Adam White continues winning streak at Red Lodge.

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Andrew Green missed out on the top 20 in qualifying so started in pole position for the Pre B Final he wasted no time dropping the hammer out of the last corner so was able to swing out to take the full racing line through turn1 as Dimitri Zaporozhets slow off grid 2, allowed Sam Luscombe a clear run from grid 3, James Luetchford stuck his nose in the middle to make it three wide between Dimitri and James Williams. James trying to make the most of the inside lines perceived, part real part imaginary (more of the former than usual) advantage into turn 1-2-3 at Red Lodge. It was Zaporozhets on the outside that had to lift to stay on the track, and not everyone did, into the tight turn 2-3 complex. When the dust settled only Oliver Knighton (seemingly self inflicted) sat waiting for a pusher kart at turn 5. Green was 6 kart lengths ahead of the aggressive start of Dominic Green, who’d forced his way up off grid 6 and had 2nd off Luscombe in turn 5 before the field and Knighton had arrived, he pulled clear to give Luetchford room to occupy Luscombe’s rear bumper for the rest of the lap.  With 4 drivers to qualify to the Pre A Final Andrew Mather, Jacob Heyne-Ford, Zaporozhets and Williams needed to get a shift on to run down the pair ahead. Heyne-Ford ran out wide for some Kart Cross off turn 9, which is never clever, but keeping your foot in is entertaining but Williams and Zaporozhets went through into turn 1.

Lap 5 Luetchford got a run out of the last corner on Luscombe and moved into 3rd into turn 1 Luscombe running out wide and on to the grass and came back on only just clear of Mather and Williams. The former ran wide in turn 7 to gift his position to Williams, then Sam managed to get crossed up into turn 1 and James was through to 4th exiting turn 3. Four laps later Luetchford had closed down the 1 secs advantage Dominic Green had had in 2nd and pushed through into turn 8. At the start finish line Andrew Green had a 2secs lead over James with 6 laps to go. Williams passed Dominic Green, then into the last 3 laps, Luscombe got by Dominic before he got nerfed in reply into turn 4, a fairly clear contact penalty, duly called, so Dominic would have to try again from the B final. With half a lap to go Luetchford caught up with leader Andrew Green and got a better run out of turn 6 to be comfortably by on the back straight. No need to worry, qualification is all that matters and Luetchford, Green, Williams & Luscombe were indeed comfortable.

C100_RedLodge-9591Thom King had qualified in pole position for the Pre A Final, Lex Wakeman on the outside, and I have to say I was mightily impressed to see Lex emerge out in front into turn 2 as King is no mug but unfortunately Wakeman’s overlap was a kart length at the line, when he has to start at least level or just behind the pole man. That gets you pinged for a jump start and a 2 place deduction. King and Healey and I suspect Darvill on the second row knew it also. Thats racing. So the 3 of them then lent on each other looking for effectively the race lead through the infield, Darvill lost out and Wakeman made a run for it. King held off Healey, Darvill swamped by Ready, Alexander Lammin, Adrian Richardson, and Harrison was left fighting to hold off Chris Powell and Greg Aaron. Sean Brierley pushed passed Luke Hornsby at the start of lap 2 to go 10th, followed by Adam White going 11th. Lammin held off Richardson just a bit too determinedly leaving them both open to Darvill recovering 5th to head the chasing peloton. Contact between King and Healey dropped Daniel back into Ready in 4th, Alexander taking advantage into turn 1 3/4 of a lap after the contact that helped had occurred to go 3rd. The race settled down into turning fast laps perhaps with a thought to the A final grid, and perhaps to the nature of the circuit, and understanding that aside from the back straight you were looking for a mistake from the drivers around you and avoiding one of your own to make a move cleanly. But some like to race and still make progress Greg Aaron picked off Tom Powell into turn 1 and was helpless as Brierley, White and Chris Powell piled in behind. White emerged clear in 9th place but Brierley would be back for 10th place a few laps later. Healey moved inside of Ready into turn 9 and the top 3 looked settled by half distance but Daniel had other ideas and ran down Thom King in 3 laps pulling Alexander back into the fight for what you figured they knew was for the win, Thom looked vulnerable. Boom! Daniel through before the last corner with 3 laps to go, Thom missing his apex into turn 1 was an open invitation for Alexander Ready into turn 2, with Darvill almost in range in 5th. But not quite. So the front of the race was settled. Behind White got his elbows out and tried to force a clumsy pass on Lammin into the last corner complex in a four cornered affair with Richardson and Brierley that Aaron, I’m sure was pleased to have left behind. Lammin parried Adam off, Adrian and Sean relegated White back to 10th on the last lap. That was probably karma. Wakeman cruised in 2.3secs clear to learn of his jump start penalty, Healey inherited maximum points for the win from Ready and Wakeman.

C100_RedLodge-9624Two remaining spots on the back of a 26 kart A Final up for grabs in the B Final, fastest laps from the Pre B had set the grid, Jacob Heyne-Ford getting the hole shot from pole position ahead of Andrew Mather off grid 3 as Aidan Kichener surrendered on grid 2. Well could you blame him? Dominic Green on grid 4, then Dimitri Zaporozhets and Keith Segal before we got on to the back straight were coming through. Joseph Liddiard was left deep and solidly in the turn 1 tyres after getting it all wrong behind Craig Summers. Mather did a sterling job of holding up Green to allow Heyne-Ford to edge clear and Zaporozhets to close back in to make it a three kart fight for that last qualifying spot. Perhaps Green was more circumspect trying to avoid an A final missing penalty. Mather ran in rapid and narrow into turn 1 and Green dived for the turn 2 apex for 2nd, Dimitri pushed around the outside and with Andrew catching the tyres on the inside of turn 3 both Segal and Kichener could drive around him spluttering back up to revs. That was lap 4, Zaporozhets moved into 2nd on lap 6,and thats pretty much how it stayed for the next 5 laps, oh the gaps ebbed and flowed but positions remained largely unchanged until the penultimate lap. By then Jacob was long gone and heading for a win and qualification but Green was holding on to Zaporozhets and Kichener was edging in. There was a race on at the finish for 2nd. Mistake here, mistake there by Dominic and Dimitri was released and Aidan was 3rd. Three laps to go 2secs to make up for Aidan on 2nd placed Zaporozhets. A bit of an ask, and he made no impression, his chance had gone, and it was Chris Penny finishing strongly getting Aidan in a drag race from the last corner to the line after they had arrived at the last corner under yellow for a spun David Darling. So it was Heyne-Ford and Zaporozhets to the A, Penny, Kichener, then James Kimmins 16secs off the winner, chased by Andrew ward, and Rhy Clarey. Craig Summers, Dominic Green (more penalties) and Jack Hollingsworth rounded out the top ten.

C100_RedLodge-5993The last race of the day and in lovely sunshine, the bad weather had never materialised, the A Final promised much and off the start, sorry the second start, sorry at the third start it started to deliver on it’s promise. Frankie Hedges had stacked it into the tyres at turn 1 after being collected by James Williams. Alexander Ready stuck in the tyres between turns 2 and 3. We’d lost Lex Wakeman to the back of the grid after the 2nd start with kart change such was the loading going on, Lex momentarily wearing Thom King and his kart at the apex of turn 2. So it was no surprise to see pole man Adam White get the run over the start to comfortably lead into turn 1, perhaps given the run by Daniel Healey after two shots from Greg Aaron to take 2nd earlier, settling for Adam’s bumper to keep the position out of the complex and the pair were free and clear as Alexander Ready resolved or had no option but attempt to go around the outside of turn 2 with Greg on his inside bottling up the field behind. The rest of the top ten got through but Nik Hoyle off grid 11 and Sam Luscombe on 15 were less lucky and crawled out of turn 3 after contact. We couldn’t have 4th restart?! Back at the line White and Healey had 0.75secs on Aaron, Sean Brierley, Ready, gap to Tom Powell, Alexander Lammin, King, Harry Neale, then 0.75secs to Luscombe, Andrew Green and Hoyle, as the vanguard for the rest of the field.

And thats pretty much how it settled in for this 13 lapper. Healey following or hanging on to Adam White, depending on your point of view, White who is developing an uncanny knack of being up the front for the main A final without being especially flash in the Pre A or necessarily topping the timesheet after qually. Greg Aaron was edging closer to the front with Brierley and Ready. You could call it a five way dice for the lead but that would be over egging it, it was very fast lappery in close proximity. Tom Powell was lonely in 6th which again is good and bad depending what your priorities but clear of a 4 way battle headed by King, Neale, Lammin and Luscombe to round out the top ten. Not that people were not trying – Wakeman was doing his nut trying to chop through from 25th, but it was 2 steps forward, 1 step back and Hedges in 18th was not playing ball, why should he? James Luetchford was not helping either. So it was Andrew Green leading a long loose line from 11th place to the tail.

Lap 6 and Aaron was in divebomb range which forced Daniel to cover into turn 1, White was quick exiting the hairpin and running through turn 6 on to the back straight, and that meant that any pass for the lead would have be elsewhere and not without mistake but would need a deep breath. Turn 9 looked to be White’s weakness, although that’s relative. Side by side with Healey, White edged over to cover the curve back to the pits, Ready took a lunge inside Brierley in the last corner for no reason I could see, there was no gap, the pair lost 3 kart lengths on the leading trio but it was soon retrieved as White covered up to turn 7 and messed up the 8-9 combo again.

Which brings us into the last 3 laps, White had a couple kart lengths over start finish on Healey but that was nothing on the brakes into the slow corners, Aaron appeared to be flat out trying to stay in touch and had Brierley and Ready on his bumper. It was time for someone to shit or let White have the pot (pardon the expression), Daniel showed him his nose over start finish on to the penultimate lap pushing for a mistake from Adam which he failed to make and around they went again, 5 as one. On to the last lap, same thing, Daniel pulled to the inside as much to throw Aaron off into turn 1 who threw himself speculatively into Daniel into the turn 5 hairpin. Well you’ve got to have a go. But not there. There might been a gap briefly but it wasn’t a kart width when Greg got there but it upset Healey’s momentum and White was gone as Healey went side by side down with into turn 6 with Aaron, Aaron emerged with 2nd place on the back straight. Adam White made it two A Final wins in two rounds winning by 0.6secs from Greg Aaron, Daniel Healey, Sean Brierley and Alexander Ready, but as hinted Aaron had picked up a 4 position penalty, presumably for contact, and quite possibly in part for his last move. If not, and I don’t mean it nastily, he deserved one. So Healey and Brierley moved up a step on the podium, Tom Powell was promoted to 5th (insert Aaron here in the results) towing in Thom King and Harry Neale. Luscombe held off Lammin for 10th, 10secs off the winner.


Photography by Alex Roche Photography