Dan Healey Holds Off Hicks, & Championship Leader Barrs, For First Win Of 2019


Steve Gray
Class 2 – Lightweight Sprint Championship 2019, Rd.4, Class 1 – Lightweight Sprint Championship 2019, Rd.4,

A bright sunny morning greeted the competitors for the Club’s annual trip to Wales. But it was unseasonably cold. With the wind freshening from the south throughout the day. Llandow is a great circuit. Not the longest on the calendar but very technical. After the start/finish line the circuit swings right left right through the first chicane named the Hook. Then it’s down the Bomber straight to the left handed double apex Surtees and then on to the right handed McWhirters. A very tricky corner with a horrible sausage kerb on the outside. Definitely not a place to run wide. Out of here it’s a run down the long curving Lancaster straight and into the right handed Chandlers which leads onto the Spitfire straight. This leads up to another chicane, the Della right left sequence followed by a long right onto the wide Hangar straight which is broken by the flat out NGK kink before heading into the final 180 degree turn at Raymonds, scene of many an overtaking move. Another corner where it’s easy to run wide and lose time.

First out for the days races were the Lightweights with just nine heats to be run to decide the grid positions for the Finals.

The Heats

Heat 1

Pole for Martin Theodorou with Freddie Fincham alongside with Daz Teal and Oscar Lancaster sharing row two. By the end of the first lap Teal had displaced Fincham for second but all eyes were on the back straight after a nasty five Kart incident brought out the yellow flags all round the circuit whilst the Karts were removed and the barriers rebuilt. Fortunately none of the3 drivers required treatment but one Kart was written off. Motor sport can be dangerous. And expensive. When racing resumed Fincham got the drop on Teal to move into second and challenge Theodorou for the lead. But Teal was quickly back on the pace and within a lap was into the lead. Despite the spirited efforts of Theodorou he hung on to take maximum points with Theodorou second. Fincham fell away over the final laps crossing the line sixth and then being penalised four places for overtaking under yellows. Lancaster took third, and leading C2 runner, with Harry Neale fourth after a strong drive up from grid nine with Dan Healey the standout driver of the race. Starting on the penultimate row he was up to tenth by the end of the first lap. He then had to hold station for a couple of laps before working his way up to fifth and setting fastest lap in the process.

Heat 2

Ian Crowther on pole from Craig Rankine with Kingsley Cummins and Chris Scivier sharing row two. Rankine got the better start to move instantly ahead of Crowther who fell back behind Scivier. Cummings lost out badly and crossed the line at the end of the lap down in ninth. Andrew Ward, from grid eight, and Dan Brewer, from grid ten, were both away smartly up to fourth and sixth respectively with Oliver Flashman separating them. Rankine continued to lead with Scivier dropping back but still clear of the battle for third headed by Ward from Brewer, Crowther, Flashman, Loic Ditchburn, Tobi Shomade, Josh Wellard and Edd Barrs. Rankine continued to lead but Scivier was coming under pressure from both ward and Brewer. Barrs was up to fifth but some three seconds back. Jacob Lewis was up to sixth after starting from grid nineteen. He would get no further. Ward wasted no time in getting by Scivier and set about closing the gap to the leader whilst a lap later Brewer too was ahead of Scivier who would soon have to contend with a rapidly closing Barrs who set the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate tour with a 51.955. Rankine held on to take the win helped by Ward and Brewer squabbling over second place at the final corner. Brewer got the better traction out of the corner to taker second by just 0.069 with Barrs fourth from Scivier. Brewer was the fastest of the C2 runners.

Heat 3

Pole for Ben Johnson from Jack Mitchell with Bailey Morgan and Steve Hicks on row two. John son led the field away with Mitchell second but their race was short lived as they tripped over each other and fell to the back of the field. Mitchell did recover to set the fastest lap of the race. Over the line at the end of the lap and James Wattis was at the front, up from grid seven, with Morgan second from Chris Dixon, up from grid nine, and Hicks maintaining fourth. Mike Noon was up to fifth after starting on grid fourteen. Wattis continued to lead with Morgan right o his rear bumper and Dixon a Kart length back pursued by Hicks. Liam Cochrane was up to fifth with Noon down to sixth. Three laps in and Morgan was at the front. Half distance and he had pulled half a second clear whilst Hicks was up to third and challenging for second crossing the line just 0.042 adrift. He was up to second into the Hook. By the end of the lap he was right with the leader. Morgan defended but Hicks got the cut back and crossed the line inches ahead. Thereafter he pulled steadily away to take a comfortable win. Morgan took second and first in the C2 class. A very accomplished drive this too showing that he was not overawed going wheel to wheel with more experienced adversaries. Cochrane took third with Wattis next, and fastest C2 runner with Dixon fourth.

Heat 4

Hussain Rashid on pole from Josh Adams with Josh Wellard and Stephen Docker on the second row. Adams got the better start to lead away with Rashid second from Wellard and Dockers. Barrs was on the move, up from grid eight to fifth. Cameron Williams spun away his chances whilst the unfortunate Adam Wheeldon also spun as he took avoiding action. After his spin in heat one it was not looking like a good day for Adam. Josh Halloran was also an early casualty. Adams continued to lead but Docker was up to second with Barrs just a couple of lengths behind and pulling clear of Rashid from Wellard and a rapidly closing Teal. Half distance and Adams still led but Barrs was up to second and closing in. Docker was being dropped whilst Rashid was still holding off Wellard for fourth crossing the line just 0.043 ahead. It had been 0.072 the previous lap! And both Teal and Harry Neale were rapidly closing in. A lap later and it was all change at the front with Barrs to the fore from Adams. Neale was up to fourth having out fumbled Teal, Rashid and Wellard at the hairpin. Barrs gradually began to ease away at the front taking the win by just over two seconds. Second went to Docker by just 0.041 as he took Adams over the line with Teal next from Neale. Rashid took a hard earned sixth.

Heat 5

Pole for Quentin De Raad from Shomade with Woodger and Noon on row two. Shomade made the better start to lead by the end of the first tour from De Raad with Noon third from Woodger whilst David Longman had moved up to fifth from grid seven with Pietro Pagano sixth, up from grid ten. Shomade began to ease away at the front as De Raad came under pressure from Woodger and both Longman and Pagano were beginning to close in. Shomade continued to lead with De Raad still second but Pagano was up to third with Longman fourth from Woodger who now had Hicks and Mitchell homing in. Pagano wasted no time in closing in on Shomade displacing him for the lead as they crossed the line at the start of lap six. Hicks was now yup to third having made short work of getting by Longman, De Raad and Woodger who was down to seventh behind Mitchell. Pagano began to pull clear at the front as Shomade defended hard from Hicks, Mitchell, Longman and Woodger. De Raad was being dropped and coming under pressure from Jacob Lewis. Penultimate lap and Pagano looked safe at the front from Hicks, Mitchell, Shomade, Longman and Woodger. And so it remained at the front, Pagano taking the win from Hicks who set the fastest lap of the race final time around, and Mitchell third. Woodger took fourth with Shomade fifth and the C2 honours whilst Lewis displaced Longman for sixth with Cochrane eighth from De Raad.

Heat 6

Nigel Foot on pole from Lloyd McGeoch-Williams with James Browning and Peter Hargreaves sharing the second row. Foot led the pack up to line but McGeoch-Williams was a shade too eager and was ahead as they crossed the line earning himself a two place deduction for a jumped start. It mattered little as despite leading for a couple of laps he was down to sixth after three tours where he remained for a couple of laps before being rudely punted off by Reece Pope the latter being excluded from the results post race. A fate which also befell Wattis as he battled with Claudio La Rosa. Dan Truman took over at the front with Fincham second. After starting on grid twelve he kept clear of the dramas that befell Nik Hoyle, Stephen Westwood and James Browning, all spinners, to run fifth at the end of the first lap and second by the end of the lap three. Hargreaves was third from Healey with Lancaster fifth after starting from grid fourteen. Once at the front Truman began to pull clear setting the fastest lap with two to go and taking the win just over two seconds clear of Fincham who was in turn almost two seconds clear of Healey who took third after a spirited battle with Lancaster who took the C2 honours. Dixon was fifth with Brewer sixth. The two of them had started on the back row and made steady progress throughout the heat.

Heat 7

Pole for Pagano with James Martin alongside from Neale and Halloran. Pagano led the field away with Neale getting the better of Martin and slotting into second and Richard Gander fourth as Halloran fell back down the order. Further down the field Teal had made an electric start to move up from grid fifteen to ninth with Hicks up from grid fourteen to tenth. Adams too was on the move, up from grid seventeen to twelfth, with De Raad up to thirteenth from twentieth. Pagano gradually began to eke out a gap at the front from Neale whilst Martin could make no inroads on the leaders but was well clear fourth placed Gander who had Longman, Teal and Cochrane closing in. With three to go the top three remained the same but Longman had finally deposed Gander for fourth but too far adrift to make much impression on the leading trio. Gander was now having to deal with the combined pressure of Teal, Cochrane and Hicks who set the fastest lap of the race sixth time around and broke the lap record. Penultimate lap and Gander was still clinging on to fifth. Such was the pace of Pagano at the front that the race ran for an extra lap with Pagano taking the win from Neale and Martin with Longman fourth from Teal, Hicks and Cochrane whilst Gander slipped to eighth on the penultimate lap.

Heat 8

La Rosa on pole from Rob Langthorp with Emil Bernstoff and Lewis on row two. A good clean start from the front runners as the field filed its way through the Hook but Langthorp had made the better start to lead from La Rosa with Healey third, up from grid five, and Lewis fourth. Bernstoff dropped to fifth with Wattis up a place to sixth. Healey wasted no time in getting by La Rosa for second and set about cutting the gap to Langthorp. Lewis and Bernstoff were also by La Rosa who now had Hoyle and Wattis closing in. Half distance and Healey was at the front whilst a lap later Lewis was through into second. And that was how the front runners remained until the flag with Healey setting the fastest lap on the final tour and Lewis second, and C2 class winner, from Langhtorp, Bernstoff Hoyle and Wattis. Rashid took seventh and fastest lap in the C2 class after a very strong drive up from grid twenty.

Heat 9.

Pole for Wheeldon from Brewer with Dixon and Pope on row two. Wheeldon led the pack away desperate for a good result after the drams of his first two heats. End of the first tour and he was three tenths clear with Dixon second from Barrs and Brewer. Ward was up a place to sixth whilst Pope and Rob Handley both spun down the order. Docker was up to sixth from grid thirteen with Flashman seventh, up from grid eleven. And that was how the top seven remained all the way to the flag save for Barrs moving ahead of Dixon for second three from home. A first ever overall win then for the ever smiling Wheeldon which also yielded the class honours. Richly deserved too. Docker set the fastest lap of the race with Ward the quickest of the C2 runners.

The Finals

C Final

Claudio La Rosa had pole for this one with Ben Johnson alongside. Both had the same points but La Rosa had set a faster lap time. Nigel Foot and Peter Sharpe shared row two with Christian Schulz and George Redstone on three. James Browning and Kingsley Cummings lined up on row fore with Rob Handley and Chris Scivier on row five and the final two rows taken up by Lloyd McGeoch-Williams, Cameron Williams, Camillo Anania and Reece Pope. Top four to qualify for the back of the B Final. La Rosa led the field up to the line but Johnson was a little hesitant which held up Sharpe immediately behind and Foot who daren’t accelerate too early for fear of jumping the start. All of which gave La Rosa a significant advantage as they headed down to the first turn. Schultz crossed the line ahead of Sharpe but escaped sanction. It mattered little as he spun out of contention. His race would get worse as in his efforts to climb back up the field he tapped Anania into a spin and suffered the inevitable penalty.

By the end of the first lap La Rosa was almost two seconds clear of Johnson with Foot third from Sharpe. Scivier had made a smart getaway and was up to fifth chased by Redstone, Cummings, Browning and McGeoch-Williams. Second time around and La Rosa remained at the front but Johnson had stabilised the gap and pulled several lengths clear of Sharpe. Scivier was up to fourth and pulling clear of Foot who was coming under pressure from Redstone as they crossed the line for the start of lap three. Third time around and La Rosa had increased the gap at the front whilst Scivier was up to third but over three seconds adrift of Johnson having been held up as he battled with Sharpe. Redstone too was on the move. He made to pass Sharpe in the final corner but Sharpe held him off only to lose out on the run into the Hook. Thereafter La Rosa, Johnson, Scivier and Redstone began to pull clear of fifth placed Sharpe who had McGeoch-Williams closing with Pope just a tenth behind.

Half distance and it was as you were at the front with La Rosa increasing his lead whilst Johnson looked safe in second from Scivier. Redstone was a tenth back but over five seconds clear of Sharpe who was still hanging on to fifth crossing the line just 0.079 up on McGeoch-Williams with Pope next ahead of a recovering Schulz. The front four still continued to pull away from the battle for fifth still headed heroically by Sharpe whilst McGeoch-Williams tried to find a way through. With ten run he finally managed it but by this time he was over seven seconds adrift of the final qualifying spot. La Rosa continued to pull clear at the front whilst Scivier decided he wanted second place taking Johnson at the final corner of the last lap. Wonder how he would have felt had he taken them both out? Fortunately Johnson gave him room happy to qualify for the B Final with Redstone taking the final spot. McGeoch-Williams took fifth. Despite setting fastest lap on the final tour he was over eight seconds adrift at the flag. Pope took sixth with Schulz crossing the line next only to be penalised out of the top ten and promoting Pope to sixth from Sharpe, Foot, Browning and Handley.

B Final

Tobi Shomade on pole with Adam Wheeldon alongside. Peter Hobbs and Richard Gander shared row two with Nik Hoyle and Stuart Hubbard on row three. Row four, Quintin De Raad and the highest placed C1 runner and reigning Lightweight Champion Mike Noon followed by Chris Woodger and Oliver Flashman on row five. Two to qualify for the A Final. Shomade led the field away but Hobbs moved ahead of Wheeldon through the Hook. Noon got off to a flyer and was up to fourth by the end of the lap with Hoyle fifth from De Raad. Gander’s hopes were extinguished as he spun to the back of the pack. Hubbard dropped a place to seventh with Flashman eighth from Hargreaves, Halloran, Woodger and a sharp starting Wattis, up from grid seventeen.

ith two run it was as you were with the top four but De Raad was up to fifth at the expense of Hoyle. Quarter distance and Shomade still led whilst Noon was up to second from Wheeldon, De Raad and Hobbs. And Woodger was closing in. Having dropped out of the top ten he’d rapidly made his way back up the order. Hoyle spun out of seventh whilst further down the order James Martin was beginning to make progress up from grid thirteen. Shomade still led but Wheeldon was back into second from Noon and De Raad. Hobbs was still in the fight but Hubbard was beginning to fade as Woodger moved ahead into sixth.

Half distance and the complexion of the race e changed yet again. Shomade was still at the front but it was De Raad in second now just over half a second back with Noon third. Woodger took Wheeldon across the line for fourth with Flashman next up from Hobbs, Halloran, Martin and Leo Stolyarov. A lap later and Noon was back into second from Woodger with De Raad down to fourth ahead of Wheeldon, Flashman, Hobbs, Halloran and Martin. All change again next time around. Almost. Shomade still led but Woodger almost made it by as they crossed the line just 0.090 apart with Noon third from Hobbs, Martin, Halloran, Wheeldon, Flashman and De Raad. Shomade was defending brilliantly from Woodger, Noon and Hobbs with Martin just over half a second adrift but setting fastest lap tenth time around and closing. Shomade remained at the front whilst Woodger called a temporary halt to his attacks and they both pulled out a gap to Noon who now had Hobbs challenging hard whilst Martin got ever closer. Still it remained as you were at the front but Wheeldon tried a move on De Raad hitting him in the process and taking a penalty which would see him drop to eleventh in the standings. Two to go and Shomade crossed the line still in the lead. But down the bottom of the circuit he lost out finally to Woodger and Noon.

Trying to get back in front he forced Noon wide. Contact was made and he was back through only for Noon to recover the place a couple of corners later whilst Hobbs nipped through as did Martin who now found himself up to second. De Raad was back up to fifth with Halloran sixth ahead of a very rattled Shomade. Final lap and in his desperation to get back up the order he hit Halloran spinning them both out. He would be excluded from the results post race whilst Halloran finished a hugely disappointed twentieth after a strong showing. A sad end for Shomade after what had been for twelve laps a great drive. There is clearly a talented driver inside the helmet but he does need to calm his approach I feel. Woodger crossed the line first only to find himself docked a place for cone abuse and promoting Martin into first. A very accomplished drive this. Noon took third with Hobbs next from De Raad and Flashman. Wheeldon would have been next but his penalty dropped him out of the top ten and promoted Hubbard to seventh from Wellard, Westwood, the fastest of the C2 runners and La Rosa. A fine drive this after winning the C Final.

A Final

Ed Barrs on pole from Steve Hicks with Dan Healey and Daz Teal on row two. Row three, Pietro Pagano and Harry Neale with Dan Brewer and Chris Dixon on row four. Jacob Lewis and Oscar Lancaster completed the top ten.

Barrs led the pack away from the line but Healey was into second followed by Teal with Hicks getting shuffled down to fourth. Pagano and Neale were holding station in fifth and sixth with Lewis next. Barrs continued to lead with Healey in his wheeltracks whilst Teal had dropped back by over half a second ahead of Hicks, Pagano, Neale, Lewis, Dixon, Lancaster and Brewer. With three laps run Healey was ahead of Barrs whilst Hicks had got ahead of Teal setting the fastest lap thus far in the process. Pagano remained fifth but Neale was coming under increasing pressure from Lewis. Lewis did get by but Neale struck back almost immediately. Sadly however he clipped Lewis spinning him to a halt. He would resume last but Neale would suffer the inevitable penalty.

Healey continued to lead, half a second clear of the pack now led by Hicks with Barrs third from Teal. Dixon got ahead of Pagano in the final corner leading him across the line by just 0.098. But Pagano struck back. Dixon had to defend for most of the lap allowing Teal to pull clear by almost a second and a half. Pagano got the place back from Dixon crossing the line just 0.010 ahead with Neale alongside but behind Dixon by 0.001. Or a few inches! Two thirds distance and Healey still led but Hicks had pegged the gap back to half a second, setting the fastest lap of the race and breaking his own record, with Barrs still well in the hunt just a couple of tenths further Back. Teal was dropping back but still running clear of the battle for fifth now headed by Neale from Pagano and Dixon. Inch by inch Hicks and Barrs began to close in on the leader. With two to run the gap was down to a tenth. Could Healey hang on? Barrs was still in the battle, poised to pounce on any mistake. Teal was still dropping back but safe in fourth. Penultimate lap and Healey and Hicks crossed the line 0.160 apart having set identical lap times. And Barrs had gone quicker, closing to within a couple of Kart lengths. Into the final turn and Hicks tried one final time to wrest the lead but Healey hung on by just 0.102.

A great victory. It had been a long time coming too. Not since his Lights Championship in 2015 has he stood on top of the podium. Two years ago he was set to record his first Elite class win when the chain came off. But this was payback time. Barrs took third with Teal fourth. Next across the line was Neale but his exclusion promoted Pagano up to fifth from Dixon with Docker eighth ahead of Cochrane and then the first of the C2 runners Lancaster. Dan Brewer was second in the C2 class and eleventh overall with Langhtorp third and twelfth overall.

Round up

Ed Barrs remains at the top of the standings after his third podium in four races whilst Pietro Pagano had a welcome return to form at Llandow. Although he didn’t make the podium he’s now second with Daz Teal just two points behind in third. Stephen Docker is fourth with Liam Cochrane fifth. But Dan Healey’s win should send out a warning to the rest of the drivers. He missed Whilton which distorts the position somewhat. Andrew Ward now leads the C2 class from Rob Langthorp with Adam Wheeldon dropping to third.

Reflections

I was very disappointed to note some of the histrionics from several drivers who were penalised on Sunday or felt they had been hard done to by other drivers. Really sad to see officials being abused. It’s not on. Our officials do a great job. Without them there would be no racing. They conduct themselves with honesty and their integrity should never be questioned. They will not get every decision right. They are not superhuman. They have one pair of eyes. They simply cannot see everything that occurs but they do their very best. No one should be arguing about cone or kerb penalties. Contact causing a fellow driver to come to a halt can hardly be appealed either. However, if you get penalised for advantage by contact and feel that it is unfair and you wish to appeal you have far more chance of success if you approach our clerk of the course in a calm and rational manner. Throwing toys out the pram just makes you look stupid and immature. Find out who was involved in the incident and take them with you to see the Clerk of the course. He’s not unapproachable and will always point you in the right direction.

There is no place in CLUB100 for prima donnas or divas. Act like grownups, not spoilt children. Don’t spoil the days racing for everyone else. JV also took the time to talk about driving standards. A Kart is not a weapon. Forcing fellow drivers off the road isn’t clever. Motorsport is dangerous. There are several people connected with the Club who have witnessed a driver being killed at a Kart meeting. Not I hasten to add a CLUB100 meeting but it happened. Trying to intimidate your fellow drivers isn’t what the sport is all about. It’s a non contact sport. Yes, there will always be a certain amount of rubbing but trying to run drivers off the road is unforgivable. This is a fun sport, a fun Club, not a place to vent your anger at the world. If you want to drive like you’re on the dodgems then go to a Fair. Let’s see some respect and smiley faces.
Rant over.

See you all at Buckmore! And don’t forget to brush up as it’s televised!!

Words: Steve Gray
Pictures: John Patterson