Clubman Endurance Championship 2013, Rd.7
This year’s Clubman championship is proving to be an interesting one. Taking into account their premier pedigree, on paper it should be a three-way battle between 3Cubed, AAA-lakart and Akita V2. So it’s interesting seeing the 3 Strokers beating them and coming away from round 7 as the clear leaders. The competitive championship battle continued at Buckmore with the AAA-lakart boys looking the strongest after qualifying. An easy pole position ahead of the rapid Go Big or Go Home put them in a great position. With their main title contenders 3 Strokers, 3Cubed, Akita and Keen As Mustard all monopolising the top spaces on the grid, it looked set to be a close race at the front. It would be interesting to see how CD30 got on today as they had 2013’s official kart whore Rich Higham back… and everybody knows what happened last time he raced with them. Peter Crease was pleased with a job well done for his team, although was being cagey about their chances in the race itself. “We’re very happy. It’s ideal really but we’ll just have to see how it goes. We’ve generally started well but gone downhill as the race has progressed so we will try and drive a bit quicker.” AAA-lakart maintained their lead off the line but were unable to shake off Go Big or Go Home who harassed them for much of the early race. 3Cubed jumped 3 Strokers off the line but the latter got back past and these two began a tight battle for third that lasted for much of the early phase of the race. Behind this battle, Akita V2 were running on their own but their day was about to go seriously belly up. Struggling with the performance of their machine and complaining that the engine had fallen out of the arse of it, they brought it into be tested twice in the first stint. This put an end to their day and probably also ended any slim chance they had of taking championship glory. By the time the second pit window closed, AAA-lakart were still leading but were being closed down by the 3 Strokers. 3Cubed were still running third but were lapping somewhat slower than their rivals. Sadly, Go Big or Go Home’s early race pace came to nought and they were now battling with Akita V2 for last place. Behind the leading trio, Pantera Racing were doing well. Having hired Buckmore Park specialist Jack Harding, they were in a strong position to challenge for a podium. Keen As Mustard were in the frame for some good solid points. CD30, Auditing Armageddon and InkJet Racing were also in the frame. As the race progressed, the 3 Strokers continued to catch AAA-lakart and eventually made their move and took the lead. As predicted by Peter Crease, the second half of the race saw AAA-lakart’s pace drop off and they soon fell into the clutches of 3Cubed as well. Auditing Armageddon were also hot on the heels of AAA-lakart but they were also fighting off the attentions of Pantera Racing and Keen As Mustard who were not far behind them. Behind this group, CD30 had disappeared from the radar. For Fox Sake, SMJ Racing and Burichi Racing were also having a day to forget. The likes of Mullender Associates and InkJet Racing were working away in the mid field but not threatening the leading group. AAA-lakart continued to slip down the order in the latter stages of the race and were overhauled by Auditing Armageddon, Pantera Racing, Keen As Mustard and InkJet Racing before the end of the race. There were no such dramas for the leaders as they stretched their lead over 3Cubed. The 3 Strokers sailed home for their second win in a row to consolidate their lead in the championship. 3Cubed picked up more strong points with second and were 7 seconds ahead of Auditing Armageddon who picked up the final podium slot. Ray Norris was delighted with how the race had gone and their strategy had gone to plan. “Very pleased and had a good Qualifying session. Alex had a good stint when Jamie [Crease] was out and I had Pete [Crease] out in my stint and my aim was to catch him, pass him and try to edge out a gap and hope that Simon could beat Justin. We all drove well and managed to keep the gap to them. 3Cubed were further back than we realised so that’s good.” So with another win for the 3 Strokers and more solid points for 3Cubed, these two are now firmly at the head of the championship table. A poor showing for both Akita V2 and AAA-lakart leave them trailing and in danger of being caught by the likes of Pantera Racing and Inkjet – both of whom are quietly racking up the points.