Trundley Gives Heavies a Scare, But Joe Holmes Exudes Control, Takes Double. Again
After basking in record temperatures just seventy two hours earlier it was a disappointment to arrive at the twisty Rye venue and find it wet. And it stayed wet right through the morning and into the early afternoon for the third televised event of the year featuring round three of the Super Sprint Championship. A great venue with good facilities. Pity about the infield though. When it’s wet just dropping a wheel off the circuit can hire dire consequences. Particularly on the run to the first hairpin.
The Heats & The Road to the Finals
Joe Holmes got his day off to the perfect start taking the win in the first heat by over twelve seconds. SHW Kieran Chidgzey took second with Peter Harris third from Anwar Beroual-Smith. Tim Hill looked set for a top three finish before being punted off by a backmarker. He recovered to take sixth behind Jack Bolton but it was to be the highlight of his day.
Lee Witney crossed the line first at the end of heat two only to be deducted two places for a jumped start and handing the win to Trevor Randall. These two were the class of the field with Mark Turner classified second but well down on the leaders. Ex D Max Champion Bobby Trundley crossed the line fourth but took a cone penalty promoting Daniel Cohen to fourth.
Craig Brown started the third heat from pole but before the race got underway he suffered the most embarrassing moment of the day when he spun whilst trying to warm his tyres. Fortunately the grid hadn’t properly formed up and he was allowed back through the pack to take up pole. Thereafter he led every lap apart from the one that mattered. The last one. Steve Brown took the win. Having started on grid nineteen he worked his way through the field taking the lead from Craig on the final lap. A great drive. Wet weather specialist Mike Bodnar took third with SHW Championship leader Richard Allen fourth from Matt Hale.
Heat four went to Miguel Hall courtesy of a last lap pass on CLUB100 returnee Nick Trafford. Trafford started on the front row and led all the way but had to give best to Hall on the final lap. Unfortunately he then got slapped with a two place deduction for a jumped start which promoted Paul Williams into second, up from grid nine and Anwar Beroual-smith into fourth from grid eleven.
Heat five fell to Steve Bosley. After starting on grid eight he was into the lead before half distance and thereafter pulled away to take a comfortable win. Craig Brown took his second second place of the day by virtue of a last lap pass on Ben Benneyworth. A strong drive up from grid eleven. Benneyworth though had jumped the start and was demoted to fifth behind Lennie Wood and Darren Townsley.
Konstantinos Kyritsis took a lights to flag win in heat six but he had Steve Brown closing him down rapidly as the race wound down. Bobby Trundley took third just holding off Joe Holmes who had driven up from grid twelve with Adam Wright fifth after starting fourth.
Lee Henderson had drawn pole for Heat seven but he was quickly shuffled down the order by Richard Allen, Jack Bolton and Paul Williams. Bolton initially held the advantage but Allen was quickly in front and there he stayed to take the win. Peter Harris took third with Dan Taylor fourth from Williams.
The penultimate heat for the heavies fell to Steve Lindley. Tim Hill crossed the line first. He’d driven an awesome first lap coming up from grid fourteen to fourth. Unfortunately he’d been a touch too aggressive and would be penalised down to fifth. Couple with an exclusion from earlier heat he must have felt the Rye Gods were against him. Stephen Netting placed second after starting from pole with Joe Holmes next after driving up from grid eighteen. Valuable points which would put him on the front row for the A final. Trevor Randall took fourth. Another strong drive up from grid ten.
Steve Brown took the final heat and secured pole for the A final. Starting fourth he was into the lead by the end of the first lap and then simply got his head down and drove away from the rest of the pack. Bobby Trundley took a comfortable second to secure a second row grid slot for the A final with Matt Hale third from Nima Oparvar. His best result of the day. Nick Breadner took fifth. Kyritsis suffered exclusion which put him into the B final.
Pole for Lee Carey with SHW Lee Henderson alongside. Stephen Netting and Mark Appleton shared row two with Ben Harper and Dmitry Zeldin on row three. Vijay Patel and Blaze Sienko occupied row three with Robert Purtak and James Workman on row five. The penultimate row saw Ben Robinson alongside Dan Giles with Wayne Edwards and Chris Solomon the final runners. Four to qualify for the back of the B Final. Carey led the pack away with Netting getting the better of Henderson to move up to second. Appleton remained fourth from Harper and Zeldin. Down the order Edwards was on the move but sadly not without incident as he made contact with Purtak. Carey continued to lead from Netting with Appleton still fourth but coming under pressure from the remarkable Edwards. With three run Henderson slipped by Netting for second and then made a move for the lead at the first hairpin. Carey ran wide and Henderson emerged in the lead. Carey tried to come back but ran out of room and hit the tyre barrier on the exit of the turn. He resumed last.
Once at the front Henderson began to edge clear of Netting whilst Appleton fell away from the leaders as he defended from the flying Edwards. Workman was next up but some two seconds adrift of the final qualifying spot. Henderson continued to lead from Netting but then the leader spotted his number on the digi board indicating a penalty. He appeared to lose momentum as he crossed the line and Netting moved ahead with Edwards in his wheel tracks. A lap later and Edwards was into the lead. Henderson remained third and in touch with the leaders but seemingly out of the hunt for qualification. Behind these three Workman had slipped by Appleton for the final qualifying place.
Final lap and Appleton made a move to take the place into the first hairpin but spun. Fortunately he had enough in hand to remain fifth. Edwards crossed the line first after an epic drive but it was all to no avail as his penalty dropped him to fifth and gave Netting the win. Henderson was next across the line but he suffered exclusion as a result of the incident with Carey at hairpin one. Looking at the incident head on it was easy to see why Henderson was adjudged at fault but Carey sportingly came to his aid and insisted that Henderson was ahead as they exited the hairpin and couldn’t have seen him so Henderson was reinstated into second place. Edwards’s penalty promoted Workman into third and Appleton into the final qualifying place. Ben Robinson set the fastest lap of the race with Lee Henderson the fastest SHW runner.
Dan Taylor on pole with Mark Turner alongside from Lennie Wood and Steve Lindley on row two. Next up, the first of the SHW runners Vinod Harani alongside Pete Newbury. Row four, the second SHW runner Jordan Salter and Craig Brown. Row five, Daren Townsley and Andrew Cherry. Row six, Konstantinos Kyritsis aka Costa. A real shock this to see Costa so low down the grid. Aaron Stevens sat alongside. Daniel Flynn and Chris Scivier shared row seven with SHW Richard Newton on row eight with Tim Hill who was having a day to forget. Nick Breadner and Jaedon Cadogan occupied row nine with Kelly Rogers and Paul Hibbeard on ten and Stephane Appleton on eleven with Barry Luetchford. And then came the qualifiers from the C final, Henderson, Netting, Workman and Appleton.
Taylor led the field across the line but Turner was slow to get away, raising his arm high before realising that he had a race to run. Wood and Lindley both took advantage to move into second and third. Newbury ran fifth ahead of Harani and Kyritsis. Taylor continued to lead but Lindley was into second with Wood third from Turner and a rapidly closing Kyritsis who displaced Newbury for the spot at hairpin one. Turner had a couple off looks at taking Wood round Stadium but couldn’t quite make it which allowed Kyritsis to close in. Turner dived down the inside of Wood into hairpin one but was too far back. An impetuous move. Wood got pushed into a half spin but kept going whilst Turner lost momentum and held up Kyritsis. Brown and Newbury both tried to take advantage on the run down and round hairpin two. It all looked very untidy. Stevens too closed up but was forced to take to the infield as they ran down towards Pylon. Brown clipped Newbury and was fortunate to escape sanction as Newbury spun out. Taylor and Lindley were by this stage both running some three seconds up the road from third and seemingly moving up to the A Final. Turners chances of any further progress evaporated as his number came up showing a penalty whilst Kyritsis demoted him from fourth at hairpin one. Kyritsis then deposed Wood at Hairpin one and set about closing the gap to second placed Lindley. By this time he was the fastest man on the circuit but then the digi board showed a penalty for him. Track limits. A two place deduction.
At the front Lindley moved ahead of Taylor at hairpin one whilst a lap later Turner had a moment at the same corner and dropped to tenth. Then the digi board showed a penalty for the leader. Track limits again. With three to run Kyritsis slipped by Lindley for the lead with Taylor third but unpenalised and Wood fourth. Kyritsis duly crossed the line first followed by Lindley but after their penalties were applied they dropped to third and fourth. A result which also meant Kyritsis would not qualify for the Super Final at the end of the day. Taylor was promoted to first with Wood second. Luetchford came home fifth after a storming drive up from grid twenty two with Stevens just keeping Brown at bay for sixth. Scivier, Harani, first in the SHW class, and Netting completed the top ten. Kyritsis set the fastest lap of the race with Turner the fastest of the C2 runners and Flynn the fastest SHW. All the fastest laps established a record.
Steve Brown on pole from Championship leader Joe Holmes with Bobby Trundley and SHW Richard Allen on the second row. A mighty effort from Allen. Peter Harris and SHW Trevor Randall shared row three with Matt Hale and the first of the C2 runners Steve Bosley on row four. Row five saw Jack Bolton alongside Anwar Beroual-Smith with Lee Witney and Nick Trafford on row six. Mike Bodnar and Paul Williams shared row seven with Miguel Hall and Tarik Almou on eight. Kieran Chidgzey and Bill Taylor were next with Daniel Cohen and Ben Cottle on ten from Adam Wright alongside Nima Oparvar on row eleven. Ben Benneyworth and Alex Pritchard shared the penultimate row with the two qualifiers from the B Final, Dan Taylor and Lennie Woods bringing up the rear.
Brown led the field away but it was Trundley from third who got the better start to emerge at the front as the pack swept down to hairpin one. By the end of the lap the front three were already almost a second and a half clear of fourth placed Hale. Allen had a moment and dropped to fourteenth whilst Randall got squeezed coming out of Stadium and was in the tyres. And wet. He would retire shortly after. Also out was Wood with a rib injury. Trundley continued to lead just a few Kart lengths up the road from the battle for second. Holmes had a couple of looks at Brown but couldn’t make a move stick earning a contact warning for his efforts. Lap five though and he got a good run into stadium and moved into second. Bolton was into an impressive fourth by this stage with Hale down to fifth ahead of Harris, Bosley, Witney, Bodnar and Beroual-Smith. Once clear of Brown, Holmes immediately reeled off some quick laps to close down Trundley.
Half distance and he was right on his rear bumper. Once there he had a look up the inside of Stadium. It was half hearted but a lap later he made the same move. This time he went through clean as you like. Once in front most expected him to pull away but Trundley stayed with him and they both began to pull well clear of the fight for third between Brown and Bolton. Hale was still fifth but coming under pressure from Harris who was having his strongest race for quite some time and duly took the spot just beyond half distance. The front four though were in a class of their own running some nine seconds clear of the chasing pack. Holmes pumped in some more quick laps and finally broke the tow to Trundley. Penultimate lap and he set the quickest lap of the race and established a record. Over the line at the finish he was almost three seconds clear for his fifth win of the season with Trundley an impressive second. Brown was next after an absorbing tussle with Bolton over the final podium spot. Both drivers had driven great races with Brown defending superbly to hold off Bolton. Hale came home fifth after snatching the place from Harris at hairpin one on the penultimate lap.
Bosley took seventh and the C2 honours with Witney next and second in the class. Beroual-Smith came home ninth. Clearly not a lover of Rye. Hall took tenth and third in the C2 class with Wright and Bodnar the final two qualifiers for the Super Final. Allen was the first of the SHW runners but was demoted to second after a penalty which promoted Taylor to the top spot with Nick Trafford third.
Altima Academy Super Final
An all Yorkshire front row with Rob Newman on pole from Joe Holmes. Pietro Pagano and Bobby Trundley shared row two with Steve Hicks and Steve Holmes on row three. Ed Barrs and Jack Bolton shared row four with Chris Alcock and Matt Hale on five. Row six, James Martin and Peter Harris and Thanassi Barnicoat alongside Steve Bosley on seven. Russell Endean and Lee Witney shared row eight with Alan Curtis and Anwar Beroual-Smith on nine, Louie Ross and Miguel Hall on ten, Rob Langthorp and Adam Wright on eleven and Harry Neale with Mike Bodnar on the back row.
Newman was smartly away and yet again those on the pole side got the better start with Pagano getting the better of Holmes to slot into second. Hicks too was quickly away deposing Trundley for fourth. Into the second lap and Pagano pulled to the inside of Newman as they entered Stadium. Newman gave him room and Holmes nipped by as well! Behind these Trundley got by Hicks as did Brown. Holmes had a couple of looks at the lead but couldn’t quite make a move stick and he had to be careful as Newman was right on his rear bumper.
The front three had broken clear of the battle for fourth, headed by Trundley from Brown, Alcock and Barrs. Holmes then tried an ambitious move on Pagano at the last corner but ran out of room. He clattered across the inside kerb and lost valuable momentum allowing Newman to get round the outside and into second. Emboldened by this Newman then shot up the inside of Pagano at hairpin two. He got the position but both he and Pagano ran wide and Holmes took them both as they exited the corner. All of which allowed Trundley, Brown and Alcock to close up. Pagano then slipped by Newman and back into second. Initially Holmes began to pull clear but those behind were running line astern and by not falling over each other they were keeping in touch with the leader. But Holmes was in control. Newman had a couple of looks at Pagano but couldn’t get by and Holmes ultimately took the win just over a second clear of Pagano with Newman taking the final podium spot.
Trundley took fourth with Brown fifth from Alcock and Barrs. The top seven covered by less than two seconds. Barrs dropped to ninth after a penalty promoting Barnicoat to seventh with Hicks eighth and Endean tenth.
Can anyone stop Joe Holmes from taking the Heavyweight crown? With five A final wins from six rounds it’s a brave man who would bet against him. Anwar Beroual-Smith is second. He had a rough day at Rye. Clearly not his favourite circuit. It’s not often Anwar is gloomy these days but he didn’t look a happy bunny on Sunday.
Likewise Adam Wright. After a bad day at Buckmore he didn’t have the greatest of days at Rye. But both he and Anwar will be back. Fourth in the standings is Dan Taylor who also leads the C2 class with Craig Brown fifth and second in class. Another who didn’t have the greatest of days. Likewise Tim Hill. Richard Allen is next up and leading the SHW class by some distance now from Trevor Randall.
Altima Academy Super Cup
At the half way stage of the Super Sprints Championship only eight drivers have qualified for all three rounds. Joe Holmes heads the standings from Rob Newman with Steve Brown third from Steve Hicks. Chris Alcock is next from Anwar Beroual-Smith, Thanassi Barnicoat and Ed Barrs. There are no dropped scores in the series so every point matters. With two wins from three Joe Holmes looks to be the favourite but rumour has it he will miss one round due to family commitments.
Words: Steve Gray
Photography: John Patterson