Clubman Endurance Championship 2013, Rd.6
With the championship clearly between 3Cubed, Akita V2, 3 Strokers and AAA-Lakart, it was all to play for as the teams arrived at an unusually warm Whilton Mill. The weird yellow ball in a sky that was a suspicious blue colour confused the majority of the country and prompted the nanny state to warn us all to stay indoors in case we all burn to death. Fortunately, a handful of brave souls ventured out to compete in some good old karting fun. Someone who is no stranger to the heat is former RBB star Simon Young. Back from his sojourn to the Middle East where he has spent the last year in the cut and thrust world of Camel Racing, it was great to see him back. He joined Auditing Armageddon for this race. Having missed the last round, it was good to see AAA-lakart back for this race. Because It is the month of Ramadan and because I haven’t offended or upset anyone for a good week, I am going to refer to them as Allah Kart for the rest of the race report. The 3 Strokers took a sensational pole position in what was a close qualifying session. Go Big or Go Home once again had a good qualifying session and wound up second ahead of Allah Kart, UoP Old Boys and Do or Die. Neither 3Cubed or AkitaV2 looked very strong in the midfield but they fared better than Keen As Mustard who started at the back of the grid. With the entire 31 kart grid separated by barely a second, it looked set to be a close race. Ray Norris was the man on form for 3 Trokers and he was confident on the grid. “The session obviously went well and I’m happy with that. It looks like all the running I had here for the charity race paid off. The strategy is to win.” The 3 Strokers made a cautious start and dropped behind Go Big or Go Home. Akita’s day went from bad to worse and a dismal opening lap saw them trailing. Go Big or Go home stretched their lead over 3 Strokers with Allah Kart on a charge, dispatching UoP Old boys and chasing down the leaders. Escargo Oldboys were well up but with Mark Oliver racing on his own, he would soon give up to enjoy the sun. By the time the first round of stops had been completed, 3 Strokers were back in the lead but they had Allah Kart breathing down their necks. Go Big or Go Home had dropped behind these two and were clearly ahead of Auditing Armageddon who had come up well from the mid-field. It didn’t take long for Allah Kart to get past the 3 Strokers for the lead. By half distance, it looked like being a 2 way fight between these two. Go Big or Go Home were still comfortably in third and Do or Die were now up to fourth and looking strong. 3Cubed were some way further back in fifth but still looking a bit off colour and not their usual dominant self. They were leading a group of midfielders with Pantera Racing, Burichi Racing, Keen As Mustard, UoP Old Boys and For Fox Sake all in close proximity. Behind this group, CD30 were staving off the attentions of InkJet Racing, who were having another low-key race near the back of the field. Akita V2 weren’t making much progress either – the closely matched field making it difficult to make up places. Auditing Armageddon’s early promise came to nought with a mechanical failure. Judging by the deathly silence as Simon Young rolled down the pit lane, I can only assume it was a chain. More dramas later in the race dropped them completely off the chart. Back with the leading bunch and the top 3 were pretty much in a race of their own. Allah Kart were still holding off 3 Strokers by the tiniest of margins. Go Big or Go Home were by this stage nested in third. Do or Die had a comfortable margin over 3Cubed and it looked like the race might end like this. However, in the closing stages, Allah seemed to blow up and dropped behind Go Big or Go Home. With the pressure off, the 3 Strokers could pretty much cruise for the final 15 minutes of the race. Over the final few laps, the 3 Strokers appeared to be cruising and this allowed Go Big or Go Home to close the gap from double figures down to about 5 at the flag. Allah Kart managed to salvage third with Do or Die some way further back in fourth but doing a great job to hold off 3Cubed. The 3 Strokers were understandably delighted with the win, especially as all the other title contenders had poor results. “It’s an awesome result and is great for the championship because our main competition didn’t have a particularly good day. Ray did a great job to put us on the front row and pole in class. We were passed by AAA-lakart and had to re-take them.” It had been a fairly drama-free day for the team, although nearly running each other over in the pits probably wasn’t part of their strategy. 3Cubed proved that they are human after all and beating the likes of Akita and Allah really puts them in the frame now. It’s still all to play for as the Club100 circus prepares for Buckers.