Tim Hill takes a stunning victory. Takes a leak on the podium
Like a fine wine, Tim Hill seems to get better with age. The reigning heavyweight sprint champion takes classic win at Shenington
Shenington. Round 2 of the heavyweight Sprint 60 championship. A circuit that is either loved or hated by drivers depending on how much top-end their kart has got. Despite a number of the prima donna premier endurance drivers complaining about disparity between the karts in the morning races, I felt the Club100 team had done their usual stellar job in preparing the karts and they all seemed fairly well even to me.
Daniel Russell claimed pole position by the smallest of margins from Andrew Hall Jr. Chris Dean was third and fastest of the super heavyweight drivers. Jack Noller and Matt Edmondson-Jones completed the top five. Damian Holmes and Richard Allen were second and third quickest in the super lardy brigade. Tarik Almou and Alex Pritchard completing the top five.
In total, all thirty-five karts made up the field and the top seventeen were covered by less than a second, again showing how evenly matched the karts are.
Russell made good use of his pole position to lead the field away with Hall Jr in hot pursuit. Chris Dean, Edmondson-Jones and Jack Noller battled it out on the opening couple of laps, being joined by Andrew Hall Sr but it was Stuart Martin, after a poor qualifying session, who made the most progress in the early laps to join in the party.
Andrew Hall Jr made a move for the lead on lap two and Chris Dean followed suit a couple of laps later, relegating Russell to third. Stuart Martin continued to make progress and got past Calum Jones for fourth. In fact over the next couple of laps, the flying Martin passed both Dean and Edmondson-Jones to take second.
By this stage, Andrew Hall Jr had built up a cushion of two seconds but martin was flying and started closing the gap over the next few laps. There were other battles going up further down the order with both Steve Jennings and Tim Hill fighting their way through the pack. There was a very close battle in the mid field between Alex Lammin, Andrew Hall Sr, Stuart Osborn and Tarik Almou, who were all running nose to tail and dicing for position.
In the heavyweight class, Chris Dean was out in front and holding his own in fourth overall. Tarik Almou had moved up into second in class and twelfth overall, just holding off the challenge from Richard Allen and Alex Pritchard.
Jack Noller’s race went down the toilet after a promising start and, by half distance, he had dropped to the midfield. Other familiar names in Paul Jennings (along with brother Steve returning for a one-off), Paul Goddard, Phil Kendall and Stuart Kirk were all embroiled in midfield battles.
Back at the front and by half distance Stuart Martin had closed to within a second of the leader. Traffic started to come into play and over the next few laps, the gap continued to come down. With seven laps to go and with the gap down to just a few small tenths, Martin made the move and took the lead. Hall Jr then dropped another couple of seconds on the following lap and lost out to calum Jones.
Martin’s sheer speed allowed him to pull out a lead of over four seconds in the remaining handful of laps to take victory from calum Jones. Hall Jr came home a disappointing third having led most of the race. A last lap move from Tim Hill gave him fourth ahead of Edmondson-Jones.
Despite being demoted to seventh after receiving a penalty for trying to emulate Chris Brown, Chris Dean nevertheless took victory in the super fatboy class. A late charge saw Alex Pritchard finish second with tarik Almou third.
Victory in race one gave Stuart Martin pole for race two. However, his race ended almost before it had begun with an incident on the first lap dropping him to the tail of the field. This handed the lead to Tim Hill who made a good start from grid four.
It was all very close at the front in the early laps with Hill defending hard from Matt Edmondson-Jones, Steve Jennings, Alex Pritchard and Andrew Hall Jr. These five were all covered by a handful of tenths in what was an enthralling battle.
Just behind this leading bunch and only a handful of tenths further back was Alex Lammin, Daniel Russell, Jack Noller and Stuart Osborn. As often happens, several distinct groups separated.
Edmondson-Jones took the lead from Hill on lap six and began to slowly open up a lead. The battle behind still raged on with Hill defending from Pritchard and Osborn. Andrew Hall Jr was coming under increasing pressure from the Jennings brothers, with Steve just ahead of brother Paul.
The midfield had spread out somewhat. Chris Scivier was in a battle with Andrew Hall Sr. Richard Allen, Philip Hoodless and George Watson were running well just ahead of Jon Wart and the gap between them and the karts behind was around the one second margin.
Back with the leaders and, while Edmondson-Jones continued to extend his lead, Hill was holding station in second. Alas, Edmondson-Jones was handed a four place penalty for earlier banditry which effectively put Hill in the lead. Paul Jennings was on the move and up to third by lap 20 but he would also be hit with a penalty for contact. Stuart Osborn managed to get third from him a few laps later as these two ran close throughout the second half of the race.
In the heavyweight class, Chris Dean was in a close battle with rival Alex Pritchard but contact saw Dean lose several places on lap 24. He retained second but it had allowed Damian Holmes and Richard Allen to close right up.
Over the last few laps, Edmondson-Jones continued to extended his ill-fated lead and Tim Hill managed to open up a small gap to third. Behind them, the battle for third raged on between the Jennings brothers, Stuart Osborn and Hall Jr. It was intense over the last couple of laps and unfortunately Osborn lost out on the last lap, dropping out of this group.
So the win on-track went to Edmondson-Jones. However, his penalty handed the win to Tim Hill. Andrew Hall Jr capped off a successful day with second while Steve Jennings was impressive on his comeback in third. Alex Pritchard was fourth ahead of the no doubt disappointed Edmondson-Jones.
The super calorie win went to Pritchard. Damien Holmes did a great job to come home second in class ahead of Chris Dean.
All in all it was a good day’s racing and a lot of competitive drives by all the leading drivers. Tim Hill took the overall victory – the old timer having something of a resurgence of late. Viagra? Andrew Hall Jr finished the day second overall but it was a close run thing for third with Steve Jennings and Matt Edmondson-Jones tied on points. Alas, surely rueing his earlier penalty, Edmondson-Jones lost out on countback and finished fourth behind Jennings.
Alex Pritchard took victory in the chubster class ahead of Damien Holmes and Chris Dean, the latter two tieing on points but Holmes taking the place on highest finishing position.