Battle is Joined. Beroual-Smith Rises to the Holmes Challenge

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How fantastic is it to be back on track. On a day blessed with near perfect conditions just for a day the trials and tribulations of these strange days could almost be forgotten as racing resumed after the enforced break. Into the afternoon for Heavyweight (HW)/ Super Heavyweight (SHW) competitors and the conditions remained near perfect.

The Road to the Finals

Steve Lindley took the first heat. Starting from the second row he was at the front by the end of the first lap and never headed. Stuart Jones chased him all the way but could never quite get on terms. Justin Shaw and Tim Hill had a great battle over third which swung one way and then the other before Hill finally made a break as Shaw slipped into the clutches of Dave Pethers and Stephen Downes. He would ultimately finish sixth behind Downes and Pethers.

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Heat 2 fell to Joe Holmes. It took him half the race to climb up from grid eight and catch pole man Jordan Salter. Once at the front though he would not be caught although Salter was in touch right to the end. Stewart Madden crossed the line third after starting from the front row with Alexander Lammin fourth from Geoff Lamb. But Madden was underweight and excluded promoting Lammin and Lamb to third and fourth with Steve Bosley fifth.

Dominic Gorrett led Heat 3 from the start chased hard by Curt Holmes with Lennie Wood running third but well back. Last lap and Holmes took over at the front demoting a crestfallen Gorrett. But Holmes was adjudged to have got through unfairly and was demoted to fifth handing the win back to Gorrett. Wood moved up to second with Sean Brierley opening his account for the day with third place having got by Oliver Moss on the run to the line by just 0.061.

David Whitehouse took the fourth heat with a last lap pass on Lewis Ridd. A great drive this from the returning Whitehouse. There is an old saying in football along the lines of ‘’he’s had more comebacks than Lazarus’’ which seems rather appropriate to David. No offence intended. David Longman took third after starting from grid ten with Bill Taylor fourth from Benjamin Robinson.

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Heat 5 went to Anwar Beroual-Smith with a faultless drive from the second row. He was in front by the end of the first tour and led the field home by over two seconds setting the fastest lap in the process. Tim Hill crossed the line second but he’d nudged Jeff Chapman out of the way mid race and was demoted to sixth with Chapman back into second. Chris Gristwood was placed third with Harry Melvin fourth. Dominic Gorrett crossed the line fifth but got hit with a double penalty dropping him to thirteenth and handing fifth to Aaron Stevens.

Sean Brierley took the win in Heat 6. From grid ten he made steady progress to hit the front at half distance. Lewis Ridd chased him home but he’d hit Alex Pritchard as he went by into second and the resulting penalty dropped him to sixth and handed second back to Pritchard. Alexander Lammin came home third from Bradley Shears and Bill Taylor.

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Heat 7 fell to Miguel Hall. Starting from pole he led till half distance from fellow front row sitter David Longman. Longman did manage to get in front but Hall hit back to take the win. Stephen Jennings came home third with James Workman fourth and Oliver Moss fifth. But Moss was handed a one place penalty for cone abuse which he appealed. Holmes sportingly admitted that he had squeezed him a touch so Moss was re-instated and Holmes placed sixth.

Pete Newbury took a comfortable win in Heat 8 whilst Steve Downes took second after an anything but comfortable run up from grid thirteen. Curt Holmes took third after a hard drive up from grid ten whilst David Whitehouse put in another strong drive to take fourth ahead of Jordan Hawkins.

Joe Holmes led the field away in Heat 9 with Stuart Jones slotting into second ahead of Mark Appleton. Benjamin Robinson was up to fourth from grid ten followed by Chris Gristwood who had climbed up from grid thirteen. Robinsons fourth place lasted but a lap as he spun. In his haste to get going he pulled back onto the track without waiting for a gaggle of Karts to get by. It was deemed an unsafe release and he would be excluded from the results. At the front Holmes was coming under pressure from Jones who slipped by into the lead at half distance. And there he stayed for several laps. Gristwood too was closing in and the stage was set for a grandstand finish. Last lap and Holmes tried to wrest the lead from Jones. Gristwood tried to take them both and hit Jones. But he was through for an unlikely win. But he took a four place penalty for his move on Jones handing the win to Holmes with Jones second. Appleton came home third with Richard Allen fourth from the unfortunate Gristwood.

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Steve Bosley looked set to take the win in Heat 10. Starting from the second row he was at the front after two laps with Stewart Madden second after starting from grid eleven. Oliver Moss was well in touch in third. Last lap and Madden went for the lead. It was ill judged and Bosley was spun out. Madden crossed the line first but took a six place penalty dropping him to seventh. Bosley got going but wound up ninth. All of which handed the win to Moss with Ben Benneyworth second from Bradley Shears, Jordan Salter and Harry Melvin.

The penultimate heat saw Pete Newbury take his second win of the day. He had to work for it though spending much of the race behind Lennie Wood and Sean Brierley. He hit the front two from home to take the win with Anwar Beroual-Smith second after a late race charge saw him get by both Wood and Brierley who had to settle for third and fourth. David Whitehouse crossed the line fifth but was penalised four places after hitting Dominic Vallance as he went by. Vallance took fifth as a result.

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The final heat went to Miguel Hall. Starting on grid eight he was up to third by the end of the first lap with pole man Steven Downes leading from Paul Goddard. Geoff Lamb was up to fourth from grid ten. The following lap he would be into second with Goddard dropping to fifth behind Jordan Hawkins. Lambs second place was short lived as Hall moved ahead at half distance. A lap later he dispensed with Downes for the lead. Lamb too found a way by and that was how it remained till the flag. Tim Hill came home fourth after an eventful run. Starting seventh he dropped back to eleventh after the first lap before making steady progress back up the order taking Goddard on the final lap.

C Final

Jaeden Cadogan lined up on pole for the first of the afternoons Finals with Lennie Wood alongside after a torrid time in the heats. Sunny Kundi and Chris Solomons shared row two. James Dunnet and Vinod Harani occupied row three with Nick Pollicott and Simon Kavanagh on four. Row five saw Andrew Perry alongside Richard Neale followed by Darren De Mattia and Peter Clark on row six. Lee Woods and Chris Warton shared row seven with Benjamin Robinson and Blake Temperley on row eight. Ian Zumbuhl shared row nine with Stewart Madden with James Fremont and Martyn Robinson bringing up the rear. Top four to qualify for the B Final

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Cadogan led the field up the line but it was Wood who was smartest away leading the field as they all piled into the Clubhouse hairpin. It seemed everyone bar the leader wanted to win the race on the first lap. Very messy but most escaped intact. It did allow Wood to break clear and by the end of the first tour he was over two seconds to the good. Dunnett was up to second followed by Solomon and Kavanagh. Cadogan had fallen to fifth ahead of Kundi. A lap later and Cadogan was back up to third. Three laps in and Wood was almost five seconds clear as the battle for the other three spots began to heat up. Dunnett remained second a few Kart lengths clear of Cadogan who was in turn a second up on Kavanagh who was holding off a very determined De Mattia. Kundi was next from Clark. Unfortunately these two would tangle with Clark deemed the aggressor. He would soon retire with battle damage whilst Kundi was left to work his way back up the order. Half distance and Wood was over seven seconds clear with Dunnett still second from Cadogan. De Mattia was up to fourth ahead of Madden who had driven hard from the rear of the grid. Sadly for his chances he had picked up a four place penalty after forcing his way past Solomon. But he wasn’t giving up.

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Wood continued to lead with Dunnett still second but De Mattia was up to third at the expense of Cadogan who also lost out to the flying Madden. Madden set the fastest lap of the race but with two to go it all went wrong as he spun out of third. In his haste to get going again he pulled onto the circuit without taking heed of the Karts bearing down on him. Exclusion from the results was the inevitable penalty. Stewart clearly has the pace but he needs to learn some race craft if he is to progress. Too many penalties. All of which allowed Robinson up to fourth. After starting on grid fifteen he’d worked his way steadily up the order without making mistakes. A fine drive showing that there is some talent there when he concentrates on his driving and doesn’t allow himself to get distracted by other driver’s errors. Wood took the win over nine seconds clear with De Mattia second. He pulled clear over the final laps but was never going to catch Wood. Cadogan took third after an eventful drive with the impressive Robinson fourth and the final qualifier. Kundi worked his way back to fifth after his clash with Clark but was too far adrift to threaten the top four over the closing laps. Pollicott came home sixth ahead of Dunnett with Madden next across the line but excluded from the results. Kavanagh was next across the line but hit with a two place deduction for multiple contacts promoting Lee Woods up to eighth with Perry next from Kavanagh.

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B Final

Jordan Hawkins on pole from Steve Bosley with Ben Benneyworth and Paul Goddard on row two. Stephen Jennings and James Workman shared row three with Alex Pritchard and Aaron Stevens on row four. Next up Dominic Gorrett alongside Dominic Vallance followed by Mark Appleton and Justin Shaw. Daren Townsley occupied row seven with Jonathan Elliot. Chris Kirk and Paul Williams shared row eight with Gary Miller and Matt Kendall behind on row nine. Row ten saw Richard Newton alongside Dmitry Zeldin followed by Wayne Dunham and Lee Henderson with the final two rows occupied by the C Final qualifiers, Wood, De Mattia, Cadogan and Robinson. Top two to qualify for the A Final.

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Hawkins led the pack away but it was Goddard who caught the eye with a blinding start from the second row to slot into second. End of the lap and Hawkins was already a second clear with Goddard second from Bosley and Benneyworth. Workman was up to fifth but Jennings had lost out and was down to tenth. Hawkins continued to pull clear as Goddard came under pressure from Bosley. With three run Bosley was back up to second but more than three seconds adrift of the leader. Goddard remained third from Benneyworth, Workman and Pritchard. Hawkins continued to stretch the gap at the front with Bosley still second but unable to pull clear of the chasing pack still headed by Goddard. Pritchard and Workman both slipped by Benneyworth for fourth and fifth. Half distance and Hawkins was well clear whilst Bosley had some breathing space. Pritchard had got by Goddard for third. Workman remained fifth whilst Stevens had got by Benneyworth for sixth. Jennings had moved back up to eighth. Two thirds distance and Hawkins continued to pull clear whilst Bosley was keeping the gap back to third at just over a second. Goddard remained fourth but was dropping back and coming under pressure from Jennings. With two to go and Hawkins well clear at the front Pritchard began to close in on Bosley for second. Jennings was up to fourth, over a second back but still in contention should Bosley and Pritchard trip each other up. Goddard remained fifth but had Workman all over his rear bumper. Elliott was up to seventh but a trip across the kerb at the chicane would see him excluded from the results. Hawkins took the win over seven seconds clear of the pack. Bosley found some late race pace to keep himself clear of Pritchard with Jennings fourth after a strong comeback drive. Workman took fifth ahead of Goddard with Williams next after a strong drive up from grid sixteen. Benneyworth claimed eighth and headed the SHW’s with Appleton and Vallance completing the top ten. Benneyworth also claimed third overall in the SHW behind Allen and Taylor who had both qualified earlier for the A Final. Fastest lap went to Wood in eleventh with Henderson the fastest SHW and Dunham the fastest of the class three runners.

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A Final

Pole for reigning Champion Joe Holmes after his two heat wins alongside Class 2 driver Miguel Hall who had been the sensation of the heats also taking two wins. Sean Brierley and Pete Newbury shared row two with Anwar Beroual-Smith and Steven Downes behind on row three. Oliver Moss and David Longman shared row four with Jordan Salter alongside Geoff Lamb on row five. Row six saw Tim Hill alongside Stuart Jones with David Whitehouse alongside Alexander Lammin on row seven. The eighth row had Jeff Chapman alongside Curt Holmes with Bill Taylor and Harry Melvin behind on row nine from Bradley Shears and Lewis Ridd on row ten. Dave Pethers shared row eleven with Chris Gristwood whilst reigning SHW Champion Richard Allen occupied the penultimate row followed by the two qualifiers from the B Final, Hawkins and Bosley.

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Holmes brought the field up to start line at a pace which would have made a tortoise blush. But as pole man that’s his right. Hall was itching to get going and several times got his nose ahead only to have to back off or risk a jumped start. Holmes timed his getaway to perfection flooring the throttle just as Hall backed off again crossing the line just 0.013 ahead. But by the first turn he was already a couple of lengths clear. There is no better driver at judging starts in Club100 than the gritty son of Yorkshire. Hall immediately fell back behind Brierley and a fast starting Beroual-Smith with Newbury fifth. Downes lost out badly slipping back to twelfth. Moss ran sixth from Longman. Hill was next from Whitehouse and Holmes. Holmes continued to lead but he wasn’t pulling clear of Brierley whilst Beroual-Smith was just half a second adrift. Hall was still fourth but some two seconds back and having to defend the place from Moss, Newbury, Salter and Hill. Third time around and Beroual-Smith was up to second from Brierley with Moss next having forced his way by Hall. One third distance and Holmes still led separated from Beroual-Smith’s front bumper by the width of a fag paper. Brierley was dropping away from the fight but was well clear of Moss who was in turn running clear of fifth place now occupied by Longman. Holmes was really having to work to keep his lead crossing the line with Beroual-Smith almost fixed to his rear bumper. Seventh time around and Beroual-Smith got better traction out of the chicane and dived to the inside at the bottom of the circuit. A clean move too which cost neither himself nor Holmes any significant time much to the frustration of third placed Brierley. Once at the front Beroual-Smith immediately stamped his authority on the proceedings setting what would be the fastest lap of the race and pulling himself clear of Holmes. Holmes never gives up but he just didn’t quite have the pace to mount a challenge for the lead despite having a good look down the back straight final time around. But he thought better of it and Beroual-Smith took the win just a few lengths clear.

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A hard race and a great win for Beroual-Smith, his first in Sprints for five years. It was going to take something special to beat Holmes and this was it. Brierley closed in on Holmes towards the end but was never close enough to threaten but he can be well pleased with third on his first visit to Shenington whilst Moss was a lonely fourth. A great drive though and good points. Longman too can be well satisfied with fifth whilst Whitehouse drove an excellent race to take sixth ahead of Lamb. But for Lamb the drama was not over. Having fought back through the field after dropping to thirteenth he was up to seventh behind Hill. Penultimate lap and he put a move on Hill for the place. But he hit Hill spinning him momentarily to a halt. Lamb was through but the inevitable penalty would drop him back to thirteenth. Hill was soon going but back down to ninth although still the leading C2 runner. Sadly, the red mist had defended and as the field made its way to the pits at the end of the race he drove into the back of Lamb. Hard. He would be excluded from the results costing him the C2 win. Jones was promoted to seventh with Hall eighth and taking the C2 honours as a result of Hill’s exclusion. Gristwood was next and second in C2 with Salter completing the top ten and third place in C2. Richard Allen won the SHW class with Bill Taylor second.

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Joe Holmes remains at the head of the standings but he’s set to miss the next round. Anwar Beroual-Smith’s win sees him second from Sean Brierley, Stuart Jones and Geoff Lamb.

Jordan Salter leads to C2 class from Chris Gristwood and Tim Hill.

Richard Allen leads the SHW division ahead of Bill Taylor and Ben Benneyworth.

In Class 3 Wayne Dunham leads the way from Jaeden Cadogan and Nick Pollicott.

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A great days racing brilliantly organised. Sorting out how to keep everyone safe in these strange times must have been a nightmare but I think everything went smoothly and everyone used their common sense. Hats off to JV and the team and all at Shenington. Sadly there is a long way to go before life is back to normal but at least we are racing again.

See you all at Clay!!

WORDS: Steve Gray

PHOTOGRAPHY: John Patterson