Ridout – Bosley – Browning Become Championship Players. About Right.
The weather for the afternoons racing was much the same as the morning reports Steve Gray so would the Lights and Heavies serve up as much excitement as the morning racers? Certainly the size of the grids showed just how popular Club 100 is. Great to see when other Championships are reporting difficulties.
Qualifying – Heavyweights Group 1
Adam Wright was quickest straight out of the box. Watching him on the warm up laps he was seriously aggressive warming his tyres in big slides. To his immense credit though he wasn’t weaving all over the track as some do. He was on his own. It clearly worked for him as no one other than he topped the timing sheets throughout the session. His fastest lap was almost two tenths up on Mark Ridout who had James Browning chasing hard. The two Club 100 pensioners, Tim Hill and Andy Cowell, had a great battle for fourth with Hill just shading it by 0.015. Only the top three drivers managed to break the fifty five second barrier.
Qualifying – Heavyweights Group 2
A slightly slower group this but topping the times was Alexander Lammin and he really did look like the man to beat posting a time which would have put him second in the first Group. Unfortunately he was running underweight so all the hard work was for nothing as he suffered the inevitable exclusion thus promoting Michael Ballinger to the top of the order. Well deserved too. Michael works really hard at his racing and was the only driver to break the fifty five second barrier in the second Group. Theodoros Gereoudakis was second quickest followed by Luke Parry, Ben Benneyworth and Andrew Dawson.
Pre B final
With the top four finishers qualifying for the back of the pre-A final this had all the makings of a frantic race and so it proved. Thomas Caen sat on pole with Howard Mitchell alongside. James English and Ben Cottle on two with Chris James and Nick Trafford behind on three. Robert Stapleton and Mark Figes on four and Patrik Piskay and Paul Goddard completing the top ten. But with thirty one runners on the grid it was awful lot of weight heading into the first turns. And so it proved as we had the first false start of the day with Karts stationary all over the circuit at the first turn thus turning a large part of the grid on its head. Caen led the restart chased by English and Cottle but Mitchell was already out of contention after spinning to the rear of the field. The first two laps were chaotic to put it mildly. Caen continued to lead from English, Cottle and Trafford. McLeod had taken full advantage of others misfortune to slot into fifth with Brammer into sixth having started seventeenth. Bahia was seventh, up from grid twenty two, Storey eighth from grid twenty, Wright ninth from grid eighteen followed by Lammin up twenty one places in two laps after his disqualification in qualifying. How far could he get though? Caen continued to stretch his advantage at the front chased now by Cottle from English. Trafford was falling back and Lammin was now up to an incredible fifth and closing in. Caen took the win followed by Cottle and English. Fourth? The flying Lammin, a long way from third but it was job done and fastest lap too. Trafford took fifth and was the first of the Super Heavies.
Pre A final.
Wright on pole followed by Ridout with Browning and Ballinger on two with the impressive Gereoudakis on three from the vastly experienced Hill. Cowell and Parry on four from Benneyworth and Gooch. Wright was quickest away but it was Browning into second after a quicker start. Ridout dropped into third but Cowell was really on the move, into fourth ahead of Ballinger, Bennyworth and Gereoudakis. Wright quickly pulled a gap as Browning and Ridout battled over second with Cowell just staying in touch ahead of Ballinger and Benneyworth, both chased hard by Hill who was recovering rapidly from a poor start. Gereoudakis was out of contention and gradually slipped right down the order. Mid race and Ridout was by into second and chasing down Wright but the leader looked to be well in control at the front and so it proved. He crossed the line in front only to be denied the win and maximum points having knocked over a cone early in the race. So Ridout was handed the win with Browning third from Cowell who was well adrift by the flag having fought off the attentions of Ballinger. And Hill was only a tenth adrift of the latter at the flag having slipped by Benneyworth into the Boot. Benneyworth took seventh ahead of Bosley who set the fastest lap. Dawson and Parry completed the top ten.
Two places up for grabs for the main event and several drivers with a point to prove. A recipe for a great race. Or mayhem. Fortunately we got the former. Clarke was on pole with Trafford alongside followed by Figes and Gillet. Bahia and James on three from Johnstone and Stevens with Brammer and Piskay completing the top five rows. Clarke was smartly away from pole but it was Trafford behind chased by a fast starting James as Figes tucked into fourth ahead of Gillet who lost out over the first lap. Goddard was up to an amazing sixth from grid seventeen with Williams close behind. Clarke continued to lead but there was some close aggressive racing going on behind. Mid race and it was still Clarke at the front from James and Trafford with Figes still fourth ahead of Williams who was really on it. Into the sixth tour and Figes made a move for third into Ashby. He made it stick too despite Trafford defending hard as they exited the corner. All of which allowed Williams to close in. He was smooth through Parker and Chapman and moved ahead of Trafford into the Boot. Sadly though there was contact. A lap later Figes and Williams were one and two as Clarke dropped to third whilst James had an arm waving moment at the Boot and slipped down to eighth.
Clarke wasn’t giving up though and stuck with the two leaders. Into the Boot for the last time and Williams slipped inside for the lead taking Clarke with him into second. But Williams great run was to no avail. Penalties dropped him to fourth. I thought his last lap move was clean but there you go. But Clarke too had a penalty dropping him to second and promoting Figes to a fortuitous win. Clarke was also the leading Superheavyweight. So, the two of them would get another race and Figes a trophy come what may for winning the B final. Trafford took third. Williams had the satisfaction of fastest lap and he’d certainly been entertaining. Bahia came home fifth after a good battle with Goddard and Johnstone who was also the fastest Superheavy. Goddard though was another carrying a penalty and would be classified in tenth. James took seventh with Brammer and Mitchell eighth and ninth.
The race for the big cups and the big points then for the Heavies and Superheavies. The latter had already been decided as Andrew Clarke was the only Superheavy to make the A final. No pressure for him then just the sheer pleasure of racing. Bosley sat on pole from Ridout with Wright and Browning alongside each other on the second row. Parry and Dawson on three, Townsend and Cottle on four with Lammin and Wood on five. Bosley made the most of pole to lead but it was Wright into second at the expense of Ridout with Browning fourth. Dawson and Parry running fifth and sixth got together and spun down the order as did Townsend allowing Lammin and Wood to make progress. With two laps run Ridout was back up to second with Browning into third ahead of the feisty Wright who reclaimed third into the Boot but in so doing hit Browning very hard. Half distance and Wright was back into second. Bosley continued to lead but it was far from comfortable and neither was Wright’s second place as Ridout reclaimed the spot, taking Browning and the flying Lammin with him. With three to go Bosley continued to lead from Ridout, Browning, Lammin and Wright with Wood in sixth ahead of Cowell but the drama wasn’t over. Wright briefly got back to fourth but only for a few yards and then with two to go it was Ridout down to fifth as Browning made a move into the Boot for second. Ridout lost momentum and both Lammin and Wright made it through. Last lap and Bosley now had a big enough gap at the front to be comfortable. Into the boot for the last time and Lammin lunged up the inside of Browning but he hit him. Not hard, but enough to force his way by. Browning lost momentum and Wight nipped by but there were penalties to be applied.
What was certain though was that Steve Bosley had taken a well deserved win. Lammin finished second on the road but would be demoted to a very unhappy fifth. Personally I don’t think he had an argument. He’s clearly a very fast young man and his day will come. He just needs to work on his racecraft. Still, he did at least have the satisfaction of setting fastest lap. So Browning inherited a well deserved second with the perhaps unfortunate Ridout in third from a delighted Wood in fourth. Harrington took fifth, a place which would have been Cowell’s but he’d picked up a penalty early in the race. He didn’t argue as he couldn’t remember hitting anyone. No comment. Wright was classified seventh with Benneyworth, Cottle and Bodnar completing the top ten.
Podium and the Championships
Another happy podium. In addition to winning a trip to iZone Silverstone Steve Bosley’s win puts him into second overall whilst James Browning’s hard fought second sees him third overall but its Mark Ridout who leads the standings after his third place finish. Nick Trafford leads the Superheavies. And Mark Figes deserves a shout out for winning the B final.
What a great days racing at Whilton. Our thanks to all the marshals who do a fantastic job. Without them we couldn’t go racing. And indeed to all the officials and Club 100 staff particularly the observers and clerk of the course who do a very difficult job extremely well. Although the cool conditions I’m sure didn’t help there were an awful lot of drivers struggling to get their Karts started. Jumping up and down in the Kart and pumping the throttle doesn’t help. A good push and half throttle is usually good enough to get moving. It was also very disturbing to note that when there were a number of Karts stalled at the pit lane exit and leaving just over a Karts width on the circuit to get by far too many drivers were ignoring the yellow flags and blasting along the pit straight at unabated speed. It would only have taken one Kart to have swerved to the right out of the pit exit for there to have been a serious incident. Please don’t ignore the yellow flags. They are being waved for your safety. I heard one person complaining about the rule regarding weaving to warm the tyres. This isn’t F1 where the grid is staggered. The rule is there for the safety of all. Occasionally Karts have spun off which is quite funny but does rather spoil the drivers race. More importantly are the consequences of one turning left as another turns right and colliding causing a hold up. Or turning into the path of a driver trying to take up his or her grid position. Steve Brown wins races. He juggles the wheel gently moving barely six inches either way. If it’s good enough for him should be good enough for all.
I also heard one chap complaining about the amount of penalties for contact.
‘’Don’t they realise it’s a contact sport?’’ he asked. Clearly one brick short of a load.
A big talking point in the paddock was Keith Segal’s bright new overalls. I can report that these were borrowed and that he will be back in the nearly twenty five year old yellow and blue pair at the next round.
Lastly, the sport lost a great supporter recently with the passing of the great John Surtees. I thought the tribute and the few words from JV were both poignant and fitting.
R.I.P Il Grande John.