And Then There Were Three? SP60 Heavy Title Chase Pulling Into Focus?

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Dan Brewer squeaked the Round 7 win by the tie breaker, after sharing the race wins, his 5th, with Anwar Beroual-Smith (4 wins- while Tim Clark (4 wins) remains firmly in the hunt with a pair of 3rd places at Bayford Meadows. A quick look at the results shows the trio out front of the field in both races with only Johnny come lately Chris Alcock to hang on to the race at the front. Brewer holds a one point lead over Beroual-Smith and 7 points over Tim Clark, as the run in to the end of the championship begins to take shape. These are the players, perm 1 from 3 for champion, and it may come down to the most first places to decide who is champion, Tim Clark, “Dan and Anwar are stretching away from me a bit in the table. The dropped scores make it look better for me than it actually is – I need to go on a serious winning streak to counter all of Anwar’s 2nd places…”. Which Brewer concurs with, “about 30 million 2nd places he’s dropping… Tim has less margin for error as his current drop scores are worse, and he needs a couple of wins too to catch up. It should be tight come the end of the season!” 

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Down to 3 for the championship as its a further 20points to Ryan Sandall, who holds a 3 point advantage over Alex Pritchard racing over 4th and 5th in the championship that carry the remaining championship trophies. Daniel Taylor and the chasing pack start at further 30points behind. Yes, there are 4 rounds and still 8 scoring races left, but the people who have been consistently up the front in the races, are up front in the championship (no surprise there) and so it’s hard see that changing before the end of the season. 

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In Super Heavyweights it’s a little more first straightforward, James Johnstone continues to outscore Richard Newton, and even though his lead is only 11 points, the momentum is with him, and he consistently out qualifies Newton, which is always an advantage for Race 1. The pair are well clear of the rest as they’ve been for much of the season, Chris Heath, Stuart Kirk, Peter Gillett are separated by 14points.

Qualifying

A possible 2022 specification kart was pounding out test miles and started the session 1 second clear of field, which if you’re looking to race Club100 in 2022 is a good sign, because who doesn’t want to go faster? But you might want to work on your fitness and core strength over the winter. Chris Alcock set the real mark at 54.552, ahead of Matt Horgan, Beroual-Smith and Brewer. Beroual-Smith went slightly faster on his next lap to go P3 and that was more or less it, Tim Clark moved on to grid 6 a lap later, and Alcock on his last lap of the session moved to with half a second of Agev mule.

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So Agev, Alcock, Beroual-Smith, Horgan, Brewer and Clark as the top 6, great qualifying by Ian Perkins, Ryan Sandall, Daniel Taylor and Super Heavy James Johnstone rounded out the top 10, 0.8sec quicker than anyone else in the class, 15places higher on the grid of the 38. A record for the season P5 to P21 covered by 0.6secs.

Race 1

Off the start, the Agev kart was clearly quicker than the driver, holding the lead and proving difficult to pass initially, Ryan Sandall called lap one ‘chaos’, but it’s Bayford Meadows, turn 1 and the turn 2/3 complex often are, and sometimes doesn’t calm down until 4-5-6 and run into and around mountain are complete. When they emerged from the bus stop, Agev held up Alcock, Brewer had moved up to 3rd, ahead Beroual-Smith, then a gap to Horgan, Perkins, Sandall, a poor start from Clark, Taylor, Alex Pritchard in 10th, presumably looking for Sandall. Sandall picked off Perkins and Clark moved passed Horgan on the next lap.

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While the Agev edged clear around the fast corners at the end of the lap, Brewer and Beroual-Smith closed on to Alcock. A gap opening up to Sandall in 5th place. Five minutes in Alcock was able to move for the lead, briefly, before Agev took it back. It was looking like the test kart a hindrance as Sandall joined the the quartet. Coming up to the 10min mark Beroual-Smith moved to the lead, with Alcock into 2nd, Brewer to 3rd as the Agev got shuffled down the group. This left Sandall struggling to pass, “for some reason there was a kart testing on different tyres that was preventing me getting to the guys I was meant to be racing.” Although at the time around halfway  he wasn’t losing ground, Agev providing a useful tow, even if Clark was closing in behind. Tim againm “I was a bit more rusty than I expected to be around Bayford so didn’t qualify very well for race 1. It took me until half way through the race to really get going and start making my way through.” Agev passed Alcock for 3rd, then Clark caught up with and passed Sandall to go 5th, making a loose 6way fight for lead. Alcock, Clark and Sandall finally pushed Agev down to 6th place. The quartet taking station in Brewer’s slipstream just as Dan was in danger of losing leader’s Anwar Beroual-Smith’s draft. Four seconds behind, Ian Perkins had settled into a race of his own in 7th, there was a 3secs gap behind him to Alex Pritchard, who after working his way to 8th place, had managed make a similar lonely space but was making little progress into Perkins. Then a 4secs gap to Stephen Kendall bringing through main field through which Claudio La Rosa had made excellent progress from grid 17 on the opening lap, to be 10th, ahead of a busy battle between Stuart Martin,  Jason Bear,  Stephen Jennings, Jamie Garside, Daryl Snelling and Matt Horgan, fading badly. Speaking of badly, SHW James Johnstone, for from capitalising on his grid 10, was down in 21st place, and less than 2secs clear of rival Richard Newton in 24th.

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At the 20min mark, the race up front was finely poised, Brewer had closed to Beroual-Smith’s bumper and Alcock hanging in the slipstream, not unlike Clark and Sandall behind, waiting for the battling to start. Annoyingly again for Sandall, the Agev kart came by, and the pair were then detached from aerodynamic assistance from the quartet ahead, Sandall again, “it would lose me time to the front group, which I could never make up [on my own].

Into the last 5 laps Brewer tried to ratchet up the pressure, “I’d chased Anwar down and reached him with about 2 mins to go. He defended well though and the one place I had a real opportunity on the infield he covered, so I had to settle for 2nd.” Alcock would succumb to Clark, Tim remarking, “3rd felt like a reasonable salvage job after a poor start”. Beroual-Smith has led too many races to hand over an important win after half an hour of hard driving. Correctly Agev were excluded from the result, bringing Sandall back to 5th, then 6secs behind was Perkins, 7secs ahead of Pritchard, Stephen Kendall had finished 9th on the road, but not without clipping a cone, so he stayed there, as La Rosa moved to 8th place and Jason Bear made up the top ten. 

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After his poor first half to the race, James Johnstone settled the ship to finish 17th, 9secs clear of Richard Newton, and more importantly 6 places better, in 23rd, down there every position is worth a point. Off the lead lap Chris Heath brought the rest of the SHW field through in 27th.

Race 2 

“I nailed the start and tried to hang it round the outside of Anwar. It didnt work but holding p2 off the line at Bayford is an achievement in itself”, reported Dan Brewer. Yes it is. Ian Perkins grabbed 5th from Sandall off the start. La Rosa and Stephen Kendall moved passed Alex Pritchard for 7th and 8th places on lap 2. Sandall took back 5th place the next lap, only to find himself over 2secs off the leading group of 4. Dan Brewer again, “I knew Anwar could defend from a long way out, so I managed to get a wheel on the inside of Anwar despite him running narrow into turn 1, and parked it on the apex and that got the move done. And I was slightly faster.” Although to begin Beroual-Smith remained stubbornly attached to Brewer 0.4-0.5secs behind, using his slipstream, using his braking points and lines, in the same Clark and Alcock sat in behind Anwar. Any hopes Sandall had of getting back on the bus had faded, 4 karts circulating together push less air, than 1, Ryan slipping away 4secs by the 10minute mark, even as he was dropping Perkins, Ryan,”I’d got a bad start, but I was about half a second slower than race 1, so it just meant being dropped off the back of the front group, it turned into a very lonely solid 5th place. 

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Kendall was closing on Perkins for 6th, another couple of seconds Stuart Martin had recently passed Pritchard, Daryl Snelling, 10th, Stephen Jennings and Matt Horgan were also in this group, after La Rosa had disappeared down to 21st. Jennings took a turn at trying to find a way passed Pritchard. Successfully, Kendall moving passed Perkins, followed shortly thereafter by Martin to take 7th place.

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By halfway Brewer had edged out 0.7secs, right on the edge of breaking clear, Beroual-Smith with Clark on his bumper and Alcock just beyond, Dan again, “I had to push really hard to break the tow, but when I eventually did, I pulled away comfortably to take the win.” And it started right there, next lap it was 1secs, then 1.3secs, 1.6secs, Clark all over Anwar trying to get by, “Anwar had a fairly poor kart but did a very good job of defending for most of the race. Dan did well to get through early but I couldn’t. I tried various lines and had a go around the outside a few times but there wasn’t much I could do. Pretty frustrating for me but it was fair enough from Anwar.”  

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With 5mins to go Brewer’s lead was out to 4secs, Clark still trying but failing to pass from Beroual-Smith drawing on a wealth of experience, and not a shamed to park the bus in front of goal, while Alcock watched on. Sandal had fallen away 10secs, Stuart Martin wouldn’t run down his 5secs deficit to Sandall in the remaining 6 laps. Martin had had the measure of Kendall in 7th, who was himself still engaged with Ian Perkins. Alex Pritchard had got back passed Jennings, Garrett O’Connor finishing strongly with Daniel Taylor replacing Snelling and Horgan in the group.

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SuperHeavyweight – Round Winner – James Johnstone

James Johnstone was 15th and looking comfortable in SHW, again 6-7 places ahead Newton in 22nd, himself being kept honest over his class 2nd by Chris Heath. And thats how it finished, on the road at least, Johnston would classified as 22nd with the addition of 2 x4place penalties for contact negating much of the points advantage he had in race, Newton was still 2nd in class in 24th place, half a second clear of Heath, the trio making up the podium. 

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SuperHeavyweight – 2nd place – Richard Newton

In the main race, it really was as you were. Brewer coasted in 3secs clear of Beroual-Smith, Clark, still trying with Alcock to find a way by. It wasn’t pretty, but it didn’t need to be, it was another one of those Anwar Beroual-Smith grind out 2nd place finishes, that more than the wins might carry him to retain his title. Sandall, gap to Martin, Kendall and Perkins. Daniel Taylor, coming through from 35th on the grid to finish 9th, ahead of Alex Pritchard making up the top 10.

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SuperHeavyweight – 3rd place – Chris Heath

Words: Chris Simpson

Photography: John Patterson