Clubman Endurance Championship 2013, Rd.5
The glorious British summer continued down in the West Country. More rain and cold is just what the country needs. Sarcasm aside, Clay Pigeon is a great circuit in wet or dry conditions and, with a very competitive Clubman field, we were set for an exciting race. In fact I could hardly contain my excitement… So with a double dose of sarcasm out of the way, it was down to the action. AAA-lakart were notable by their absence at this race, which will undoubtedly bite them in the backside in terms of the championship at the end of the year. Do or Die did the best job in qualifying and splashed their way to pole ahead of Go Big or Go Home, making an unusual front row. Akita V2 and ESR Motorsport made up row 2 with Keen As Mustard and 3Cubed on row 3. In total, 27 karts lined up. The pole sitters were happy enough with their qualifying performance but appeared less confident for their chances in the race. “Pole is great but I don’t know about our race pace. We haven’t had it all season so we’ll have to see how it goes. It’s wet so anything can happen so we want to keep it steady and try to get on the podium.” The start was delayed because a couple of Prem teams were cocking about and complaining about their karts, as they do. When it finally got started, those who still had fuel in their tanks blasted off the line. Akita V2 made a great start and shot into the lead. Go Big or Go Home might as well have done the latter because they went off on the opening lap. Unsurprisingly, 3Cubed were the team on the move in the early phase of the race. Wet weather specialist Trevor Randall got into the lead during the pit stop phase and, despite the race being interrupted with a red flag, the team never really relinquished the lead. Keen As Mustard were comfortably in second after the first round of pit stops and Akita V2 were third and just ahead of a close train of karts containing Burichi Racing, Pantera Racing, Mullendar Associates and Do or Die. The 3 Strokers were having a slow start to their day but the tricky conditions combined with their outright pace soon saw them moving their way up the order. As the race progressed, there were a number of spinners and other dramas that befell teams. Akita V2 and pole sitters Do or Die were among the big names we lost. Another team having a day to forget was ESR Motorsport. KAD Racing were slowly making progress through the field and they dispatched the likes of CD30, Pantera Racing, Auditing Armageddon and SMJ Racing who made up the bulk of the mid field. The rain started to ease later in the race and the drying conditions saw very up and down lap times as drivers explored those elusive dry patches. There were a few more incidents further down the order as the envelope was pushed. Meanwhile, 3Cubed carried on up front with Keen As Mustard looking fairly comfortable in second. Over the last few laps, the 3 Strokers had managed to work their way past the likes of KAD Racing and Inkjet Racing and put themselves in a strong position for the final podium spot. Over the last few laps, 3Cubed maintained a solid gap over Keen As Mustard and duly won their second race in a row, putting themselves in charge of the championship. It was a great solid drive for Keen As Mustard and also a very creditable performance from the 3 Strokers. John Emerson was satisfied with his team’s win and admitted to bracing himself for the inevitable backlash on the forum from whingers complaining about Trevor Randall being in their team… you know, like they do about Jamie Crease driving for AAA-lakart and Carl Tebbutt driving for Akita V2… “We benefitted from the red flag because we hadn’t pitted before so it really helped us being able to pit when we wanted to. We didn’t spin off which obviously helped and the kart didn’t have much top end so we are glad it stayed wet.” So with two wins and two seconds from four races and a zero score to drop, their current form means the championship is really theirs to lose now. There are still very real threats from the 3 Strokers, AAA-lakart and Akita V2 so the second half of the season could be very interesting indeed.