Has Ed Barrs’ Time Come?


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

A lovely bright spring morning that had greeted the Heavies, for round two at the historic Oxfordshire circuit, did not let us down into the afternoon, sunny, and warm (for a northerner). Full grids again proving the huge popularity of CLUB100. Shenington is one of the oldest Kart circuits in the country formed from the remains of a World War 2 RAF station which was once the site of test flights for a revolutionary new engine which would change the course of aviation history, Sir Frank Whittle’s jet. A great circuit with several overtaking opportunities. From the start line the circuit swings through a flat left, Park, before breaking for the right handed Cafe corner, a long hairpin followed by a short straight and then the flat out left handed Pits Bend. Onto the Stratford straight and into the tight right handed hairpin at Stratford corner followed by the run down into the tricky Bruno chicane which features some nasty Kart breaking kerbs and requires a deft touch to thread the Kart through. Once clear it’s a run down the Hangar straight to the Wilkins complex which viewed from above looks a little like a hockey stick. A tightening right followed by a left as you accelerate back onto the start and finish straight.

Heat 1

Tom Dix on pole from James Rose for the first heat of the afternoon session. Stuart Hubbard and Billy Robson shared row two with the veteran Keith Segal and Josh Adams on row three.
Dix led the pack away with Rose tucking into second. Hubbard lost out round the outside of Cafe and dropped to seventh. A lap later he spun out. Segal was a first lap spinner as was Sam Morris starting from grid seven. Adams moved up to third chased by Dan Healey, up from grid eight, and Ed Barrs, up from grid eleven. With two laps run Dix had pulled over two seconds clear of second place, now occupied by Barrs with Healey up to third. Adams was fourth from Rose. Third time around and Barrs was beginning to cut the gap whilst just edging away from Healey. And so it went on. Each lap Barrs cut the gap whilst Healey was dropping back. Adams remained fourth but it was Mikey Nichols up to fifth chased by Stephen Docker who had fought his way up from grid seventeen. Penultimate lap and Barrs set another fastest lap which would prove to be the quickest of the race. But Dix was still some seven tenths up the road. But he Barrs was closing. Dix drove his slowest lap of the race whilst Barrs put in his second quickest. But it wasn’t quite enough. One more lap and he would have won it. The gap? 0.092. Good points though after starting from grid eleven. Healey took a lonely third with Adams fourth and firs C2 runner. He also set the fastest lap for the class. Nichols held off the flying Docker to take fifth with Louie Ross seventh. A good drive this from the youngster. One to watch. James Martin, Billy Robson and Lloyd McGeoch-Williams completed the top ten.

Heat 2

Pole for Andrew Ward with Eric Mignon alongside and having his first Sprint outing of the year. Good to see him back. Jack Mitchell and Leo Stolyarov shared row two with Oscar Lancaster and Martin Auger on row three. Ward led away from the lights but Mignon, Stolyarov and Auger were early spinners promoting Mitchell into second from a quick starting Max O’Shaughnessy. Lancaster ran fourth with Buckmore winner Liam Cochrane fifth. Rob Newman was up to sixth from grid twelve with Chris Dixon next, up from grid fourteen. Ward continued to lead but Mitchell was itching to get by and with three down he was at the front. Ward was now coming under pressure from O’Shaughnessy with Lancaster next from Cochrane, Newman, Dixon and Pietro Pagano who had driven up from the back of the grid. O’Shaughnessy took a lap to dispense with Ward and get after the leader whilst Lancaster nibbled away at Ward for third. The top seven were running almost line astern. Three from home and Cochrane dropped from fifth to seventh behind Newman and Dixon. Penultimate lap and Lancaster finally got by Ward for third. Final lap and he was past O’Shaughnessy for second but Mitchell remained just out of reach taking the win by a couple of Kart lengths with Lancaster second and first in the C2 class. O’Shaughnessy took third from Ward, Newman and Dixon. Newman set fastest lap and established a class record. The top six were covered by less than a second. Cochrane held onto the seventh despite the close attentions of Pagano with David Longman and Ben Frost completing the top ten. Frost was fastest C2 runner.

Heat 3

Christian Schulz on pole from James Wattis. Mike Coppin and Simon Sharpe shared row three with 2018 Lightweight Champion Mike Noon on row three alongside Andrew Green. Schulz led away but the spun away his chances. Sharpe too was an early casualty all of which allowed Coppin into the lead from Adrian Mertens. Daniel Brewer was up to third having started on grid on grid eleven with Freddie Fincham right behind having followed the former through from grid thirteen, Mitchell Althasen was up to fifth but was carrying a penalty after gaining a place through contact. Two laps in and Brewer was up to second but the leader was inching clear. He would not be caught. Fincham and Wattis were battling hard over fourth with Hobbs close at hand whilst Noon and Green squabbled over seventh. Coppin took the win almost three seconds up on second placed Brewer with Mertens third. Althasen crossed the line next but was penalised down to eight promoting Wattis to fourth ahead of Fincham with Hobbs just a tenth adrift. Green took seventh with Noon ninth from Bailey Morgan who was just 0.086 shy of noon at the flag. Fastest lap went to Matt Jones in eleventh.

Heat 4

Daz Teal on pole from Christopher Powell with Loic Ditchburn and Oliver Knighton on row two. Stephen Hicks and Craig Rankine shared row three. Teal led away but it was Hicks up to second after an aggressive run into Cafe with Powell dropping to fourth behind Ditchburn. Powell took a lap to find a way past Ditchburn but once through he set about closing the gap to Teal and Hicks who were running a tenth apart at the front. Half distance and teal led from Hicks with Powell a few Kart lengths back in third with Ditchbun fourth from a very on form Adam Wheeldon who had moved up from grid nine but was having to defend hard from Chris Alcock, up from grid eleven. Teal took the win with Hicks second just 0.071 up from Powell who closed in over the final tour. Alcock was fourth and set the fastest lap final time around with Wheeldon fifth in what was a more competitive heat than the lap chart would suggest. Ditchburn took sixth well clear of Nik Hoyle in seventh. Shaun Hollingsworth was eighth from Rob Langthorp ninth and Knighton tenth.

Heat 5

Pole for Longman with first heat runner up Barrs alongside. Ross and Frost on row two with Oliver Rowlands and Cameron Williams on row three. Barrs got the better start with Ross also getting away well to slot into second with Longman dropping to third ahead of Rowlands. Mitchell got a great start moving up from grid twelve to fifth ahead of Martin and Pagano. Two laps run and Barrs was pulling clear at the front whilst Ross remained second from Longman. Pagano was up to fourth from Martin, Mitchell and O’Shaughnessy who had fought his way up from grid sixteen. Half distance and Barrs was over three seconds clear at the front from Ross who now had Pagano closing in. O’Shaughnessy had found a way by Mitchell who had Martin and Frost in close proximity. And so it remained. Barrs extended his lead whilst Ross was holding off Pagano for second. O’Shaughnessy remained fourth from Mitchell but Frost was being dropped and slipping back into the clutches of Martin and Healey. Pagano took a look down the inside of Ross at Wilkins but failed to make the move stick and lost momentum. As did O’Shaughnessy which allowed Mitchell to jump them both. Barrs took the win by over five seconds whilst Ross held off the challenge of Mitchell. A fine drive from Ross who was also the fastest of the C2 runners. Mitchell crossed the line third but was demoted to seventh after an early rave penalty promoting O’Shaughnessy to third ahead of Pagano. Frost would have been next but he too took a penalty demoting him to tenth leaving Martin and Healey fifth and sixth ahead of Mitchell. Cochrane was next after starting from the back of the grid with Longman ninth from Frost.

Heat 6

Hoyle on pole from Brewer with Newman and Corey Smith on row two and Dixon and Bailey Morgan on row three. Hoyle led the field away but it was Newman who got the better start to lead at the end of the lap. Brewer and Smith both spun out leaving Morgan third from Coppin who made up eight places on the first lap. Dixon ran fifth ahead of Roger Davis with Hicks into seventh from grid fourteen. With Newman pulling clear it was all action behind in the battle for second now headed by Dixon with Hoyle third from Coppin, Morgan and Mertens who had moved swiftly up over the first couple of laps from grid sixteen. Davis had slipped out of the picture. Newman continued to pull clear of the chasing pack aided by Dixon having to put up a resolute defence from Coppin with Morgan fourth from first heat winner Dix who had moved steadily up from grid ten. Half distance and it was as you were for the top five. With two to go Newman was well clear of Dixon who still had given himself some breathing space from Coppin with Dix up to fourth ahead of Mertens, Morgan and Hicks. And so it remained, Newman taking the win and setting fastest lap final time around with Dixon second but penalised down to sixth handing the place to Coppin. Dix placed third ahead of Mertens and Morgan with Hicks seventh from Langthorp, Althasen who had moved up from grid eighteen and a fading Hoyle. Mertens was leading C2 runner and set the fastest lap in the class.

Heat 7

Josh Wellard on pole from Chris Alcock with Harry Neale and Fincham sharing row two and McGeoch-Williams alongside James Browning on row three. Wellard was a touch slow away from the lights whilst Neale used all his experience to move quickly to the front. Teal was up to third by the end of the lap after a barnstorming first lap saw him move up from grid ten. Wellard remained fourth but Fincham’s chances of good points had nosedived with a spin. McGeoch-Williams held fifth with Hussain Rashid sixth. Neale had a good lead by the end of the first lap but second time around Alcock had cut the deficit despite coming under pressure from Teal. McGeoch-Williams remained fourth but was being dropped by the leading trio. Neale extended the gap at the front as Alcock defended from Teal losing them both time but Teal was quickly by and immediately began to close in on the leader. Half distance and he was through into a lead he would never relinquish eventually crossing the line almost a second clear of Neale with Alcock a few tenths back in third. Teal also set the fastest lap in recording his second win of the day. McGeoch-Williams remained fourth with Rashid next and fastest of the C2 runners and Wellard sixth. Jones was next from Lancaster, Powell and Stolyarov.

Heat 8

Pole for Nichols with Daniel Gamblin alongside. Row two featured Camillo Anania and Ben Johnson with Rob Dowsett and Kingsley Cummins on row three. Not the tidiest start for this one but not so bad as to warrant a restart. By the end of the first lap Johnson had moved to the front with Nichols second from Docker, up from grid eight and Ward, up from grid ten. Anania spun down the order as did Cummings and Westwood. Mignon too was an early spinner for the second time in the day. Ditchburn, Knighton and Wheeldon had all made big gains. Johnson continued to lead but Docker was up to second and closing with Nichols third from Ward, Dowsett, Gamblin and Ditcburn. Half distance and Docker was at the front and pulling clear whilst Nichols and Johnson battled it out over second with Ward close at hand. Dowsett remained fifth from Gamblin, Ditchburn and Knighton. Docker continued to pull clear whilst the battle raged for second. Penultimate lap and Johnson was back into the position as Nichols fell to fourth behind Ward. Docker took the win, and fastest lap, with Johnson second from Ward and Nichols whilst Dowsett took fifth, exactly where he had started! Gamblin took sixth with Wheeldon next after a strong drive from grid eighteen. Ditchburn was eight with Adams and Knighton rounding out the top ten. Mignon set the fastest time of the C2 runners.

Heat 9

Althasen on pole from Rashid with Pagano and Hargreaves on row two and Mertens and Martin on three. A good start this time with Althasen keeping the lead from pole and Rashid holding onto second. Mertens moved into third with Pagano down to fourth from Martin and Hargreaves. Down the order, Brewer, Powell and Teal all got off to great starts. Rashid wasted no time and was through into the lead by the end of lap two. Thereafter he would extend his lead as Althasen defended from Mertens and Pagano. Half distance and he was almost two seconds clear with Mertens now up to second. Althasen was holding onto third but Pagano was right with him and swept by into Cafe. Rashid took the win with Mertens second from Pagano and Althasen. Martin was next up. He had both Brewer and Teal closing in over the final laps but he had enough in hand to hold the position. Longman took eighth with Ross and Hargreaves rounding out the top ten. Rashid set the overall fastest lap of the race beating the quickest C1 runner Pagano by 0.039.

 

Heat 10

Wheeldon on pole from Nathan Ballard with Docker and Chris Scivier on row two. Hollingsworth and Davis shared row three. A frantic start but with no top six spinners saw Docker at the front by the end of the first lap with Wheeldon second from Scivier. Hollingsworth ran fourth with Ballard dropping to fifth ahead of Davis. Browning and Lancaster were both first lap spinners but the most embarrassed driver at the circuit was Rob Newman who failed to realise that he was in the heat and failed to start much to the amusement of his dad. As Barry said, we might not be doing too well today but we are certainly supplying comedic value! Not sure Rob saw it that way. Once into the lead Docker began to eke out a gap to Wheeldon in second who was concentrating on keeping Hollingsworth at bay. Scivier was in touch and pulling away from Ballard in fifth who had Dixon pressing him hard. Half distance and Docker remained a few Kart lengths up on Wheeldon with Hollingsworth a tenth behind the latter in third. Scivier remained fourth but Dixon was into fifth as Ballard dropped down the order to trail Davis, Alcock and Adams. Two to go and Docker still led but Hollingsworth had forced his way past Wheeldon and set about closing the gap. Penultimate lap and Hollingsworth went the quickest of all but Docker held him at bay over the final lap to take the win by just over a tenth. Wheeldon took third from Scivier and Dixon. Alcock was sixth from Davis with Adams eighth, Johnson ninth and Ballard tenth.

Heat 11

Pole for Reece Pope from Matthew Collier. Row two featured Langthorp and Healey with Sam Morris and George Redstone on row three. Or that’s how they should have lined up. For the second heat in a row a driver failed to take his grid spot. In this case Redstone was the culprit. Time and the pit lane steward wait for no man. Pope and Collier got away cleanly but both Langthorp and Healey were quicker and took over at the front. Unfortunately Healey had made contact with Pope on his way through and would suffer the inevitable place deduction post race. Green was up to fifth ahead of a fast starting Robson, up from grid twelve, Hicks was up to seventh. Langthorp continued to lead from Healey with Collier into third. Coming down into the Bruno chicane Hicks tried to put a move on both Green and Pope. It was a shade optimistic. All three spun with Hicks just keeping going whilst both Pope and Green were stationary. Hicks was quickly back up to speed but would suffer exclusion at the end of the race. Langthorp eased steadily away from Healey and would ultimately cross the line over three seconds clear of Healey who was in turn well clear of Collier. Hicks was next across the line but a storming drive counted for nothing as he was excluded from the results. Healey’s four place deduction handed second to Collier with Robson promoted to third from Ward who had made his way through from the back of the grid. Neale was placed fifth after starting on grid fourteen. Healey was next and did at least have the satisfaction of fastest lap. Green, Hubbard, Rowlands and Hoyle completed the top ten.

Heat 12

Cochrane on pole from Ryan Slaney. Matt Jones and Peter Hobbs on row two and O’Shaughnessy alongside Westwood on row three. Cochrane got away to a good start but Slaney and Hobbs made contact spinning them both out whilst O’Shaughnessy took full advantage to move into second ahead of Jones. Noon was up to fourth from grid nine with Fincham in his wheel tracks from grid eleven. Barrs was up from grid fifteen to seventh whilst Dix had had an even better start rising to sixth from grid seventeen! Cochrane’s lead lasted but a lap as O’Shaughnessy took over at the front and began to pull clear as Cochrane went defensive from Noon. Jones remained fourth but had both Dix and Barrs closing in. Half distance and O’Shaughnessy was well up the road with Noon into second from Cochrane, Dix Jones, Fincham and Barrs. A lap later and Cochrane was down to seventh behind Barrs and Fincham. Two to go and O’Shaughnessy had increased his lead at the front from Noon who now had Dix and Barrs closing in with Jones down to fifth. Penultimate lap and it was as you were but final time around Noon succumbed to the pressure and dropped behind both Dix and Barrs as O’Shaughnessy drove home his superiority by setting the fastest lap and taking the win over five seconds clear. Fincham took fifth with Cochrane next from Jones. Dowsett, Knighton and Westwood completed the top ten.

The Finals

C Final

Peter Hobbs on pole from Oliver Rowlands with Stuart Hubbard and Peter Hargreaves on row two. Reece Pope and Stephen Westwood shared row three with Jack Mitchell and Steve Hicks on row four. James Rose and Eric mignon completed the first five rows. Four to qualify for the back of the B Final.

Hobbs led the pack away but it was Mitchell who caught the eye moving smartly up to second from the fourth row. Rowlands ran third with Westwood fourth from Hubbard. Both Hargreaves and Pope lost ground whilst Hicks moved up to sixth. Hobbs lead lasted for a couple of laps before Mitchell found a way by. Thereafter he increased his lead lap by lap winning the race by over eight seconds. Hobbs remained a comfortable second with Rowlands third. Westwood was next up and closing in on Rowlands whilst Hicks was closing in on them both. For several laps the top five remained static allowing Westwood, Rowlands and Hicks to close in on second placed Hobbs. Half distance and Westwood was just a couple of tenths away from Hobbs with Hicks fourth but over a second adrift having finally fought his way past Rowlands.

Over the remaining laps Mitchell continued to pull clear at the front setting the fastest lap tenth time around whilst Hobbs, Westwood and Hicks continued to circulate pulling clear of fifth placed Rowlands. Final lap and Hicks went by Westwood for third. Mitchell, Hobbs, Hicks and Westwood the qualifiers for the back of the B with Rankine finishing fifth from Rowlands. Stolyarov, Mignon, Hubbard and Rose completed the top ten finishers.

B Final

Freddie Fincham on pole for this one with Rob Newman alongside. Billy Robson and Matt Jones on row two with Shaun Hollingsworth and Lloyd McGeoch-williams sharing row three. Mike Noon and David Longman on row four with Oscar Lancaster and Andrew Green rounding out the first five rows. Just two to qualify for the A Final.

Fincham got away well from pole but it was Robson up to second with Newman third. Jones dropped to seventh with Hollingsworth up to fourth ahead of Lancaster. Down the order Mitchell was up ten places to thirteenth with Hicks also making up places. Fincham continued to lead but Newman was into second and closing in whilst Robson remained third from Hollingsworth. Noon’s fourth place was short lived as Lancaster, Jones, Green and Longman all swept by in the space of a lap. Four laps in and he dropped further down the order as the flying Mitchell moved up to seventh. Half distance and Newman had taken over at the front and was gradually easing away from Fincham who was just holding off a very determined Robson. Hollingsworth was fourth but over two seconds back whilst Mitchell was now up to fifth but a second and a half adrift of fourth. Jones was next from Lancaster, Wattis, Hicks and Green. Newman continued to control the race from the front but Robson was now up to second a couple of Kart lengths up on Fincham whilst Hollingsworth was just keeping Mitchell at bay. Newman stretched his lead at the front as Robson defended from Fincham. Hollingsworth was keeping ahead of Mitchell but then the latter out in his best lap of the race to cut the gap to feet. With two to run he was through into fourth but still over a second and half away from second. Penultimate lap and Newman was looking safe whilst Fincham was just a tenth up on Robson with Mitchell looking too far back to mount a challenge despite setting the fastest lap of the race with one lap to go.

Newman took the win with Fincham next whilst Mitchell made it through into third and missed out on second by a couple of tenths. Robson was fourth with Hollingsworth fifth from Jones and Lancaster. Hicks Wattis and Longman completed the top ten.

A Final

Ed Barrs on pole from Tom Dix with Max O’Shaughnessy and Stephen Docker on row two. Daz Teal and the first of the C2 runners Adrian Mertens shared row three with Andrew Ward and Chris Alcock on four. Pietro Pagano and Adam Wheeldon completed the first five rows.

Barrs led away from the lights with Dix looking to go round the outside at Cafe. But he had to tuck into second whilst O’Shaughnessy and Docker both spun away their chances as did Mertens. Over the line at the end of the first lap and Barrs was already over a second clear of Dix with Alcock third from Teal, Ward, Pagano and Dixon. Barrs continued to stretch his advantage from Dix with Alcock third from Pagano. Teal had dropped to fifth ahead of Ward whilst Healey was up to seventh from grid eleven. Half distance and Barrs was almost three seconds clear of Dix with Pagano a further second back in third. Alcock ran fourth with Coppin next a tenth clear of Healey.

And that was pretty much how it remained all the way to flag. Barrs continued to extend his lead crossing the line over five seconds up to take his first ever CLUB100 win. Dix took second and took home his first ever CLUB100 trophy. Pagano kept him honest and was always in touch but never quite close enough to make a move until the final lap. He almost outdragged Dix to the flag finishing just 0.059 adrift. Coppin took fourth displacing Alcock on the final lap with Healey sixth from Ward. O’Shaughnessy was eighth after a fine comeback drive. His first lap spin saw him down to seventeenth. Martin took ninth with Newman tenth across the line and setting fastest lap of the race which established a class record. Then he got penalise a place for knocking over a cone. A bad day at the office for the talented Yorkshireman. His penalty promoted Brewer to tenth. Mertens was fastest C2 runner.

Round up

A fine and dominant first win for Ed Barrs which sees him up to third in the standings. But it’s Pietro Pagano who leads the way from Chris Alcock. Max O’Shaughnessy is fourth with Daz Teal fifth. Adam Wheeldon leads the C2 runners from Shaun Hollingsworth and Rob Langthorp. Early days of course but the Championships are shaping up nicely. Reflections

Another great day’s racing. Slick organisation too from the pit lane saw everything run pretty smoothly. Thanks as always to all the officials and marshals who always do such a great job and also to the sprint sponsors Dartford Karting and EssexFlatPack.co.uk for their generous sponsorship.

Between races at Shenington there was some discussion as to why corners get there name. At ”Sheny” most of them are obvious like Cafe. The Wilkins complex is named after a club stalwart but most of the speculation was as to why the Bruno chicane is so named? Well, it’s named after Bruno Ferrari who was a famous Kart racer in the 60’s.

So now you know.

Next up Whilton Mill for the first all ”dayer” featuring the first Altima Academy with Mutation Motorsport sponsored Super Final Weekend of the year. And it’s all being filmed and broadcast Live. So make sure your helmets and overalls are all clean and shiny!

Words: Steve Gray
Pictures: John Patterson