Big Day, Big Points For Ready, Healey & Neale

LW podium 1Ready 2Healey 3Neale scaled

This is genuine racing, pure and simple.’ Says the testimonial from The Daily Telegraph on the club’s website. And it’s true. Usually. Sunday? I start this copy on Monday morning and the club’s social media is humming with debate on driving standards after the clerks were given the headache (physically) from the volume of radio chatter on contact warnings and penalties – the club prides itself on close, hard, fair racing, and there’s (the metaphorical brain-ache) calling and enforcing penalties. Ultimately it comes down to how you think the game should be played and the drivers themselves but every class drove Whilton Mill hard and gave little or no quarter at all. It’s concerning. Lightweights are by no means the worst culprits and it appeared they took a lead from Premier Class running alongside. It called for a riot act to be read in the afternoon session. That made a modest improvement but Clay Pigeon is another track not lacking in quick corners and little run off in places so needs respect. Although respect for each other and each other’s safety is the real issue in the fun we should all be having.

LW actionSean Brierley won the Pre B Final from grid 2 probably mystified about why he was there but the stop watch in timed qualifying does not lie. Freddie Fincham was on pole for the start, and Sean probably picked up his penalty for the cones he scattered at Xmas in his first attempt on Freddie’s lead. He was arm waving at Xmas again as he tried outside the next time. Calm down dear it’s 4 to qualify. The pair still got clear, Alexander Lammin just off with Ben Atkinson both looking odds on and comfortable to go with them. Lee Norris headed the hopeful pack with Chris Powell, Daniel Becker and James Luetchford and they were gaining on Atkinson as he became increasingly anxious behind Lammin. A ragged Brierley shot and missed at Chapmans appearing to complain about weaving by the leader before a classic Whilton Boot action – outside inside cross over around the toe after Fincham went in too hot once too often. Sean was clear, Freddie looking over his shoulder at Ben at halfway. Luetchford still had work to do to pass Norris and then Lammin to join them but Lee was towing him back to Alex so it was very much on. James faked inside up at Xmas Norris going too deep and squaring off the exit. James was around the outside of the kink and through into Inkermans. Daniel Becker tried to come with him if only Lee would let him. It was then clear that Luetchford had more pace than Lammin and ran him down with just over 2 laps from the finish with the same Boot move Brierley had executed earlier. The top 4 were set, even if Sean’s one place penalty gave Freddie the win on the result sheet.

C100_Whilton4-0535Daniel Healey topped the time sheets by .3secs in his group and .2 ahead Harry Neale in the second group so started in pole position for the Pre A Final. He was clear exiting Crook, Ready inside of Neale approaching Xmas leaving Harry hung out, for the elbows, to dry from Andrew Green, maybe Jack Richards and Tom Powell. Green was spat out of the side off Inkermans. Ending of lap 1 Healey was 0.7secs ahead, if the kart was good, no one would catch him. It was good (of course). The top 3 were evenly matched for pace and already set to the finish. Behind championship leader Adam White was playing ‘ball in a pinball machine’ between Atkinson and Brierley clearly still revved up from the Pre B. Adam suffering from qualifying only 20th in timed qualifying to such an extent I think he may have thrown in the towel on setting a good lap time and getting a good result, slowing down to get space to go for a clear lap, shades of some Premier Calls drivers I can remember and latterly Clubman Sam Fisher from Ellough, although Sam makes no bones about it he’s not here for that championship so as policy from someone wanting to win the title it’s not without risk. But he wasn’t around when Luscombe left no room for Hornsby through the kink, Luke spinning back on from the grass to a halt. Close one. Indeed the the action was behind the leading trio for much of the race Richards had been under pressure from Powell, that went back and forth, until Thom King heralded the arrival of Lex Wakeman, Frankie Hedges, Greg Aaron and Andrew Green from the earlier scrap with Dimitri Zaporozhets, Adrian Richardson and Tom Lee. It released Richards but King was able to run him down before the finish. Healey, Ready, Neale by some distance from King, Richards and Aaron, while Andrew Green got himself excluded from 7th, at the finish.

Not sure what Charles Holroyd might be on but he was fast asleep at the start of the B Final on the front row as Daniel Becker, Chris Powell, Neil Furber were ahead of him into turn 1, Mark White off grid 7 nearly got him into Crook. Still 14 laps is a long way and Charles was back in 3rd before lap’s end. He moved through Powell, in what was a loose group of 5 with decent prospects of one of the two remaining qualifying spots for the A Final. Charles joined by Becker, Powell, Furber and Chris Penny in that group. Harrison Darvill had worked himself up from 11th on the grid to head the main field but it looked like the train had left the station in terms of getting up and over to the leading group and so it was, although Harrison had a good go towing Lammin with him to Furber but he’d fallen away from the quartet up front. Chris Penny was the next to be detached and before halfway leader Becker ran out of talent and track off turn 1, all on his own, but did a masterful job to keep it off the tyres. His chance was gone and Powell and Holroyd drove out the final, Penny hoping for another “Becker” that never came, Darvill finished 4th.

LW Ready wins from HealeyFunny thing on the run up to the start of the A Final was Harry Neale on pole looking over at Dan Healey on grid 2, Dan glanced back up then Neale almost looked to be saying said “all right then” and dropped the hammer. The two lines blurred into one after the start line  into the centre of the track and then into turn 1. Alexander Ready went 2nd, Healey giving it a ‘dab of oppo’ to avoid collecting Sean Brierley and make the second apex both made it through but Sean was on the outside concrete, losing out to Adrian Richardson and fighting off Oliver Knighton before cutting inside Adrian into Xmas. King exited the race at Ashby after proximity (thats code for unclear as I write) with Fincham. It split the field, Adam White in 8th on the tail of the lead line as the race settled, then a gap King, Fincham sized, before Lex Wakeman brought through the rest. The race settled in with Neale, Ready and Healey dropping Richardson, Brierley and Oliver Knighton as they in turn fell back into Tom Powell and Adam White. Lap 3 Neale ran wide in the toe of the Boot and Alexander was through to the lead. Meanwhile White had lost touch with Tom Powell falling into Richards, Wakeman, Green and Aaron, not a good place to be, but he was clear of the three of them trying three wide through Crook. Now two wide is tricky. Three? Aaron behind gives the appearance of pushing on Richards bumper coming off the second apex (and I do say only the appearance). Richards is then pushed out running out wide, Green on the outside manages to lift, but Wakeman half a kart length ahead of Richards was going in the tyres. Crazy driving from as soon as they decided to go three wide, the rest is just the accident when it’s turn 1 at Whilton Mill! Still Wakeman was okay.

It would take Dan Healey four laps to set up Harry Neale for Ashby to take 2nd place, by which time Richardson was back on the scene with Knighton and as the move went in from Healey, Adrian was handily placed to get a run on the pair to tip in around the outside of Dan into the Parker left hander. This left Ready clear and heading for a first win of the season. A few laps later and Dan tried to block pass Adrian down into Chapmans and off the corner we were three wide again going into the Boot, with Neale on the outside it was Adrian in the middle lifting to let Healey to take the corner and 2nd place, and he was powerless to stop Neale coming through inside for the toe, but it was sensible driving from Adrian, who for his pains couldn’t prevent Knighton coming through. Classic Whilton Mill Boot action. Tom Powell further demoted Richardson to 6th and the field ran in settled to the finish. Ready, Healey, Neale, Knighton, Powell, Richardson.

Next stop is Clay Pigeon on 7 June 2015.