But The Day Belonged to Newman

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After a long break it was back to Rye for round four. I like Rye normally but a long detour to get to the track wasn’t a good start and then when I arrived I thought I’d got the wrong day but it turned out to be a twelve hour event that had overrun. But it did cause some stress with parking for a time. And wasn’t it hot, dry and dusty. Still, it was good to be back for some good quality racing again.


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Harrison Kirkham opened his account for the day with a win in the first heat. Starting from the second row he took the lead with three laps run. Rob Newman chased him home. He started from the third row and moved into second at half distance. But he couldn’t get on terms with the leader and had to settle for second ahead of polesitter Yousuf Bin-Suhayl, Bryn Alban and Dante Dhillon who lost valuable points as Alban slipped by him on the final lap.

Michael Reader took a lights to flag win in the second heat helped by a battle for second between Andrew Ward, Matt Ellis, Russell Cooper and Nikolas Lakasas. Ellis held second for much of the race but dropped to fourth behind Ward and Cooper on the penultimate lap. But he fought back to third on the final lap at the expense of Cooper.

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Andrew Rabbage took a lights to flag win in the third heat chased all the way by Ben Lambeth and Aaron Clarke who went by Lambeth on the penultimate lap for second. Christian Laner and Andrew Mcwilliam completed the top five.

Dave Cottrell was a comfortable winner of the fourth heat. He went to the front three laps in and was never headed. Sam Lovelace and George Lawlor were next over the line but both had four place deductions, Lovelace for loading into the first turn and Lawlor for a bump and pass. Ed Barrs was promoted to second which was probably the only bit of luck he would have all weekend. Adam Sheargold, James Dunnett and James Martin completed the top five.

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Harrison Kirkham took his second win of the day in the fifth heat and again it was Rob Newman who chased him home. Andrew Ward led for much of the way before Kirkham went by. A lap later Ward was down to third behind Newman. Stef Theodorou and Christopher Powell completed the top five.

Callum Martin led for over half of the sixth heat before James Martin went by and into a lead he would never lose. Aaron Clarke also took Callum on the final lap but he was excluded from the results after a second ABC handing second back to Callum. Kym Eley was third from Yousuf Bin-Suhayl and Ami Breacher.

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Heat seven was a gentle affair with just one overtake among the top three all race. Sam Lovelace led for over half the race from Bryn Alban who took over at the front with three laps to go. Ed Barrs started third and finished third ahead of Charlie Summers and Dave Cottrell.

Samuel Essery claimed the eighth heat. Starting from the front row he fell to third before taking the lead second time around and leading home Dante Dhillon who had to work his way up from grid nine. Dan Seager took third from Andrew Rabbage and Andy Bushell.

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Heat nine went to Stephen Westwood. He took the lead at half distance with Yousuf Bin-Suhayl second from Ben Lambeth, Callum Martin and Mathew Cockerham.
Samuel Essery took his second win of the day in the tenth heat. Starting on the fourth row he worked his way up the order to take over at the front from Dan Seager at half distance. Thereafter he extended his lead to over two seconds from Seager at flag fall. Joshua Sangster was third ahead of Harrison Kirkham and Sam Lovelace.

Rob Newman took a comfortable win in the penultimate heat beating Championship rival Dante Dhillon in the process. Newman started from the second row and took the lead at half distance whilst Dhillon fell back at the start to fourth and had to work his way back to second. But he couldn’t catch Newman whose win put him on the front row of the grid for the A Final alongside Harrison Kirkham. Early leader Andrew Mcwilliam took third with Greg Smith fourth after a commendable drive and Dean Everest fifth.

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Aaron Clarke put in one of the performances of the day to take the final heat. Starting from grid ten he worked his way steadily up the order and by the time he started the final lap he was up to third behind George Lawlor and Andrew Ward. By the end of the lap he was first with Ward second from Lawlor followed by Andy Bushell and Russell Cooper.

C Final

All drivers in C3 unless otherwise noted.

Lewis Marchant on pole with C2 Greg Smith alongside. Isaiah Egwuagu and C2 Andy Orford shared the second row with George Oxford and Sam Iddles on row three. Row four saw James Brittain alongside Harrison Earl with Chris Hancox and Benjamin Sproat on row five. C2 Jake Wilkins and Mortaza Hassan were on row six followed by Thanos Tzevelekakis and Keir Hobson on seven and C2 Sam Morris and Clifton Malcolm on eight. Mark Hensler and James Browning shared row nine followed by Alex Rule and Toby Wykes on the tenth row. Row eleven had Yan Zhao alongside Martyn Goddard with Jake Hicklin and Hugo Beales on the penultimate row from Christopher Foxon. Top four to qualify for the B Final and a trophy for the winner.

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The first lap was a touch frantic. Marchant got away well enough but Smith found himself muscled out and fell to the back of the field by the end of the lap. Egwuagu moved up to second ahead of quick starting Brittain. Hassan too was quick off the mark moving up eight places to fourth. Second time around and Egwuagu was up to first from Brittain with Marchant down to third from Hassan, Morris and Oxford. Egwuagu’s lead was short lived as Brittain swept by. Once into the lead Brittain began to edge clear whilst third placed Marchant was beginning to fall back from the leading pair. Hassan and Morris were putting Marchant under pressure for third with Hobson hovering just under a second back. Brittain continued to edge clear at the front whilst Egwuagu was keeping himself clear of Hassan in third. Marchant remained fourth but was having to defend from Morris whose failed attempts to get by cost him dearly as he fell back behind Hobson. Half distance and Brittain was over two seconds clear of Egwuagu who now had Hassan closing in rapidly. Marchant remained fourth with Hobson next from Morris who took a couple of laps to get by Hobson. Once by he immediately began to close in on Marchant for fourth. But Marchant wasn’t about to give up fourth without a fight. Brittain was over four seconds clear at the front whilst Egwuagu was coming under pressure from Hassan. Marchant was now over four seconds back but holding Morris at bay. Morris had Iddles, Oxford and Hobson in his wheeltracks and couldn’t afford any mistakes. Penultimate lap and Hassan went by Egwuagu for second. Brittain was over six seconds clear whilst fourth placed Marchant was some six seconds back of third placed Egwuagu but half a second clear of Morris. And that was how they finished. Marchant survived a last lap attack from Morris crossing the line under a tenth to the good. Iddles was sixth from Oxford, Hobson, Earl and Sproat.

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C Final Winner – James Brittain

B Final

All drivers in C2 unless otherwise noted.

Pole for Adam Brittain with Stef Theodorou alongside followed by Kym Eley and Nikolas Lakasas on the second row. Joshua Sangster and Matt Ellis shared row three with Ami Breacher and Cameron Watson on row four and Christian Laner with C3 Adam Sheargold on row five. Aaron Clarke and Dan Grocott occupied row six with Charlie Summers and Jeremy Deeks on row seven from Thomas Barrett and Liam Nolan on eight. C3 Douglas Smith shared the ninth row with James Dunnett followed by Toby Smith and C1 Ashley White on the tenth row. Row eleven had Tommy Lee alongside Yusuf Soeharjano followed by the qualifiers from the C Final, Brittain, Hassan, Egwuagu and Marchant. Top two to qualify for the A Final and a trophy for the winner.

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Brittain led the field away but Eley got the better of Theodorou to grab second with Sangster fourth from Lakasas followed by Ellis. Brittain had a decent lead by the end of the first lap but Eley halved the distance in just a lap and put herself well clear of Theodorou. Little by little she edged closer but Brittain put on a spurt and moved half a second clear whilst Theodorou made inroads in the gap to Eley. But not for long. Eley gathered herself together and began to eat into the gap to the leader. For several laps she ran just a couple of tenths back with Theodorou in her wheeltracks. Down into Hairpin one for the eleventh time she moved to the inside. Brittain was wise to the move and defended. Hard. He clipped Eley’s front but she gathered herself up, defended from Theodorou and settled down. Brittain was running almost a second clear but Eley was lapping quicker whilst still holding Theodorou at bay. Two to go and despite a sequence of quicker laps than the leader Eley looked to be too far back to mount a challenge. And so it proved. Theodorou was intent on second but he was carrying a penalty for speeding under a yellow.

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B Final Winner – Adam Brittain

Final lap and Brittain was safe at the front but out of Pylon for the final time Theodorou launched an attack on Eley and pushed her off line. She was badly compromised as they went into the final corner and Theodorou gave her another nudge as they fought over the same piece of track. Out of the corner Theodorou had the greater momentum whilst a following Sangster, with the benefit of a clear piece of track, also went by Eley. Cruel luck. Brittain crossed the line over a second clear with Theodorou next. But his penalties dropped him to eighth and promoted Sangster to second ahead of the luckless Eley. Watson was fifth from Lakasas followed by C3 winner Sheargold, Clark, Theodorou, Ellis and Lee who took second in C3. James Brittain claimed third in C3 down in seventeenth.

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Class 2 podium – Winner Adam Sheargold, flanked by Tommy Lee and James Brittain

A Final

Harrison Kirkham on pole from Rob Newman with Samuel Essery and Andrew Ward on the second row. Dante Dhillon shared the third row with Yousuf-Bin-Suhayl whilst James Martin and Dan Seager were on the fourth row. Row five had Bryn Alban alongside Stephen Westwood. Callum Martin and Sam Lovelace occupied the sixth row with Ben Lambeth and Dave Cottrell on seven and Michael Reader with Andrew Mc William on row eight. George Lawlor shared row nine with Christopher Powell with Andy Bushell and Andrew Rabbage on row ten. Row ten had Ed Barrs alongside Russell Cooper. Ed had some dramas in the heats putting him uncharacteristically low in the final. Mathew Cockerham and Dean Everest shared the penultimate row followed by the two qualifiers from the B Final, Brittain and Sangster.

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Kirkham led the field away but Newman had an awful start and by the end of the lap he was fifth and almost three seconds back from the leader. Second time around and Kirkham’s lead at the front had been cut to a tenth by the impressive Essery. Dhillon was next with Seager almost two seconds back and coming under pressure from Newman who slipped by as they rounded the first turn at the start of the third tour. Kirkham had pulled himself a couple of tenths further clear of Essery with Dhillon next from a closing Newman. Fourth time around and Kirkham set his fastest lap thus far edging clear of Essery and Dhillon. But Newman was going quicker, edging away from fifth placed Martin and homing in on Dhillon. At the front Essery had cut the gap to Kirkham. Seventh time around and he made a move for the lead. Kirkham defended and Essery found himself being passed by Dhillon for second. All of which allowed Newman to rapidly close in. Once on Essery’s bumper he made short work of sweeping by and setting about cutting the gap to Dhillon. Dhillon held him at bay for a lap but out of the final turn for the ninth time Newman got better traction and went for a move for second. Dhillon held him off. A lap later Newman repeated the move and this time made it stick. And Kirkham was just a tenth clear. Essery nipped by an unsettled Dhillon for third and a lap later Dhillon fell to fifth as Bin-Suhayl nipped by.

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Over the line at the end of the twelfth tour and Newman was almost alongside the leader. But Kirkham hung on. A lap later and Newman tried the same move. This time Newman wasn’t to be denied sweeping under the leader as they swept round the first turn. Kirkham tried to defend but only lost time. Newman immediately pulled half a second clear whilst Kirkham recovered his poise and kept himself half a second clear of Essery taking the C2 honours in the process. . Bin-Suhayl remained fourth and claimed second in C2 whilst Dhillons day got worse as Lambeth went by for fifth on the penultimate lap. Ward was seventh from Martin, Seager and Alban. Westwood took third in C2 finishing thirteenth. Great drives from Kirkham, Essery, Bin-Suhayl and Lambeth who all recorded their best results but the day belonged to Newman. A stellar performance from one of the paddocks nicest blokes. Mind you, he did get plenty of practice having driven the pace Kart in the morning.

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Class 2 Podium – Winner Harrison Kirkham, flanked by Yousuf Bin-suhayl, and Stephen Westwood

Championship round up

Rob Newman’s second win of the season sees him take over at the top of the standings from Dante Dhillon who certainly had an off day at Rye. But he’ll be back I’m sure. Despite missing Rye Mike Coppin remains third in the standings from Ed Barrs. Harrison Kirkham leads C2 from Yousuf Bin-Suhayl and Stef Theodorou whilst Adam Sheargold is top of the C3 order followed by Yusuf Soeharjono and Tommy Lee.

See you at Clay !

Words: Steve Gray
Photography: John Patterson