TMK Swim to win.
TMK beat Aston for wild and wet win.
The week-long “heatwave” (formerly known as “a nice day”) gave way to wet and much cooler conditions for round six of the clubman endurance championship. CKS Throatpunchers and Aston Racing have emerged as the leading title protagonists and this, the halfway point in the championship, is a crucial time.
Neither of the two title contenders took pole position. That honour went to All Torque Racing. JRG joined them on the front row with Pixel Pirates and TMK on row two. M&M were fifth ahead of the first of the key players – CKS Throatpunchers – in sixth. By contrast Aston Racing had a shocker and were 25th. Only Conman racing in 26th were slower and they had a lot of work to do.
All Torque maintained their advantage off the line. A great start for TMK saw them slot into second. Keen As Mustard made an equally good start to end the opening lap in third position. The big losers on the opening lap were JRG, M&M, CKS Throatpunchers and Slickspeed.
The top four remained close for much of the early running. All Torque managed to fend off attacks from TMK who were themselves under pressure from Keen As Mustard and JRG. It was good to see Lucid Initiatives up there in fifth and holding their own against the charging Aston Racing and Auditing Armageddon.
Pit stops and track position would play a vital role on this tight circuit, especially in such damp conditions. JRG were the team who made the most of this and emerged from the first round of stops in the lead. Keen As Mustard were now running second ahead of TMK. All Torque Racing lost out badly and had dropped to fourth.
Things would spice up over the next stint, however. Two teams suddenly found pace; TMK and Aston Racing were lapping much faster than their rivals and working their way up through the pack. Aston had been fairly quiet in the early part of the race, lapping steadily back in fifth. However, as we approached the half distance mark they had made huge progress and were now running second. TMK had taken the lead as the leaders had problems and dropped down the order. Likewise, Keen As Mustard had also dropped down the order.
There were a number of incidents during the race due to the slippery conditions. Traffic also played a huge role on the tight and twisty parts of the Rye House track. Behind the leading group, Auditing Armageddon were having a steady race. CKS Throatpunchers seemed unable to make much progress. Further back, Conman Racing and Runtime Exception Racing were running comfortably in the midfield, while the likes of Slickspeed, Ballinger, Pixel Pirates, M&M and Lucid Initiatives made up the remainder of the field.
The second half of the race saw TMK gradually extend their lead over Aston Racing. All Torque were third and in a very close battle with Keen As Mustard. The two teams swapping places a number of times. This allowed Auditing Armageddon to close right up and join the battle. They soon got past All Torque. JRG were back on the pace and soon joined this party. In fact the battle for third became quite interesting. However, over the last stint, JRG managed to pull out a gap over the rest of them.
After two hours of wet horribleness, TMK crossed the line comfortably ahead of Team Aston. JRG continued to stretch out their lead over their rivals to snatch the final place on the podium. It was quite close behind with CKS Throatpunchers fourth and Conman Racing snatching fifth from Keen As Mustard on the final lap. Auditing Armageddon came home seventh. All Torque were a slightly underwhelming eighth.
Their second place gives Team Aston the championship lead over CKS Throatpunchers, who could manage no better than fourth today. JRG move ahead of Auditing Armageddon for third but they are some way off the top two. It’s still most likely between team Aston and the Throatpunchers but, with five rounds still remaining, anything could happen.