It was the last round of the winter championship at Bayford Meadows last Sunday and the team were there in force.
We had four drivers in the Clubman class, Jenson Butterfield, Jack Clegg, Liam Carter and Oliver Appleby. In qualifying, the boys drove very well, with Liam putting his kart in 4th, Jenson 8th, Oliver 9th and Jack 11th out of the 22 drivers.
Luke Whitehead was the only driver in the Cadet class and he again drove very well and put his kart on pole for the first time, amongst a field of 12 drivers.
The first heat saw Luke being pushed so hard from behind into the first turn, his rear wheels were completely off the ground, he had no brakes and struggled to keep on the circuit. Despite this he still managed to make the corner but dropped back to third, Luke didn’t let this phase him and stormed back through to the lead within the first lap and then proceeded to pull a gap on the rest of the field, it was a dominent drive by the 8 year old and he won this heat, punching the air with both hands as he crossed the finish line.
Heat two saw Luke lead into the first turn, but the other boys, kept with him, pressuring him to make a mistake, positions changed throughout the race with Luke finishing in third, still another great drive.
Luke started the final in 2nd place but was held out at the first turn, dropping back to 4th, undeterred he drove hard making it back to second and then proceeded to close down the leader who had pulled a gap on the chasing pack, he then dropped back to 4th on the penultimate lap and as they enterred the last lap, he pulled off a fantastic move on the second to last corner, contact was made between him and the other driver and they both span off, dropping him back to 5th place for the flag.
This was without doubt, Luke’s best drive to date, considering he is competing in a field made up of experienced drivers mainly around the 11-12year old range. Luke set the fastest laps in qualifying, Heat 1 and the final and finished the Winter Championship in 3rd place.
The Clubman race was no less exciting, with Liam challenging for the lead throughout the whole race, he finally finished in a worthy second. With Jenson and Oliver, displaying some very skillfull driving, glued to each other throughout the whole race, only inches apart.
The pre final was even more nail biting as Liam challenged for the lead with two other drivers during the 8 laps, finally finishing in third. Jenson and Oliver displayed the same exciting racing, with Jenson making it up to 5th place at one stage, finally finishing 6th and Oliver 8th, the two novices making a big impact this weekend. Jack unfortunately, was out of contention, he was struggling for grip with worn rubber and this affected his usual pace, which we are accustomed to, he finished mid field in 11th.
As the boys lined up for the final, we had no idea how dramatic it would be, 3 laps in and Oliver was involved in an incident, he ended up upside down under his kart, thankfully unhurt…….or so it seemed, until a trip to the hospital on Monday found him to have a broken finger. Everyone wishes him a speedy recovery and hopefully we can get him back in the seat very soon.
The race was eventually re-started and Liam drove his heart out, he finished on the podium in third which gave him 2nd place in the Winter Championship, congratulations Liam, a well deserved second. Jenson kept a cool head, although seeing his team mate crash was definately on his mind, he finished the final in 9th place, taking the Top Novice trophy and 8th in the championship, a very good position in his first championship and on novice plates.
Oliver finished the championship in 11th, an extremely worthy position amongst 27 drivers, considering he lost all his points from the final.
Well done to Jack to, 5th in the championship is a great result for the 9 year old and his best to date.
The enthusiasm by the team, parents and drivers this weekend hit an all time high and was a fantastic atmosphere, thank you to all involved.
PFi is next on the calender and then we move down to Lydd for the final round of their winter championship, with both Liam and Luke in strong positions to win the championships for Cadet and clubman outright.