No one Can Remember Daz Teal’s Last Win! Steve Hicks Clinches Altima Super Final Title
Clay Pigeon is one of the oldest Kart tracks in the country having been formed in the late 60’s on the site of an old Second World War military hospital. A historic place loved by most and with great facilities since its redevelopment a few years ago. Rumour has it that there may be a further track extension in the not too distant future. The start and finish straight is more of a long curve leading into the famous Billy’s blind. The circuit then sweeps round to the right and into the Esses, a quick right left chicane, which opens out onto the back straight. This leads down to the banked hairpin. Out of the hairpin it’s into the double apex Horseshoe and then a flat out right hander at Buttons before the long right handed top bend which leads back onto the start and finish straight. And one other little known fact is that the circuit was the inspiration for the circuit depicted in the novel “Quinn’s Way”.
The Heats & the Road to the Finals
Andrew O’Neill started the first heat from grid eight but by the end of the first lap he was up to second behind pole sitter Mikey Nichols. Nichols held him at bay for a couple of laps before he got by. Once in the lead he immediately began to pull clear taking the win by almost five seconds. Nichols claimed second helped by the battle for third between Jonah Barker and Peter Hobbs which went the way of Barker. David Longman took fifth.
Dan Brewer and James Martin started alongside each other on row two for the second heat and wasted no time in getting to the front. Martin led all the way until the penultimate lap when Brewer slipped by to take the win. These two were well clear of front row starter Allan Curtis who took third after a solid drive. Tom Dix opened his account with a typically feisty drive up from grid fourteen to take fourth with Ben Yarwood fifth.
Jack O’Neill emulated his brother Andrew by taking the third heat. But he had to work for it in a heat which had four different leaders. Josh Wellard led initially from pole before Thanassi Barnicoat took over. But only for a lap as championship leader Ed Barrs took over at the front chased by O’Neill. O’Neill went by three laps from home taking Barnicoat with him and dropping Barrs to third. But Barrs wasn’t done and took Barnicoat on the final lap for second behind O’Neill. Wellard came home fourth with fellow front row sitter Adam Wheeldon fifth.
Stephen Docker and Josh Adams gave the crowd some real entertainment as they fought out heat four. Docker led from pole but Adams took over at the front into the chicane only to lose out as they crossed the line. Next lap and Adams took over at the front whilst Martin Theodorou and James Wattis closed up to Docker. Adams led for a couple of laps whilst Docker moved clear of Theodorou. Half distance and Docker took over at the front only for Adams to get ahead at Billy’s and then lose out again into the chicane. Into the hairpin Adams took the lead on the exit only to lose out into the Horseshoe and then regain the position out of the last corner. But Docker came back at him to lead over the line by 0.070. But Adams was back in front into Billy’s only to lose out into the chicane. Down into the chicane Docker gave Adams no chance to undercut him and kept his composure through the final turns. Thereafter he was never headed taking the win with Adams right on his bumper at the finish. Theodorou took third from Wattis with Rob Langthorp fifth.
Adrian Mertens took an easy win in heat five. Leading by over four seconds after three laps he never put a wheel wrong. Ed Barrs came home a lonely second. He fought his way through from grid thirteen in the early stages but could do little to cut Mertens advantage. Dan Truman took third over five seconds adrift of Barrs with James Martin fourth. Andrew O’Neill was next across the line but dropped a place behind Aymen Salih after clipping a cone.
Steve Hicks took his first win of the day in heat six leading all but the first lap. James Barnard took second after a penultimate lap pass on Tom Dix with Thanassi Barnicoat fourth after a typically strong drive up from grid twelve. Rob Langthorp took fifth after starting from pole.
Heat seven resulted in a lights to flag victory for Dan Healey by a margin of nearly five seconds from Stephen Docker who fought his way up from grid nine chased once again by Josh Adams. Harry Neale was a disappointed fourth after running second for much of the race with Dan Brewer taking fifth.
Daz Teal romped to victory in heat eight by over six seconds despite starting from grid nine. Allan Curtis started just behind Teal and followed him through in the early stages before Teal pulled clear. A good drive from Curtis holding off the challenge of Andrew Ward but he took a cone penalty dropping him behind Ward. Oscar Lancaster and Bailey Morgan were fourth and fifth.
Chris Alcock prevailed in heat nine. Once again the heat winner did so by an impressive margin. This time it was just over a six second gap to second placed James Wattis. Thanassi Barnicoat put in another strong drive to climb up from grid thirteen to third. Hussain Rashid was next across the line but he was penalised nine places after an eventful run. Charlie Folland was promoted to fourth with James Barnard fifth.
Heat ten went to Eric Mignon, one of Belgium’s finest exports having only his second sprint event of the season. Starting from the front row he was soon at the front to record an impressive win. Made all the sweeter as he held off Championship leader Ed Barrs over the closing laps. Barrs crossed the line second only to be demoted to third behind Jonah Barker after a cone penalty. But his third second place finish of the day would be enough to give him pole for the A Final. Oliver Flashman took fourth with Tom Dix fifth.
The penultimate heat saw Daz Teal take his second win of the day and secure a spot on the front row for the A Final. The track was completely dry by this time but there was still a hint of rain in the air. Andrew O’Neill chased him all the way but couldn’t quite get on terms losing out by just a couple of tenths but good enough to put himself on the second row of the grid for the A Final. David Longman had his best result of the day finishing third with Steve Hicks fourth from Harry Neale.
The final heat went to Jack O’Neill. Ben Yarwood started from pole with Darri Simms alongside but any hope of a good finish evaporated for the Cornishman third placed Mario Blanco Gonzalez made contact and spun them both down the order. Simms recovered to finish seventh. O’Neill took over at the front and was never headed taking the win almost three seconds clear of Andrew Ward with Ben Yarwood fourth from Jacob Lewis. Dan Healey came home fifth after a strong drive up from grid eighteen.
Lightweight C Final
Stef Theodorou and Aymen Salih missed out on qualifying for the B Final by just a couple of points so they formed the front row with Theodorou on pole by virtue of a quicker lap time. Reece Pope and Joshua Halloran shared row two with Ross Wheelaghan and Craig Rankine on row three. Roger Davis and Nathan Ballard were on row four with Stuart Hubbard on five and Mario Blanco gonzalez alongside Stephen Westwood on six. Row seven saw Julian Clist beside Stephen Westwood with Chris Kirk and Adrian Mertens behind. Cameron Williams shared row nine with Daniel Gamblin whilst Toby Gilmour and Sam Morris sat on row ten. Reece March and Mark Appleton were on row eleven with the penultimate row occupied by Jordan Cranstoun and Nigel Foot. And the final runner was Keith Segal the veteran driver having suffered badly in the heats. Top four to qualify for the B Final on what was now an almost dry track. But there was still a hint of rain in the air with clouds driving in from the west on the strengthening wind.
Theodorou led the pack away whilst Pope got the jump on Salih to slot into second. Rankine was quickly on the move and into fourth with Halloran and Wheelaghan fifth and sixth from Davis. Down the order Clist spun away his chances as he lost control under braking at the end of the back straight. Theodorou continued to lead from Pope but Rankine was up to third, slipping by Salih into the Horseshoe. Davis too made up ground taking Wheelaghan for sixth. Theodorou and Pope were pulling clear of the pack and looking safe to qualify but the battle for the last two spots was heating up. Halloran went by Salih at the end of the straight. Salih tried to defend but ran a little wide and Davis took the opportunity to move up a place. Halloran set about cutting the gap to Rankine with Davis close behind. Within a lap Halloran was with Rankine and attempted to outbrake him at the end of the back straight. He was just a touch too far back but he had committed to the move. Contact was made and both ran wide on the exit allowing Davis to slip by into third. Halloran wisely allowed Rankine to move back ahead but only for a couple of corners. Down the straight and into Billy’s he and Davis ran side by side. Davis defended and Halloran found himself running wide, compromising his entrance into the chicane. Davis defence had caused him to lose momentum and Rankine was back up the inside. Halloran on the outside had nowhere to go and took to the grass rejoining down in eighth. Pope took over at the front from Theodorou when the latter ran wide out of Billy’s. Davis run in third was short lived as Rankine moved back up to third with Salih now into fourth. Rankine quickly began to pull clear of the battle for fourth with Davis now back ahead of Salih. Wheelaghan was next from Blanco gonzalez but his chances disappeared as he spun out. Halloran was recovering but he had Mertens closing in. Having started on grid sixteen he’d worked his way steadily up the order.
Half distance and Pope still led but instead of keeping their heads down and pulling further clear he and Theodorou were now fighting it out for the lead. Rankine was on his own in third with Davis fourth from the recovering Halloran whilst Mertens was a second back in sixth. Two thirds run and Theodorou took over at the front as Halloran moved ahead of Davis. Theodorou’s lead lasted a lap as Pope retook him at Billy’s. Rankine remained third but the gap was beginning to come down as Halloran, Davis, Mertens, Wheelaghan and Salih settled down. With four to go Halloran slipped by Rankine for third as they came down the main straight. Rankine had no answer and Davis was quickly onto his bumper, demoting him to fifth as they rounded the Horseshoe. And Mertens too was closing in. Pope continued to lead but was being harried all the way round the lap by Theodorou. Once into third Halloran quickly put distance between himself and fourth placed Davis. Davis fourth place only lasted a few corners as Rankine moved back ahead. All of which allowed Mertens to close right up. Davis attempted to take back third as he and Rankine came out of the Horseshow. Both lost momentum and Mertens was quick to seize the moment and slipped by both as they rounded the final corner. Down into Billy’s Davis attempted to take back fourth but ran Mertens wide. Rankine moved back ahead whilst Davis sportingly surrendered his place to Mertens as they went down the back straight. All of which allowed a following Wheelaghan to close in. Pope took the win by just a couple of Kart lengths from Theodorou with Halloran third and setting the fastest lap of the race. Rankine took the final qualifying spot with Mertens just a few Kart lengths behind and just failing to qualify. He then got penalised down to sixth for a cone penalty handing the place back to Davis. A fine drive through the field though. Wheelaghan claimed seventh from Salih with Westwood and Hubbard completing the top ten in what was probably the best C Final of the season.
Lightweight B Final
Rob Langthorp just missed out on qualification for the A final so had to settle for pole with Martin Theodorou alongside. Josh Adams shared row two with Christopher Powell. Max O’Shaughnessy and Pietro Pagano occupied row three with Oscar Lancaster and Loic Ditchburn on row four and Lloyd McGeoch-Wiiliams alongside Eric Mignon on row five. Peter Hobbs and Tom Fuller shared row six with Jacob Lewis and Mikey Nichols on seven and Oliver Flashman alongside Chris Woodger on eight and Darri Simms sharing row nine with Nik Hoyle. Charlie Folland and Josh Wellard occupied row ten with Hussain Rashid and Paul Cox on eleven followed by the C Final qualifiers Pope, Theodorou, Halloran and Rankine. Top two to be promoted to the A Final.
Langthorp appeared to get a decent start but as the field streamed out of Billy’s and through the chicane it was O’Shaughnessy who was at the front. End of the lap and O’Shaughnessy led Theodorou across the line by almost a second with Pagano third and Langthorp fourth. Adams was fifth from Lancaster. Mignon and Fuller were early spinners. With two laps run O’Shaughnessy still led but wasn’t pulling away from second place, now held by Pagano. Langthorp was back up to third having taken Theodorou at the end of the back straight. Adams was fifth whilst Powell spun out of sixth ruining his chances of progression. Nichols was up to seventh. And climbing up through the field was the former Lights Champion Simms. Tenth at the end of the first lap he was up to seventh a lap later and really flying. Adams and Theodorou almost tripped each other up as they went through the chicane fifth time around. Both lost momentum and Simms nipped by them both. End of the lap and O’Shaughnessy led Pagano by a couple of Kart lengths with Langthorp almost two seconds adrift in third but being caught by the flying Simms. Adams was fifth from Nichols with Theodorou seventh. Flashman, McGeoch-Williams and Lancaster completed the top ten. The leaders continued to hold station but Langthorp was being rapidly hauled in by Simms.
Over the start and finish line at half distance Simms pulled alongside Langthorp as they braked for Billy’s. They brushed against each other but it was all fair enough. Langthorp ran a touch wide and Simms took over in second, two seconds back from the leaders but with plenty of time to make up ground. And not too far behind was Nichols. Pagano took over at the front for a few laps but the leaders didn’t have Simms pace and he continued to cut the gap. And Nichols was edging ever closer to Simms ready to capitalise on any error. O’Shaughnessy returned to the front courtesy of an overtake into the chicane. Pagano was off line and Simms allowing Simms to get a little closer. Following lap and O’Shaughnessy exited the chicane just a Kart length clear of Pagano and Simms who were nose to tail with Nichols just a few lengths back. Down into the hairpin and Simms dived down the inside. Momentum took him a touch wide on the exit and he moved swiftly back to the right to take his line for the Horseshow. But Pagano sensed an opportunity and moved up the inside. It was a touch rash and they touched sending Simms onto the grass and allowing Nichols to also get by. Simms pulled into retire and ready himself for the long drive back to Cornwall. Pagano continued but Nichols also went by. O’Shaughnessy completed the win with Nichols second. Pagano crossed the line third but the inevitable penalty dropped him down to seventh handing third to Langthorp, fourth to Flashman, fifth to Adams and sixth to McGeoch-Williams. Rankine came home eighth. A storming drive this having qualified from the C Final. Lancaster and Rashid completed the top ten.
Lightweight A Final
Championship leader Ed Barrs on pole from Daz Teal with Andrew O’Neill and Thanassi Barnicoat on row two. Jack O’Neill and Steve Hicks shared row three with Dan Brewer and Tom Dix on row four. Row five, James Martin and Andrew Ward. Allan Curtis and James Barnard occupied row six with Stephen Docker and Jonah Barker on row seven. Dan Healey and Harry Neale shared row eight with David Longman and Ben Yarwood on nine. Chris Alcock, needing a top twelve finish to maintain his 100% record of qualifying for the Super Final, and Chris Dixon shared the tenth row. James Wattis and Bailey Morgan were on row eleven with Dan Truman alongside Adam Wheeldon on the penultimate row with the two qualifiers from the B Final, O’Shaughnessy and Nichols on the back row. Top twelve to qualify for the Super Final.
Barrs led the field through the first turns but Teal hung on round the outside as they entered the chicane for the first time. Barrs sportingly gave him room and Teal was ahead as they exited the corner. It was an audacious move but he was perhaps fortunate that Barrs gave him some room to work. Lucky Daz? Second time around and Barnicoat attacked Barrs at the end of the back straight. Barrs ran wide on the exit and dropped to fourth behind Barnicoat and Andrew O’Neill. But Barnicoat had made contact with Barrs and his number came up on the start and finish line digi-board indicating a penalty. A lap later and Barrs was down to fifth as Hicks took him under braking at the end of the back straight. Hicks needed a good finish after Steve Browns second place in the HW Final. A good grid slot would be vital for his Championship hopes. And the outside contender for the Super Sprint prize Chris Alcock was struggling to qualify down in fifteenth. Teal was controlling the pace at the front and keeping Andrew O’Neill just half a second back with Barnicoat third from Hicks, Jack O’Neill and Barrs. Neale was running seventh just behind Barrs and at the head of a monumental battle over the place involving Barnard, Dix, Brewer, Martin, Healey and Ward. And O’Shaughnessy was closing in having fought his way up from the back of the grid.
Half distance and Andrew O’Neill had cut Teal’s lead to a tenth with Barnicoat just over a second back in third a Kart’s length ahead of Hicks. Jack O’Neill was a lonely fifth two seconds clear of the battle for sixth headed by Barrs from Neale. Healey was a few lengths back up the road but closing in. At this point he was the fastest man on the circuit. He would ultimately set the fastest lap of the race twelfth time around and establish a class record. He was the only driver to get under break forty one seconds. Dix was running ninth but with a penalty hanging over him which meant he had to get further up the order to make the Super Final. Brewer was tenth and leading the C2 class with O’Shaughnessy up to eleventh from Barnard. Alcock was still down in fifteenth and looking like he would fail to make the Super Final. Teal continued to lead with Andrew O’Neill now right on his rear bumper. Barnicoat and Hicks both closed up as the race wound down. With four to go Teal still led by a tenth. Fourth placed Hicks was dropping back from the fight but well clear of Jack O’Neill in fifth. Neale was sixth but over three seconds back and having to defend from the flying Healey whilst Barrs was down to eighth. Further back Alcock had finally managed to haul himself into the top twelve. Penultimate lap and it was as you were at the front but with Andrew O’Neill gathering himself for one last push to take the win. Over the line he was just 0.098 adrift with Barnicoat just a Kart length behind in third. Teal stuck to his lines. Out of the chicane for the last time and down to the hairpin Teal went defensive. O’Neill went to the outside intending to undercut Teal on the exit but Barnicoat had other ideas and went up the inside of O’Neill putting him wide. O’Neill fought back but it was not enough. All of which gave Teal the advantage and he took the win after a simply superb drive. Under pressure all the way he never put a metaphoric foot run, raising both arms in triumph as he crossed the line. As well he might. It had been so long since his last win that he couldn’t remember when it was! Barnicoat crossed the line next but was penalised down to sixth thus handing the place back to O’Neill and promoting Hicks onto the podium ahead of Jack O’Neill with Healey fifth. Championship leader Barrs made it back up to seventh ahead of Neale with O’Shaughnessy a hard earned ninth. Brewer took tenth and the C2 honours with Barnard next across the line. Alcock took the final spot edging out Ward by just 0.084 at the flag to keep his 100% Super Final qualifying record. But Barnard then took a two place penalty for exceeding track limits thus handing the final spot to Ward. It also handed to Ward the runner up spot in the C2 class.
The Altima Academy with Mutation Motorsport Super Final
For the final round it was the turn of the HW’s to start from pole. Joe Holmes Championship challenge was over after missing the previous round but he was determined to end with a fourth win. Daz Teal would start alongside him with Championship contender Steve Brown alongside Andrew O’Neill. Steven Downes and Championship leader Steve Hicks shared row three with Hicks needing to finish within four places of Brown to take the honours. Kosta and Jack O’Neill shared row four with Anwar Beroual-Smith alongside Dan Healey on row five. Craig Brown and Thanassi Barnicoat were on six ahead of Stuart Jones and Ed Barrs. Mike Noon and Harry Neale shared row eight with Geoff Lamb and Max O’Shaughnessy on nine and Adam Wright alongside Dan Brewer on ten. Richard Allen and Chris Alcock were on the penultimate row with Mark Ridout and Andrew Ward the final runners.
Holmes led the field away but Teal found himself briefly up on the kerb as they sped down towards Billy’s. He was fortunate not to spin but found himself hung out to dry round the outside of Billy’s as the pack jostled for position. By the end of the lap he was outside the top ten. Steve Brown took over in second with fast starting Kosta in third from another quick starter Beroual-Smith. Downes was fifth with Hicks next. Into Billy’s second time around and Kosta moved cleanly ahead of Brown. And Hicks was ahead of Downes and in the pound seats for the Championship. Holmes was almost two seconds up the road but once free of Brown, Kosta immediately began to close the gap. Beroual-Smith then deposed Brown for third as they crossed the line at the end of lap three. And into Billy’s Hicks followed him through. Now Hicks needed a clean run to the flag and the Championship was his. At the front Holmes continued to lead. Kosta was closing in but then Holmes stabilised the gap for a couple of laps. But Kosta came back at him. Down the straight for the eighth time he pulled alongside Holmes and moved ahead. Holmes fought back but Kosta kept him at bay. Beroual-Smith remained a lonely third almost two seconds adrift of the leaders but clear of Champion elect Hicks who had Brown right on his bumper but unable to get by. Kosta gradually began to eke out a gap from the chasing Holmes whilst Brown finally got ahead of Hicks into the hairpin. Hicks was quite happy to let him go knowing that he only had to follow him home over the final laps. Kosta took the win by just over a second from Holmes with Beroual-Smith a delighted third. Brown came home fourth with Hicks a couple of Kart lengths back but punching the air with delight as he clinched the first ever CLUB100 Super Final Championship. Barnicoat came home sixth with Downes seventh from Ed Barrs. Jack O’Neill and Harry Neale completed the top ten. Kosta also set the fastest lap of the race final time around and was the only driver to get round in under forty one seconds.
The Lightweight Championship looks like going down to the wire. Ed Barrs still leads from Steve Hicks, Daz Teal and Chris Alcock. Dan Healey is fifth and still in with an outside shout.
Dan Brewer leads the Lights C2 Class from Andrew Ward and Rob Langthorp. Still all to play for.
The Altima Academy with Mutation Motorsport Super Final Championship
What a great Championship this has been. Steve Hicks had never won a CLUB100 Sprint round until taking the first Super Sprint round at Whilton Mill. And then he added another. There will of course be those who may say the Championship might have had a different ending had Joe Holmes not missed a round but the fact is he did. Steve took full advantage taking his second win of the season. This was a thoroughly deserved Championship win and his reward is not only a shiny cup but a full day’s test session in an Altima Academy Ginetta GT5. Enjoy!
Steve Brown took second just three points behind Hicks. A model of consistency and always in the hunt for the overall honours he just couldn’t quite make it onto the top step of the podium. Third in the standings went to Chris Alcock. A great effort this. Yes, he was a long way adrift and his highest finish was a sixth place but he was the only other driver besides the two Steve’s who made it through to every Super Final. He should be very proud. Joe Holmes was fourth. Three wins, a second and a third. Enough said. A class act. Ed Barrs was fifth. Like Joe he also qualified for every round in which he was an entrant and had a third place finish as his best result. Anwar Beroual-Smith was sixth. He had to wait until the final round to take a podium. Well deserved. He would certainly have finished higher but for an seriously unlucky round at Lydd which saw him fail to qualify for the Super Sprint Final. His only DNQ. Thanassi Barnicoat was seventh with a best finish of fourth. Harry Neale was eighth, qualifying five times with a best finish of tenth. Adam Wright took ninth with five qualifications and a best finish of fourth. Rob Newman was tenth. He was a serious contender at the start of the season with a second and two thirds over the first three rounds but DNF at Lydd put paid to his chances and he pulled out for the rest of the season. Not, I hasten to add, in a strop. He is missed.
Despite the weather, (or perhaps because of it!) a great days racing at Clay. Our thanks as always to all the marshals and CLUB100 staff who work tirelessly to keep the show running. And to all our generous sponsors, Altima Academy with Mutation Motorsport, Dartford Karting and G3Pro. And not forgetting Alpha Live Productions and Double Dash Motorsport Media. Looking forward to catching up on the coverage.
Next up, the penultimate round at Red Lodge.
See you there !!
Words: Steve Gray
Library Photography: John Patterson
Podium Pics: Andrew Mather