Tim Hill Takes A Second Double Win, Moves Into 2nd Behind Seb Algieri
For the first time this season the weather was hot. Very hot. Which makes a great change for a visit to Buckmore Park where we start and end the season, usually in the cold. Buckmore also marks the halfway stage of the season and like the weather the various Championships are beginning to heat up. What a great circuit Buckmore is too. Not as picturesque as GYG but great to drive on with plenty of overtaking opportunities and a mixture of slow and fast corners. And some elevation change including the mightily fast downhill Symes Sweep. Starting from the start/finish line it’s a short sprint into the long right handed Conway’s which then leads into the first right handed hairpin. Another short straight and then it’s into the left handed hairpin two. Back on the throttle out of the corner and then through the flat-out Esses before plunging down Symes sweep. Still going downhill it’s into the left hander at Pullmans. It’s a corner that’s very easy to get wrong and compromise the line for the right hander at Paddock. Many a Kart will run wide out of here on the run up Damon Hill and into Garda. Out of Garda the track drops sharply into the left handed Senna before climbing up the hill, through Cafe curve and onto the Sisley straight and the start/finish line. Not the longest circuit on the calendar at around a thousand metres but certainly one of the most challenging.
Into the afternoon and the sun continued to beat down for Heavyweights, Lightweights and the EssexFlatPack sponsored Super Heavyweights.
Tim Hill’s first flying lap was good enough to see him top the Group 1 times. Then he went quicker midsession before beating his own best time on his penultimate lap. Martin Gurnett was next but over a tenth adrift with Wayne Dunham, resplendent in a new race suit third from Lennie Wood and Michael Ballinger. Jordan Salter was quickest of the SHW runners in a very creditable eighth
Seb Algieri set the quickest time on his second flying lap with Adrian Brammer second quickest but a tenth down. Chris Blooman and Craig brown were next with the first of the SHW runners Stuart Germon fifth. These were the only drivers to post sub forty seven second times in the 2nd group.
Pre B Final
Jeremy Deeks on pole, having missed out by just 0.022 for a place on the back of the Pre A Final, with Aaron Stevens alongside. Kelly Rogers next with Robert Stapleton alongside. Mark Appleton and Jon Bayliss on row three from Daren Townsley and George English with Mike Bodnar and the first of the SHW runners Pete Gillett completing the first five rows. EssexFlatPack Championship leader Trevor Randall was starting from grid twelve. Deeks led the field away but Stevens lost out to a fast starting Rogers. Stapleton and Appleton were running line astern whilst down the order Randall was making up places. Having been past by Randall English attempted to get back ahead as they swept down the hill side by side. Randall left him room but still ran a little wide. As they swung left English pinched Randall a little but came off worst spinning hard into the barrier. A racing incident but one that could have been avoided by leaving a bit of room. Meanwhile Rogers was into the lead but not for long as she was quickly usurped by Stapleton and Stephens. Deeks gradually slipped backwards whilst Rogers’s race got worse as she was pushed wide by Appleton and dropped out of the top ten. Appleton rightly received a four place penalty which then became eight places when he got a bit too aggressive again. He would eventually be classified last. Stevens continued to lead from Stapleton with Bodnar now up to third and Daniel Taylor fourth having fought his way through from grid fourteen.
Stapleton took over at the front from Stevens at half distance but thereafter the front four settled down and ran in tandem all the way to the flag and promotion to the Pre A Final. Townsley came home fifth with Stephane Appleton sixth. Randall was seventh and first SHW runner with SHW Paul Williams next across the line but penalised down to sixteenth. Stephen Netting was next up but he too had picked up penalties dropping out of the top ten and promoting Chris Scivier to eighth ahead of the unfortunate Rogers. Gillet completed the top ten. Stapleton set the fastest lap with Paul Williams the quickest SHW.
Pre A Final
Tim Hill on pole from Seb Algieri. The oldest driver against the youngest. Is there any other sport where someone of Tim’s age can compete on equal footing with a sixteen year old?
Martin Gurnett and Wayne Dunham on row 2 from Adrian Brammer and Lennie Wood. Michael Ballinger and Chris Blooman on four with Craig Brown and Miguel Hall on five and then the first SHW Stuart Germon alongside Nick Trafford on row six. And we had two more SHW runners in the field. Jordan Salter qualified fourteenth and Paul Goddard fifteenth. Excellent efforts from the EsssexFlatPack runners. Anyone reading the lap chart of this race would think that this was a boring race. It was anything but. Hill led the field away with Algieri and Gurnett tucked in behind from Brammer, Dunham and Wood. Down the order Germon lost out dropping to sixteenth whilst fellow SHW Salter fell almost to the rear of the field. Hill crossed the line at the end of the first lap a tenth up. A lap later and he had increased the lead over the line. But for most of the lap Algieri was right on his bumper only losing out as they climbed the hill up to the start and finish line. As they swept through the Esses Hill was keeping a clean line whilst Algieri would bounce over the kerb as they swung right to dive down Symes Sweep in an effort to cut the gap. Twice he actually got his nose up the inside as they swept into the right hander down the hill. Neither move paid off. Hill gave him just enough room but Algieri had to back out fearing that he might take them both out. And closing in on both of them was Dunham. Having dropped to fifth at the start he’d taken a couple of laps to get past Brammer before chasing down Gurnett in third. Half distance he was through and quickly began to cut the gap to the leaders. Down the order Germon had fought his way back into the top ten and was pressuring Trafford. He made it by on the run into Garda and then went defensive round Senna and up the hill. Trafford carried greater speed through Senna and moved to the right just as Germon did the same. They touched and Trafford’s machine lurched into the air. For a horrifying moment he looked as though he would back flip but it came down on all four wheels. It was a heart stopping moment.
Benneyworth took advantage to move ahead. Hill and Algieri continued to circulate separated by a fag paper with Dunham a couple of Kart lengths back but never quite close enough to mount a challenge. Algieri meanwhile was keeping his momentum up the hill and would dive to the inside as he and Hill crossed the start and finish line separated by hundredths. But always Hill defended into the corner and Algieri had to abandon the move. It was riveting stuff. Hill finally crossed the line 0.030 ahead of Algieri. Two of the best drives ever witnessed in Club 100. And it was smiles and exhausted handshakes in the paddock afterwards. Just what racing should be about. Dunham dropped away slightly over the final laps but was still well clear of Wood in fourth. Wood had been back in eighth before working his way forward and taking Gurnett on the final lap. Hall was next up and set the fastest lap of the race with a 46.586 which also established a record. Brammer took seventh with Cottle eighth. Trafford was next but penalised four places promoting Benneyworth into the spot with Germon the leading SHW in tenth. Of the other two SHW’s in the race Salter was second in the class and Goddard third but the last driver to cross the line having been punted off by Lammin who took an eight place penalty. Rather disappointing to hear that he had done it on purpose too having felt that he had been loaded several times. A Kart is not a weapon. Deliberately driving a fellow competitor off the circuit is dangerous and very foolish and not what we want to see
Just two to qualify for the A final from the twenty one starters. Darren Townsley on pole from Stephane Appleton with SHW Championship leader Trevor Randall third from Chris Scivier. Kelly Rogers and SHW Pete Gillett on row three. Jeremy Deeks and Keith Evans on four with Rhys Collins and Stephen Netting completing the first five rows. Could the B Final produce the excitement of the Pre A Final. Well not this time. Townsley shot away from with Randall getting ahead of Stapleton into the hairpin section. Rogers moved ahead of Scivier who fell to eighth with Deeks next from Richard Burrows sixth having started from grid eleven. And that for the front runners was pretty much it with only two further position changes among the top seven neither of which affected the qualifying spots. Townsley took the win over three seconds ahead of Randall who was in turn three seconds up on third placed Rogers in what became a very strung out field.
Pole for Hill with Algieri alongside. Dunham and Wood on row two from Gurnett and Hall with Brammer and Cottle on four and SHW Germon and Benneyworth completing the top ten. Could Algieri take this one. Hill got away cleanly again with Algieri and Dunham behind from Wood. Benneyworth got a run up the inside into the hairpins and emerged fifth with Germon right behind. Gurnett dropped to seventh whilst Trafford too got a good start moving up from grid thirteen to eighth. The leaders began to ease away at the front with Wood still running fourth whilst Germon got ahead of Benneyworth for fifth. The fight between those two was allowing Wood to keep a gap to them but he was making no impression on the leaders who were running line astern and easing away. Lap after lap after lap Algieri would attempt to pull alongside Hill as they raced into the first corner but he was just too far adrift to make the move stick whilst Dunham kept a watching brief a couple of tenths back. With two to go Algieri stopped trying reasoning that another second place would be better for his Championship challenge than making a move which might force them both off. So Hill ran out the winner by just over a tenth from Algieri with Dunham third. And again it was all smiles in the paddock.
Wood came home fourth with Germon fifth and winning the SHW division. He’d run fourth at one point too. A great result this for the series sponsor after his miserable showing at GYG. Hall took sixth with Trafford next from Nima Oparver. A good drive this up from grid fifteen. Cottle and Edgell completed the top ten with Aaron Stevens setting the fastest lap of the race and setting a class record. Randall would have been second in the SHW division but took a penalty allowing Salter in second spot with Goddard sixteenth overall but third in class.
In the Heavyweights Seb Algieri is now leading from Tim Hill. Both drivers were on top form at Buckmore. Great to watch despite the lack of overtaking. Ben Benneyworth is third from Stuart Jones and Nick Trafford whilst Trevor Randall continues to lead the EssexFlatPack SHW class with sponsor Stuart Germon second. So this leaves Paul Williams in third after a bad day at Buckmore like. More penalties than a diving footballer.
Ellough Park is next up and it’s being televised so it’s a chance to be seen all over the world. Don’t miss out. Ellough is a great track and if drivers want to continue racing at a broad range of circuits events like this need to be supported.
Finally, Stuart Jones was missing from Buckmore having been taken ill. I’m unashamedly going to borrow a Facebook post from Ben Benneyworth who writes,
‘’I think it’s fair to say on behalf of Club 100, our thoughts and prayers are with Stuart Jones and his family after being rushed to hospital with Meningitis. I want wins and Championships like the next person but not at the expense of someone being taken to A & E. Get well soon mate.’’
And so say all of us. Get well soon Stuart.
See you all at Ellough !