Chris Woodger & Mike Noon Share The Wins At GYG


Chris Simpson
Lightweight Sprint Championship 2018, Rd.5,

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.

Qualifying
Elite driver Chris Dixon took the honours in Group 1 with Mike Noon second ahead of Championship leader Chris Woodger. Melfyn Roberts was a highly impressive fourth quickest just beating Andrew Ward by 0.017.

Jon Watkins took the second group with a stunning 49.845. The only driver to post a sub fifty second lap he left it till his penultimate lap to set the pole time. Sammy Venables was next just failing to beat the fifty second mark stopping the clock on 50.000 dead. Adam Wheeldon was third from Tom Mackenzie and Liam Cochrane.

Lightweight Pre A Final
Watkins on pole from Venables with Wheeldon and Mackenzie on row two. Dixon and Cochrane on three from Noon and Woodger on four and Rankine and Roberts completing the first five rows. Watkins led the field away with Venables and Wheeldon behind. Wheeldon got a little wide at the top of the hill and was compromised on the run down into the Carousel allowing both Noon and Cochrane to get ahead.

End of the lap and Cochrane got a run on Noon out of the final corner and took third at the first turn whilst Wheeldon pulled alongside but again got out of shape allowing Woodger to take them both. Watkins continued to lead but Cochrane was up to second and closing in. Wheeldon was really struggling at the top of the hill and lost places to Fincham who had moved up from grid twelve and Venning who climbed up from grid seventeen. Noon too came through after an entertaining few laps. Starting seventh he’d climbed to third before dropping back to eighth and then having to do it all over again. Cochrane still led with Watkins still in contention whilst Venables was hanging on in third ahead of Fincham. But Fincham was in trouble. For several laps his exhaust could be seen bouncing about. He moved into third but it was clear he wouldn’t make the end of the race. Suddenly his exhaust was pointing backwards and he was forced into the pits and retirement. Cruel luck. Cochrane kept everything nice and tidy at the front, stamping his authority on the race by setting fastest lap on the penultimate tour. Just for good measure the lap established a record.

Watkins came home second just over a second adrift. Venables was next but dropped two positions for cone abuse promoting Noon into third with Woodger fourth. Venning was next across the line after a very strong run but he too dropped two places for cone abuse handing the spot to Dixon from Wheeldon. Ward and Westwood completed the top ten.

Lightweight A Final
Cochrane on pole from Watkins with Noon and Woodger on row two. Row three, Venables and Dixon. Wheeldon and Venning on four with Ward and Westwood completing the first five rows. Cochrane led the pack away but as they raced up the hill Woodger was up to second ahead of Watkins and Noon whilst Venables dropped back behind Dixon and Venning. Wheeldon too dropped a place.

By the time the field crossed the line at the end of the first lap Cochrane was already over a second and a half to the good from Woodger. With three laps run the lead was out to three seconds. Woodger was defending from Watkins and Dixon but wisely decided not to press the issue as all three front runners were guest drivers and not eligible for points. Behind these four we had a real battle for fifth. Noon and Venables traded the place a few times whilst Venning was being tracked by Wheeldon. Half distance and Venables ran a little wide at the top of the hill allowing Venning and Wheeldon to close whilst Noon circulated a couple of lengths ahead. Venning briefly got in front but Venables got the place back over the line. Venning inexplicably ran a little wide at the exit of the first turn and Wheeldon grabbed the place.

At the front, Cochrane continued to control the pace whilst Watkins had moved clear of Dixon in third. Woodger was being dropped and over the closing stages the battle for fifth moved ever closer but not by enough. Cochrane took the win over three seconds clear and set the fastest lap to round off a very good day for him. Watkins took second with Dixon third whilst Woodger hung on to fourth which translated to maximum points. Venables took fifth with Noon next from Wheeldon followed by Venning, Ward and Rankine.

Round up
Chris Woodger remains top of the standings in the Lights ahead of Mike Noon. Both drivers scored the same number of points at GYG whilst third placed Freddie Fincham lost ground. He’s not in the best of form at the moment but is still well in the hunt. James Venning and Adam Wheeldon are separated by just two points and can’t be discounted. And neither can Rob Langthorp although he could do with a win to really kick start his challenge.

Reflections
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.