Clubman Sprint Championship, 2014, Rd.5

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This was frantic. Great racing right down the field and not one penalty. Alex Mitchison led the pack away closely followed by Freddie Gallagher. Paul Jennings got ahead of Steve Crutchley but Steve Brown was the man on the move getting by both Mike Bodnar and Martin Gurnet on the opening lap. Championship Leader Lee Clackett was another quickly into the groove dispensing with the slow starting James Pargeter and Stephen Jennings. Mitchison continued to lead from Gallagher but Jennings dived through to third at the Hook ahead of Crutchley only to have Crutchley regain the place a lap later! Brown continued to close and took Jennings for fourth on the run down to Surtees. At the end of the fourth lap Gallagher was slow out of the final corner allowing Crutchley through into second and Brown into third. Clackett was making progress, up to fifth and looking very quick. Mitchison continued to lead but then Brown made his move sweeping by both Crutchley and Mitchison for the lead. Mitchison got forced wide trying to defend and was immediately swamped by Clackett, Gallagher and a recovering Jennings. Jamie Bird was also getting in on the action. Brown pulled a small gap at the front but for Crutchley in second place it all went pear shaped at the Hook. He was honest enough to admit that it was his mistake. In using the brake to turn the Kart his left foot applied just a touch too much pressure and he locked the brakes and spun eventually resuming way down in twenty fourth. The drama gave Brown some respite but not for long. Clackett was now up to second and quickly applying the pressure. Jennings had recovered back to third and bird took a fading Gallagher. At the flag Brown hung on for the win despite Clackett setting fastest lap on the final tour. Jennings hung on for third ahead of a charging Bird with Gallagher almost alongside. Gerard Moore used all his experience to grab sixth from Mitchison right on the line with James Pargeter almost alongside them both. Down the field Luke Cousins put in a great drive to eleventh from grid 23 ahead of reigning lightweight champion James Reveller in twelfth who made up six spots in the race but is looking a little lacklustre at the moment. Form is cyclic, however class is permanent and I expect to see him coming on strongly in the second half of the season.

Heat 2

Russell Endean took full advantage of pole to sprint away at the start. Lee Hackett was another quick off the mark getting ahead of Christopher Brown and Luke Cousins for second. Robert Larque was another smartly away getting by Nigel Proctor and setting about Cousins. Jose Soler was another on the move getting by Justin Buck, Reveller and James Childe in quick succession. Lee Clackett was also making progress from his lowly grid slot. As the race settled down Endean continued at the front from Hackett and Brown. Cousins got his act together and re-passed Larque at the chicane. Soler took Proctor who rapidly fell off the pace being taken by Childe, Reveller and the charging Clackett. Justin Buck spun down the field having been taken by Myles Sharman. At the back Steve Brown, Gurnett, Bodnar, Jennings, Crutchley and Gallagher had a scruffy battle initially for the minor places but spins and incidents saw Gurnett way down the field along with Buck, Jennings, penalised four places, Gallagher and Bodnar.
Endean held off Hackett for the win with Brown just holding on to third from a feisty Cousins. Jose Soler was a lonely fifth ahead of James Reveller who showed some great race craft to recover from ninth to sixth. Robert Larque fell back to seventh just ahead of Clackett with Myles Sharman and James Childe rounding out the top ten. Steve Brown finished eleventh moving up eight places and taking a significant haul of points.

Sprint Final 1

The top ten. Clackett on pole with Steve Brown alongside. Luke cousins and James Reveller on row 2 followed by the in form Jose Soler, Paul Jennings Gerard Moore, Russell Endean, Jamie Bird and Christopher Brown. The top three would surely come from these ten wouldn’t it? Clackett was away into the lead from Steve Brown with Cousins and Reveller tucked in behind. Jennings was quickly by Soler who fell back behind Endean and a fast starting Lee Hackett. Into the chicane on lap 2 Brown took Clackett for the lead with Cousins and Reveller keeping a watching brief. A lap later Clackett was back in front whilst further down the pack Hackett was making ominous progress. The following lap Brown was ahead again and pulled out a small but significant gap. Jennings got ahead of Cousins and Reveller in the run down from the final corner with Hackett now not far adrift. The leaders continued to circulate almost line astern but at the start of lap nine it all got very tasty. Jennings fought his way past Clackett for second swiftly followed by Hackett who dispensed with Cousins and Clackett almost in one move. And that’s how it stayed to the flag. Brown took a well judged win from Jennings with Hackett in third and admitting that his Kart had been a real flyer. Clackett was a disappointed fourth with Soler fifth having got by a fading cousins on the final lap. Reveller finished seventh. Another who dropped away in the closing stages. Down the field Nigel Proctor put in a very spirited drive moving up ten places from the back of the grid.

Final 2

Crutchley on the pole from Clackett with Christopher Brown and Hackett on the second row. Next up was Reveller from Jennings, Cousins. Steve Brown, Soler and Sharman. Clackett blew past Crutchley for the lead into the Hook with Hackett getting the jump on Chris Brown with Steve Brown getting ahead of Cousins and Reveller who got slightly baulked at the start. Clackett it was though who led the field through the opening laps but coming under increasing pressure from Hackett with Crutchley also in close attendance. These three had pulled a gap from Chris Brown who was defending manfully the attentions of Jennings and Steve Brown. As they battled though it allowed the leaders to pull further away at the front. Hackett decide he’d had enough of follow the leader and breezed by Clackett for the lead taking Crutchley with him. Hackett quickly built himself a lead but Clackett was determined to make up ground and dived through at the chicane to take second back from Crutchley. Steve Brown finally made his way past Chris Brown but was by now out of contention for the podium. Chris brown held Jennings at bay for a couple of laps but an error at the final turn allowed Jennings to close and take the position. Reveller, Cousins, Endean and Stephen Jennings were line astern behind Brown but he would hold on for sixth. Hackett it was though who took the win some two and half seconds ahead of Clackett and Crutchley, still fighting hard at the flag. Steve Brown took fourth with Jennings behind and then the squabbling pack led by Chris Brown. Jamie Bird put in a spirited drive moving himself up eight places from Grid 20 whilst Jose Solers day took a turn for the worse as he slid down the field to finish back in twentieth spot.
The day however belonged to Lee Hackett taking his first ever Club 100 overall win. Steve Brown was second with Lee Clackett third from Paul Jennings just a point behind. Lee Clackett remains at the head of the championship as we head off for the summer break with Anwar Beroul-Smith in second. A poor day by his standards as he was never a factor throughout the day.