Clubman Endurance Championship 2013, Rd.1

February 23, 2013
Eddie Hall
Arctic conditions welcomed the Clubman teams for round 1 of the championship. After a delayed start due to the snowy conditions, the drivers were all eager to get out on track and get frostbite. With a driver line-up that includes Easykart world champion Jamie Crease and multiple Club100 premier champion Trevor Randall, you could be forgiven for thinking the Clubman championship is a foregone conclusion. It certainly seemed that way after AAA-lakart stormed to pole position. However, a black flag in practice for crashing into a stationary kart under yellow flags meant they were relegated to the back of the grid. Keen As Mustard gratefully inherited pole some way ahead of InkJet Racing. Go Big or Go Home went big and claimed third with Burichi Racing and Pantera Racing rounding out the top 5. It was a bad day for the 3 Strokers, CD30 and Akita V2 who joined AAA-lakart at the back of the grid. Not realising they had been relegated by this stage, acting team manager Jamie Crease was delighted with his team’s performance while at the same time being concerned by his stand-in’s speed. “It’s a great start to the year and a good performance from the guys who is substituting for me this weekend. I think the team might be looking for ways to sever my contract now. We know Trev is good in these conditions so we’ll probably want to keep him out for as long as possible at the start and if the track starts to dry, we’ll play it by ear and let Pete and Justin go out and have some fun.” The pole sitters made a bad start. Getting stuck behind a bogged-down Overdraft Racing and then getting pushed onto the grass dropped to sixth. Burichi Racing were among the first lap crashers along with Mullender Associates, CD30 and Shake ‘n Bake. By contrast, AAA-lakart had stormed from 25th on the grid to 3rd by the end of the opening lap. By lap 5 they were leading and making everyone else eat their spray. Randall looked utterly invincible, leaving some people to question why he didn’t put in this kind of performance last year with Galliard… As the race started to settle down after the first 20 minutes, it looked like it was going to be a walk in the park. The leaders had almost a minute’s advantage over their rivals. However, an unscheduled stop for a bumper repair dropped them down the order and left them needing another strong recovery drive. This left Keen as Mustard and Go Big or Go Home battling for the lead. InkJet were hot on their heels and closing the gap. Akita V2 had made excellent progress from the rear of the grid. By the halfway mark, AAA-lakart had worked themselves back into a podium position but a number of on-track accidents, a black flag and a chain breakage ultimately left them floundering. By this stage, InkJet were on the move and would soon dispatch The Big Homos and Keen As Mustard. Further back and it was not turning into a good day for KAD Racing, Do Or Die, CD30 or SMJ Racing. They were not alone however. With the conditions as tricky as they were, a number of teams found themselves in trouble. A mixture of spins, collisions and resulting black flags hit the majority of the teams. Keen As Mustard were having a competitive day and running well in second for a time. A podium certainly looked on the cards and their pace was good throughout, despite complaining of a slight lack of bottom-end which they had fixed in one of their pit stops. By the second half of the race, the track was starting to noticeably dry and the lap times started getting drastically quicker. Akita V2 had joined the battle for the lead with InkJet Racing. The 3 Strokers were also getting in on the action. An incident for Akita late in the race halted their charge and left InkJet clear at the front. With more pace than their rivals, they soon built up a gap. Keen As Mustard were confused by their late-race drop from second to fourth. Their pace was good but they lost out in the pits and dropped to fourth. As the race drew to a close, InkJet had amassed a huge lead and looked safe. The battle for second was intensifying with the 3 Strokers holding of the Home Boys by a second or two. Keen As Mustard were desperately trying to catch them to no avail but they had a safe gap to Akita V2, Auditing Armageddon, Burichi Racing, Pantera Racing and Mullender Associates who made up the bulk of the midfield. After a long race difficult conditions, InkJet emerged victorious with an easy win over The 3 Strokers, who beat the Big Home Boys to second. Keen As Mustard were left confused and red faced in their yellow suits after losing what they thought was a sure podium. Akita V2 rounded out the top 5. Anton Killick was delighted to leave Buckmore Park as the early season championship leaders. “We had a couple of close ones last year but we came off a few too many times so it’s nice to pick up the winner’s trophy. The start was pretty bumpy and there was a lot of contact being made but we managed to escape most of it. The race was pretty good from there and we just kept going and tried to be consistent. It’s great and we are really happy.” Despite a dire day, the speed of AAA-lakart is a bad omen for their rivals. Based on previous form, Akita V2 and InkJet Racing look to be their closest rivals but it will be interesting to see how the 3 Strokers and Go Big or Go Home get on in the remaining races…
Scroll to Top