Finally a win for the sponsors


Eddie Hall
Premier Endurance Championship 2019, Rd.5,

The future is bright; the future is orange. Bright orange. Blindingly bright orange.

Introduction and qualifying

The second of three races weekends at Buckmore Park this year. We are unbelievably now at the halfway point in the championship and things are extremely close between Raceandclassics.com and Titan Motorsport. G3Pro are right there as well and should not be overlooked.

However, neither of these teams topped the timesheets in qualifying. It was Applewood Racing who took pole position. Raceandclassics.com were second on the grid with G3Pro third in class. RMR did a great job to take the fourth spot ahead of Titan Motorsport who had a rather lacklustre qualifying session (for them). SoundFP, G3Pro Farecla and SMJ Racing lined up ninth, twelfth and seventeenth respectively. The entire 27 kart grid was covered by less than a second.

 

The Race

Team Applewood led the field round lap one. The notoriously difficult outside line saw Raceandclassics lose two places at the start and fall behind G3Pro and Rotax Means Rotax. The latter were on a charge and worked their way past Applewood for the lewad a couple of laps later.

Over the next few laps, the battle for the lead intensified between G3Pro and Rotax Means Rotax. Not far behind was Raceandclassics.com who were under pressure from Titan Motorsport and Team Applewood. This quintet ran pretty much nose to tail until the first round of stops.

Leaders G3Pro were the first to dive into the pits on lap 15. Rotax Means Rotax came in a lap later. Titan were the last of the leaders to pit but it was Raceandclassics who had the quickest stop and they emerged in second behind G3Pro, barely half a second behind. They chased G3Pro for half a dozen laps before sticking it down the inside on lap 34 and taking the lead. However, G3Pro weren’t giving up that easily and took the place back. There followed a great battle which lasted until the second round of stops.

Behind the leading group, SoundFP were quietly getting on with the job and had got themselves ahead of Titan Motorsport. G3Pro Farecla were also making a bit of progress and slowly creeping up the leaderboard. Trailing the top premier teams was SMJ who appeared to be having a bit of a nightmare down near the back of the field.

The battle at the front remained intense throughout the third stint of the race. G3Pro and raceandclassics.com continuing to swap places. A few seconds further back and RMR were in a similar battle with Applewood. As we approached half distance, Raceandclassics started to ease away from G3Pro and Applewood likewise pulled a gap over RMR. They soon found themselves having to defend from a charging Titan.

On a slightly different strategy, Titan briefly took the lead during the middle quarter of the race. When the pit stops had all played out they settled into second place, half a dozen seconds behind Raceandclassics. The battle for third was still very much up for grabs with G3Pro holding a slender lead over Applewood. Rotax Means Rotax had fallen behind slightly during the middle part of the race and now found themselves under pressure from G3Pro Farecla and SoundFP.

Over the last few laps, Titan managed to eat away at raceandclassics’ lead and whittled it down to just over a second. Nevertheless, raceandclassics managed to hold on and score their second win of the season. G3Pro had managed to pull out a solid gap over Applewood to take the final spot on the podium. A solid drive saw Rotax Means Rotax finish fifth. SoundFP and G3Pro Farecla scored some useful points in sixth and seventh. SMJ were way down in 22nd place and last in class.

Their win saw Raceandclassics.com close the gap to Titan to just five points going into the second half of the season. G3Pro are a further 15 points back and really need to get a win under their belt if they are going to challenge the top two. With G3Pro Farecla in 35 points behind in fourth, perhaps some crafty team orders could come into play at future races…