners. Scoring F1 style doesn’t change the order but it does tighten the field.
Trevor Randall 104
Paul Williams 89
Stuart Germon 63
Jordan Salter 61
Paul Goddard 48
Kieran Chidgzey 42
James Edwards 35
Just a bit of fun but if nothing else it makes Trevor a bit less of a runaway leader!
Finally, all our officials fulfil their duties with honesty and integrity. There are no favourites and no favours. So it was a little disappointing to see one or two drivers storming into race control to have a moan. I know emotions can run high but prima donna behaviour won’t get you anywhere. Count to ten and then approach the right official calmly if you have a beef. Club100 is not a branch of Mothercare. Whatever the circumstance acting like a spoilt brat just causes a loss of respect.
See you at Buckmore.