It’s Looking Ominous. Who Can Stop Joe Holmes? Win #4


Steve Gray
Super-Heavyweight Sprint Championship 2019, Rd.4, Class 2 – Heavyweight Sprint Championship 2019, Rd.4, Class 1 – Heavyweight Sprint Championship 2019, Rd.4,

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.

The Heats

Heat 1

Lennie Wood on pole from Konstantinos Kyritsis with Mark Appleton and James Workman on row two. Wood led the pack away and did well to hold on to the lead through the Hook as Kyritsis pressured him. By the end of the lap he was almost a second clear with Appleton third from Steve Bosley, who had been having some one to one tuition over the weekend in an effort to regain his form. Nima Oparvar was fifth whilst Anwar Beroual-Smith was moving swiftly through the pack from grid eleven. Second time around and Kyritsis was at the front having taken Wood at the final turn with Bosley up to third. Thereafter Kyritsis pulled gradually away taking the win over four seconds clear of the field. Wood remained second for much of the race but lost out to a flying Beroual-Smith on the penultimate lap and had to settle for third. Steven Downes took fourth. He’d started on grid eight, dropped to ninth and then worked his way back up the order. Bosley took fifth.

Heat 2

Pole for Paul Jennings with Jaeden Cadogan alongside followed by David Stirling and Rob Moore, back in the Championship after missing Whilton Mill with a non racing related foot injury. Jennings led away but it was Moore quickly up to second and giving chase as Cadogan dropped to fourth behind Stirling. David Whitehouse, having his first run of the season, was up to fifth from grid seven whilst reigning HW Champion Tim Hill got forced wide dropping from sixth to eleventh. Two laps down and the front three remained the same but Whitehouse was up to fourth from Super Heavyweight (SHW) Paul Williams as Cadogan began to fall down the order. Third time around and Moore was at the front but his lead was short lived as Jennings regained the lead. Whitehouse was up to third with Harrison Darvill next after starting from grid eight. Hill was also making progress after his early set back. Jennings continued to lead with the top five remaining static. Stirling was dropping back and would ultimately finish last after being punted out of the race. Daniel Taylor was up to sixth after making up ten places. Final lap and Moore moved back into the lead. He’d worked out where Jennings was weakest and breezed past. Jennings was a comfortable second with Darvill third from Whitehouse and Hill. Dan Taylor, sixth, was the leading C2 runner with Williams the leading EssexFlatPack SHW runner.

Heat 3

Championship front runner Adam Wright on pole from Miguel Hall with Vijay Patel and Ben Robinson on row two. Championship leader Joe Holmes was starting from the back row. Wright and Hall both got away well but Patel lost out dropping to seventh by the end of the lap. Martin Gurnett dropped to tenth, from fifth, with Andrew Cherry also dropping places. Down the order Jordan Hawkins and Holmes were both beginning to make progress. Half distance and Wright still led from Hall with Robinson third but some four seconds adrift with Stuart Germon on his bumper in fourth. Craig Brown was fifth with the impressive Hawkins next from SHW Championship leader Trevor Randall seventh. He would set the fastest lap and establish a lap record for the SHW class fifth time around before retiring from the event. Two from home and Wright still led with Hall pressuring him all the way and setting the fastest lap of the race. Hawkins was up to third but seven seconds adrift with Robinson fourth from Germon, Brown and Holmes. Penultimate lap and Holmes was up to fourth. Last lap and it was all eyes on the leaders as they came up to the final corner. Hall tried for the inside but Wright defended. It compromised his exit and he ran wide with Hall cutting back to the inside and gaining ground rapidly. But Wright hung on. By just 0.006. Hall was the leading C2 runner with Hawkins next from Holmes and Germon.

Heat 4

Pole for Adrian Brammer with Stephen Jennings alongside and Beroual-Smith with Keith Evans on row two. Brammer led the field up to the line but it was Beroual-Smith at the front as they crossed the line at the end of the lap with SHW Richard Allen up to second from fifth and Brammer third from Jennings. Beroual-Smith continued to pull away chased by Allen. By half distance Allen was just half a second behind having set the fastest lap breaking Randall’s record in the Super Heavyweight (SHW) division. Brammer remained third but had Dan Taylor closing in Wood next from Darvill and Moore. Over the next couple of laps Beroual-Smith upped his pace and broke the tow back to Allen. By the end of the race he was over two seconds clear to claim the win and valuable points. Allen was a comfortable second from Taylor with Brammer fourth from Darvill.

Heat 5

Aaron Stevens on pole from Stephen Netting with Jordan Salter and Ben Harper on row two. Stevens and Netting led the pack away and by the end of the lap they were still one and two with Salter third from Wright who had vaulted up from grid nine. Hall was also on the move, up from grid ten to sixth with Stephane Appleton fifth. Stevens continued to lead from Netting whilst Salter was putting in a heroic performance to keep Wright and Hall at bay. He might have been slower but he was defending well and driving fairly. Sadly, he couldn’t keep it up falling behind the more experienced Wright and Hall just before half distance. Stevens continued to hold Netting off at the front whilst Wright and Hall homed in both setting their fastest laps sixth time around. Penultimate lap and they had deposed Netting. But could they catch the leader? They certainly had the pace on paper but it was not to be. Stevens held on to take a very fine win with Wright just a tenth back with Hall third but several lengths back and almost falling into the clutches of fourth placed Netting. Salter hung on for fifth but it was close at the flag as he crossed the line just 0.043 ahead of Hill who had worked his way up from grid thirteen.

Heat 6

Pole for Craig Brown with Kevin Coombes alongside followed by Damien Holmes and Luke Hornsby on row two. Brown got away cleanly to lead into the first turns but Coombes got jumped by both Hornsby and Hawkins and dropped to fourth whilst Holmes spun to the back of the field. Brown continued to lead with Hornsby pressuring him all round the lap but unable to find a way by. Hawkins was holding station in third ahead of Tarik Almou and Holmes. Half distance and the order remained the same apart from Holmes getting ahead of Almou. Hornsby made a move on Brown at the final corner but ran wide allowing Hawkins through into second. He almost got the leader on the line starting the sixth lap just 0.018 behind but Brown held him off. Holmes almost took advantage too but Hornsby defended well and Holmes found himself back down to fifth behind Almou. Penultimate lap and Brown was still at the front from Hawkins and Hornsby whilst Holmes had re-passed Almou for fourth and was closing in on Hornsby. Brown defended with everything in his armoury over the final lap placing his Kart brilliantly to hold off Hawkins and take the win by just a Karts length. Holmes took Hornsby for third whilst Kyritsis came home fifth taking Almou on the last lap.

Heat 7

Taylor on pole from Cherry with Whitehouse and Vinod Hirani on row two. Taylor, Cherry and Whitehouse all got away cleanly but Hirani lost out through the Hook and fell to eighth behind Pete Newbury, Robinson, Lee Carey and Allen. Whitehouse was looking particularly strong over the early laps and was ahead just before half distance with Taylor second from Cherry and Newbury. Wright was up to sixth from grid thirteen but over four seconds back from the leaders. But he was picking his battles carefully. Whitehouse was controlling the gap back to Taylor with Cherry dropping back as he held off Newbury. Wright was over a second back in fifth with Allen sixth. Penultimate lap and Whitehouse was pulling away at the front whilst Taylor was comfortable in second some three seconds clear of the battle for third headed by Cherry but with Newbury and Wright right with him. Whitehouse crossed the line half a second clear of Taylor to take the win. Down into the final turn Wright made his move for third. Cherry ran a little wide out of the corner and then it became a drag race for the line with Wright breaking the timing beam just 0.010 ahead. A vital point. Two vital points gained from his final two heats by a combined 0.016.

Heat 8

Holmes on pole from Downes with Germon and Charman on row two. Holmes got away smartly but Downes was a little slow and Germon was ahead as they crossed the line. By the end of the lap Holmes was almost a second clear at the front with Germon second from Almou. Downes, Bosley and Hill. Two laps in and Holmes continued to pull clear with Almou up to second from Downes and Bosley whilst Germon fell to fifth. Half distance and Holmes was two and a half seconds clear of Almou and setting fastest laps just for fun. He would ultimately take the win by over four seconds setting the fastest lap and establishing a new record the final time around. Almou remained second from Downes, Bosley and Hill with Beroual-Smith closing in after starting from grid twelve. Almou held on for a very good second with Bosley third from Beroual-Smith with Downes fifth from Hill.

Heat 9

The final heat of the day saw Rob Adlam on pole from Darvill with Oparvar and Chard-Maple on row two. Adlam got a poor start and was down to fourth by the end of the first lap with Oparvar at the front from Darvill and Chard-maple. Solomon spun out of fifth. Two laps in and Darvill was at the front with Oparvar down to second. A lap later and he was down to fifth behind Darvill, Chard Maple, Netting and Adlam. Half distance and both Darvill and Chard-Maple were pulling clear of the battle for third headed now by Adlam from Oparvar and Netting. Penultimate lap and Darvill was a couple of Kart lengths clear at the front and barring mistakes looking home and hosed as Chard-Maple was making no impression on the gap. He was however well safe from any attack from behind running over three seconds clear of third placed Adlam. Darvill took the win with Chard-Maple second from Adlam, Netting and Hornsby. Both Moore and Gurnett took Oparvar on the final lap which would cost the latter a place in the A Final.

The Finals

B Final

Nima Oparvar on pole from Luke Chard-Maple alongside. Row two, Rob Adlam and Pete Newbury with Stuart Germon and Martin Gurnett on row three. Paul Williams shared row four with Ben Robinson whilst Keith Evans lined up on row five alongside the only C1 driver in the race, Stephen Jennings. Just two to qualify for the A Final. Oparvar brought the field up to the line but it was Chard-Maple who got the better start to lead into the Hook.

By the end of the lap he was several Kart lengths clear of Oparvar with Adlam third from Newbury, Germon and Gurnett followed by Jennings. With three laps run Chard-Maple had the lead out to almost a second and a half as the pack fought over second. Oparvar still held the place but Germon was now up to third and looking to challenge with Adlam next from Jennings. With four run Chard-Maple was over two seconds clear. Oparvar crossed the line second just 0.046 ahead of Germon who took second as they rounded the Hook. Jennings was now up to fourth and right with Oparvar. Fifth time around and Chard-Maple had increased the gap back to second whilst Germon was over a second clear of Oparvar. But into the Hook he got in too deep and went across the grass coming to a halt in the tyres on the outside of the corner. He was unable to restart.

Jennings took over second with Oparvar third from Gurnett and Newbury with SHW runner Williams in sixth just ahead of Appleton. Half distance and Chard-Maple was over five seconds clear with Jennings second. Gurnett was up to third but well back. Over the second half of the race Chard-Maple controlled the gap back to Jennings at just over five seconds whilst the latter steadily pulled away from third placed Gurnett who was holding off Oparvar and Newbury. And these three were well clear of sixth placed Appleton. Barring incidents the race for qualification was all but done. And so it proved. Chard-Maple took the win over six seconds and set the fastest lap the penultimate time around. It was also a class record. Jennings came home a comfortable second but it was Newbury who won the battle for third with Gurnett fourth from Oparvar. Appleton was a comfortable sixth. Damien Holmes was next across the line and first in the Super Heavyweight (SHW) class but a penalty for gaining a place through contact dropped him four places and out of the top ten. It also cost him a trophy. A shame this as he had driven hard to move up from grid nineteen. He did however have the satisfaction of fastest lap in the SHW class. Holmes penalty saw James Workman promoted to seventh from Kevin Coombes with Paul Williams taking the SHW honours. With just two SHW runners in the A Final. this also gave him the third place trophy. Ben Robinson completed the top ten.

A Final

Adam Wright on pole from Anwar-Beroual-Smith with Championship leader Joe Holmes on row two alongside Harrison Darvill. Dan Taylor shared row three with David Whitehouse whilst Jordan Hawkins shared row four with Konstantinos Kyritsis. Rob Moore and Miguel Hall completed the first five rows. Wright led the field away but Holmes was up to second and challenging for the lead. Wright held him off but Holmes was in no mood to hang about. Out of the final corner he won the drag race for the line and taking the lead by just 0.030 as they crossed the line to start the second lap. Crucially he had the momentum and held the better line through the Hook preventing Wright from making a move. Beroual-Smith ran third from Taylor and Darvill but Whitehouse lost out through the first turns and was down to eighth behind Moore and Hawkins.

Beroual-Smith took over in second and Wright sensibly didn’t fight too hard not wanting to become embroiled in a battle for second which would allow Holmes to pull further away at the front. Behind these was a great battle for fourth. Darvill held the place from Moore. Taylor and Hawkins whilst Whitehouse was beginning to fall away. With three laps run Moore made it through to fourth but Darvill and Hawkins were by no means out of the hunt. One third distance and Holmes was a second clear at the front with Beroual-Smith still second a tenth clear of Wright. Moore was a second and a half back down the road but he had broken the tow back to Darvill. Half distance and the order at the top remained the same but Moore was beginning to close the gap setting the fastest lap seventh time around and establishing a new record. Darvill was still fifth with Downes a second back and coming under pressure from Kyritsis. With nine down Holmes had extended his lead to almost two seconds. Wright made his move for second at the final turn but didn’t quite make it stick as Beroual-Smith defended. But it cost them both valuable time. Beroual-Smith crossed the just 0.004 ahead. But Wright had the momentum and moved up to second. And Moore was closing the gap. Four from home and Beroual-Smith went for second at the final corner. Wright defended but ran wide and a following Moore got inside. Up to the line and Beroual-Smith was ahead. Wright tried to hang on, momentarily getting airborne as he hopped off the kerb at the start and finish line. But Moore held him off. Over the final laps the three of them battled hard with no quarter given. But it was all clean driving.

It did however allow Holmes to pull well clear. He took the win by over five seconds after a faultless run whilst Beroual-Smith took a very hard earned second for his best result of the season. Moor held onto third. But it was oh so close. Wright tried one last time at the final turn and almost made it losing out by just 0.039 as they crossed the line. Fine drives though from them all. It was great pity that Wright had to miss out on the podium. Kyritsis took fifth with Darvill sixth from Downes, who took the C2 honours. Paul Jennings, Hawkins, second in C2 and Hill. Third place in the C2 class went to Miguel Hall, eleventh overall whilst the EssexFlatPack Super Heavyweight class went to Richard Allen with Jordan Salter second.

Round up

Can anyone stop Joe Holmes? Four wins out of four is some record. Adam Wright lost a bit of ground to Joe at Llandow missing out on the podium for the first time this season whilst Konstantinos Kyritsis didn’t have the greatest of the days but still took valuable points. Anwar Beroual-Smith is fourth. He had his best result of the season at Llandow and is really getting back up to speed after a couple of years away. Fifth in the standings is Dan Taylor and he’s also leading the C2 class from Craig Brown who is sixth overall in the standings with Steven Downes third and eighth overall.
In the EssexFlatPack Super Heavyweight division Richard Allen is back on top after Trevor Randall withdrew from the meeting. Jordan Salter is up to second with Paul Williams 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