Dan Healey Closes on Barrs. Peter Knight – a Star is Born
The Road to the Finals
The first heat of the afternoon went to Peter Knight. Joshua North led till half distance from pole chased by Martin Theodorou with Dan Truman third from Knight. Theodorou and Truman almost fell over each other at the top of the hill and Knight slipped through into second. A lap later and he was into a lead he would never lose. Truman came home second with Championship leader Ed Barrs crossing the line third after fighting his way up from grid thirteen. But he had a cone penalty dropping him to fourth and promoting Callum Brewell to third with Theodorou fifth.
Steve Hicks shook off the rust to take the second heat. Starting from the third row he was at the front after two laps and stayed there despite the close attention of Chris Alcock who had started alongside him. Alisdair Irvine came home third after a strong drive up from grid nine. Another lap and it might have been second as he lost out to Alcock by just 0.085 at the flag. Steve Brown took fourth with a last lap pass on Andrew Ward.
Heat Three saw a win for Pietro Pagano. He was made to work for it though. Bailey Morgan led the opening lap after starting from grid five but second time around front row starter Dan Cohen was at the front from Morgan. Pagano was up to third from grid six. A lap later and he had made it by Morgan who fell back to sixth. Cohen continued to hold Pagano at bay with Dan Healey third after storming up the order from grid thirteen. With three to go Pagano hit the front and whilst Cohen and Healey disputed second he pulled clear. Healey got by Cohen only for Cohen to fight back and take second place on the final lap. Chris Powell claimed fourth after a solid drive up from grid eleven with Rhianna Purcocks fifth. Good to see Chris back in a CLUB100 kart and getting in some racing miles after his devastating rally car crash earlier in the year. I’m sure he was pretty sore on the Monday after the race but the former Elite Champion is always a welcome addition to the grid.
Mike Coppin took a dominant win in Heat Four heading the field by over four seconds at the flag. Starting from grid six he was at the front after the first lap after those in front of him managed to get caught up in incidents. He made the most of the opportunity. It would however prove to be the highlight of his day. James Corpe held second for much of the race before Thanassi Barnicoat nipped by whilst Daz Teal and Ned Douglas crossed the line fourth and fifth. Both however had six place penalties after first lap incidents thus promoting Josh Adams and Ben Daly to fourth and fifth.
Ed Barrs took a comfortable win in Heat Five. Pole sitter Jason Bradbury led the opening laps but once Barrs got by he pulled away to win by over four seconds. Bradbury also lost out to Ashley White whilst Reece Pope and Callum Brewell came home fourth and fifth.
Dan Seager led the opening laps of the Sixth Heat from Rob Dowsett and Peter Knight. But just before half distance Knight slipped ahead and led all the way to the flag to take his second win of the day. Daz Teal came home second after working his way up from grid ten. Knight kept him at bay but it was solid points for Teal after his earlier dramas. Dowsett claimed third after an entertaining battle with Chris Powell who took his second fourth placed finish of the day. Dan Truman took fifth.
Steve Brown claimed Heat Seven after starting from grid five and moving to the front before half distance. Front row starter Hussain Rashid pressured him right to the last lap before losing out to Dan Healey. Early leader Ned Douglas came home fourth with Steve Hicks fifth.
Heat Eight went to Josh Adams. He led away at the start from pole sitter Oliver Flashman who dropped to third before getting back to second. Thereafter he harried Adams all the way to the flag but couldn’t quite find a way by. Stephen Westwood took third with Mike Coppin fourth after a well judged drive up from grid twelve with Chris Alcock fifth after another strong drive up from grid fourteen.
Dan Seager took a dominant win in Heat Nine. Starting from grid seven he was at the front by the end of the first lap and then kept well clear of the chasing pack aided a little by the battle for second between Daz Teal and Rob Dowsett. Teal had climbed up from grid ten to second after a couple of laps and then held off the challenge from Dowsett. But Dowsett had a penalty and dropped to seventh with Greg Smith promoted to third after a tremendous drive up from grid sixteen. Regular entrant Christopher Powell, not to be confused with former Elite Champ Chris Powell, took fifth.
Heat Ten resulted in a superb win for Rhianna Purcocks. Starting from the second row she was into the lead by the end of the first lap. Dan Healey made a strong start from row two to run second but try as he might he could not get by. They were separated by just a tenth at the flag almost six seconds clear of third placed Reece Pope with James Corpe fourth from Pietro Pagano.
The penultimate heat went to Alisdair Irvine. A dominant drive from the second row saw him take the flag a couple of seconds clear of Chris Powell. Another strong drive from the returning Powell with Steve Hicks third from Stef Theodorou and Jacopo Fioravanti.
The final heat resulted in a second win of the day for Steve Brown. He and Ed Barrs had a race long duel for the lead with Barrs getting ahead at one point only for Brown to fight back. Barrs made a last ditch attempt round the final turns but Brown held on to win by just 0.085. Third across the line and just half a second back was Mike Coppin. But he’d managed to accrue two penalties dropping him ten places back and promoting Dan Truman to third. Aymen Salih was next but he too had a penalty promoting Andrew Ward to fourth from Dan Cohen.
Niall Tuohy on pole with Roger Davis alongside. Jack Cameron-Drayton shared row two with C1 driver Chris Woodger. Next up, Adrian Mertens from Sam Morris with Ramunas Cerkauskas and Ben Simpson on row four. Abu Sohall and Cameron Moss occupied row five from Tommy Welsh and Jed Toole on row six followed by Mikey Nichols and Andrew Rabbage on row seven. Matt Collier and Jake Wilkins shared row eight with Dean Everest and Luke Dunnett on row nine and Pete Crompton alongside Russell Cooper on row ten. Row eleven saw Keith Segal alongside Peter Hargreaves. James Browning and Gareth Pritchard occupied the penultimate row with Jagjeet Singh bringing up the rear.
A trophy for the winner and the top four to qualify for the B Final. Tuohy led the pack away with Davis tucking into second and for a couple of laps they pulled out a gap on the battle for third between Cameron-Drayton, Woodger and Mertens. Davis then decided he wanted the lead and slipped ahead of Tuohy at the top of the hill. But his line was compromised and Tuohy immediately took the place back. The move slowed them both and the three way battle over third had become a five way battle for the lead. Morris was sixth but several lengths back from the leaders. Davis then had another go at the leader taking Tuohy with a well judged move into the Boot. Mertens had a look up the inside of Woodger down into Ashby but Woodger defended. Simpson meanwhile had slipped by Morris and was now on Merten’s bumper. Woodger decided he wanted third and put a move on Cameron-Drayton round the Boot. He made it stick too but with his line compromised Merten’s nipped by them both. Davis continued to lead and managed to put a gap between himself and the battle for second. Mertens moved by Tuohy at the top of the hill for second. Tuohy immediately lost his rhythm and in the space of a couple of corners found himself demoted to fifth behind Woodger and Simpson. A lap later and he was down to sixth as Nichols slipped by. Cameron-Drayton had a grassy moment going up the hill as he tried to occupy the same piece of tarmac as Tuohy but no contact was made.
Davis continued to lead but Mertens was hunting him down. Would he try for the lead though or work with Davis to pull clear of third fourth and fifth. With four to go Davis still led but Mertens was looking feisty as Woodger, Simpson and Nichols began to close in. Mertens had a look up the inside of Davis up the hill but Davis held on cutting across Mertens bows. Mertens lost a little ground and Woodger almost made it by but Mertens held on. Next time around and this time Mertens made the move stick. Davis held on through the following corners but only just as Woodger made a move up the inside at Ashby. Nichols dived by Simpson into Wilkins for fourth. Then Woodger tried to go round the outside of Davis in the Boot. Davis ran him wide and both lost momentum. Nichols nipped by them both and Woodger suddenly found himself fifth behind Simpson. Mertens was clear at the front and looking safe with Nichols also looking good for second. But Simpson wanted third and put a move on Davis round the Boot. It was ill judged and he lost momentum allowing Woodger to almost get by as they crossed the line. Simpson held on but Woodger had better traction through the first turns and was level and on the inside as they braked at the top of the hill. Woodger took the place but Simpson wouldn’t give up and came back at him as they went round the Boot almost side by side. But Woodger hung on. By just a tenth.
Mertens took the win from Nichols with Davis three seconds back in third and Woodger fourth from Simpson. Moss was next followed by Hargreaves who then dropped a place after a cone penalty which promoted Cameron-Drayton to seventh. Cerkauskas crossed the line ninth but had a four place penalty which promoted Morris to ninth and Rabbage to tenth.
Pole for Dan Cohen with Eric Mignon alongside. Jason Bradbury and Bailey Morgan were on row two ahead of Stephen Westwood and Stuart Hubbard. Christopher Powell and Rob Dowsett shared row four followed by Rogerio Mendes and Greg Smith. Row six saw Oliver Flashman alongside Joel Davis with Jacopo Fioravanti and Hussain Rashid on row seven and Andrea Fioravanti and Ned Douglas on row eight. Toby Case and Oscar Lancaster shared row nine followed by Aymen Salih and Ben Daly. Tom Fuller and Joshua North were next followed by the four qualifiers from the C Final, Mertens, Nichols, Davis and Woodger. Two to qualify for the A Final and a trophy for the winner.
Cohen led the field away whilst Bradbury got the better of Mignon away from the line to slot into second as the field streamed up the hill towards Christmas corner. The entire field made it through but Andrea Fioravanti was an early spinner at Ashby. By the end of the lap Westwood, Powell, Mendes, Case and Nichols had all had spins. Cohen led across the line chased by Bradbury from Mignon, Morgan, Smith, up from grid ten, Dowsett and Joel Davis. Cohen and Bradbury continued to set the pace at the front and were gradually edging away from third placed Mignon who was coming under increasing pressure from Morgan and Smith. Dowsett was a second back chased by Davis and Flashman. Third time around and Smith put a move on Morgan into Wilkins. Morgan gave him room and they were side by side into Ogiers. As they exited the corner Morgan ran out of room and took to the grass. Smith, fearing a penalty, slowed and waived Morgan back through. Unfortunately for him Dowsett, Davis and Flashman also took advantage of his sporting gesture and swept by! A lap later and Davis got squeezed out of Ogiers and took to the grass dropping out of the top ten. Cohen and Bradbury continued to edge away at the front but then, under no pressure, Cohen clipped a cone. Up came his number on the digi board confirming a penalty. A one place deduction now meant he had to win the race.
What had looked like an easy run to the flag had suddenly turned into anything but. Dowsett moved himself up to third slicing by Mignon into Christmas but he was over two seconds back from the leaders. Cohen still led but Bradbury was beginning to put him under pressure. Flashman moved ahead of Morgan for fifth with Rashid up to seventh after working his way through from grid fourteen. Half distance and Cohen had responded to the pressure from Bradbury and edged clear whilst. Dowsett was a comfortable third from Mignon who was beginning to fade. In the space of two laps he fell to sixth behind Flashman and Rashid. At the front the gap between the two leaders see-sawed over the final laps but Cohen hung on taking the flag a couple of tenths up on Bradbury with Dowsett half a second back in third. But it was a win for Bradbury after Cohen’s cone penalty was applied. However, they were both through to the A Final. Flashman crossed the line fourth ahead of Rashid but he too had picked up a cone penalty and dropped behind Rashid in the results. Mignon was next with Morgan seventh from Smith, Lancaster and Powell.
Steve Brown on pole from reigning Champion and Championship leader Ed Barrs. Dan Healey and Steve Hicks on row two. Row three saw the hugely impressive young driver Peter Knight alongside Chris Powell. Dan Truman shared row four with Alisdair Irvine with Josh Adams alongside Rhianna Purcocks on row five. Pietro Pagano occupied row six alongside Chris Alcock followed by Daz Teal and Andrew Ward. Reece Pope sat alongside James Corpe on row eight with Callum Brewell sharing row nine with Martin Theodorou. Mike Coppin was on row ten with Thanassi Barnicoat followed by Ashley White and Stef Theodorou. The penultimate row saw Dan Seager alongside James Wattis followed by the two qualifiers from the B Final, Bradbury and Cohen.
Brown led the field away with Healey tucked in tight behind and ahead of Barrs whilst Knight too got a great start to get ahead of Hicks as the field climbed the hill for the first time. Down the order Teal got forced wide as the mid pack rounded Wilkins and clipped the tyres. He recovered but got knocked sideways as he rounded Ogiers and lost valuable time. Over the line at the end of the lap and Brown led from Healey. Barrs, Knight, Hicks Powell, Irvine, Truman, Purcocks and Pope. Pope had moved up from grid fifteen and was fortunate to escape sanction having broken formation as the field came up to the line. Second time around and Powell moved ahead of Hicks at Ashby. Over the next few laps the top seven gradually broke clear of the pack with first down to seventh covered by just over a second. Down the order Coppin was off the circuit at Ashby. For some time he sat out the action before abandoning his kart and trudging back to the pits. His action resulted in exclusion from the results. A particularly stupid way to get excluded and disrespectful to the staff who have to get the kart back to the paddock.
The Coppin era looks to have been short-lived. Powell moved ahead of Knight again at Ashby whilst Hicks was having to stave off an attack from Irvine which slowed them both and allowed Truman to close in. Powell then mounted an attack on Barrs at his favourite overtaking spot. Briefly he was ahead but both he and Barrs ran a touch wide and Knight nipped through for third. Powell lost a little momentum and Barrs nipped by into the Boot with Hicks also getting by on the exit. Brown continued to lead but it was a defensive performance as his pace wasn’t particularly spectacular with his kart slightly down on power. Healey was tight behind and unable to position himself to attack as Brown defended again up the hill. Knight kept to the outside and with better speed and line made a sensational move round the outside at Christmas to take Healey for second. Down into Ashby he moved to the inside and sliced by Brown for the lead taking Healey with him. Brown fought back and was back in front of Healey as they exited Ogiers. With a gaggle of machines all trying for the same spot it looked like an accident waiting to happen but they all made it through albeit with the pack shuffled by the end of the lap. Brown kept ahead of Healey with Hicks moving into fourth ahead of Barrs, Truman, Irvine, White, Purcocks, Martin Theodorou, Adams and Powell who lost out badly after a frenetic few corners. He would call it day soon after. Up the hill and Healey finally got a decent run on Brown to move up to second round Christmas. Over the next few corners both Hicks and Barrs swept by the failing Brown who would soon call it a day. Knight continued to lead but once by Brown Healey began to close the gap chased by Hicks and Barrs.
Within a couple of laps it became a four way battle for the lead with Truman fifth but a couple of seconds back. Knight continued to soak up the pressure at the front belying his age and experience of CLUB100. With three to go the flag Knight was going defensive. He made it through Christmas and Inkermans but got too tight into Ashby and ran wide on the exit. Healey dived through and Hicks almost got by but Knight held him off. Healey pulled clear on the short straight but Knight gathered himself together and began to close back up with Hicks and Barrs in his wheel tracks. Last lap and Healey had to go defensive up the hill. Knight also stayed to the right as did Hicks allowing Barrs to get a run round the outside. The move stuck despite Hicks fighting back. At the front Healey stuck to his line through Wilkins and Ogiers. Knight pulled almost alongside heading into the Boot but wasn’t quite close enough and tucked back in. Healey held his nerve round the final corners crossing the line just 0.091 ahead of Knight with Barrs third from Hicks. The front four were covered by just over half a second. A shame they all couldn’t take home a trophy.
A superb finale to the day and in Peter Knight we have the birth of a new star. Let’s hope he continues to shine bright. Fifth place went to Truman with Irvine a strong sixth just holding off Purcocks on the line by 0.082. Martin Theodorou took eighth with Barnicoat ninth and setting the fastest lap of the race. Adams took tenth with Bradbury eleventh after a strong drive from the back of the grid.
Dan Healey is in great form at the moment taking his second win of the season and putting real pressure on Ed Barrs who made it onto the podium in third and stays top of the standings just four points clear of Dan. The momentum is with Dan though. A fascinating battle is unfolding.
The standout performer on the day though has to be Peter Knight. Second overall and winner of Class 2 the young driver really made all of us stand up and take notice. I don’t know if he will be entering any further rounds. On the form he showed on Sunday he will certainly shake up the established runners if he does. Steve Hicks finished fourth overall and third in C1. Sadly we may not see him again this season due to work commitments. A shame, as he always put’s on a show and his infectious enthusiasm lights up the paddock. Steve Brown lies third in the standings and can’t be discounted. Nor can Mike Coppin despite his indifferent form at the moment. There were several drivers who felt Mike ought to concentrate more on showcasing his undoubted talent rather than showboating. Guess that’s up to Mike. Chris Alcock is running fifth.
Second in C2 went to Alisdair Irvine. A good, solid performance this netting him sixth overall with Martin Theodorou third in C2 and eighth overall. Another solid effort.
In the Championship standings Alisdair leads the way from Martin with Fraser Brunton, who was missing from the Whilton entry, in third.
Greg Smith took the C3 honours after his eighth place B Final finish. Ben Simpson took second after finishing fifth in the C Final with Sam Morris third after finishing ninth in the C Final. In the Championship Greg Smith leads from Ramunas Cerkauskas and Nial Tuohy.
We again saw quite a few penalties at Whilton but thankfully it didn’t appear to me that they were result of too much ego or lack of respect for other drivers. For the most part they looked like simple errors of judgment. One point of note was drivers not slowing under yellow flags or raising an arm in acknowledgement. Something to be mindful of. It was also a pity to see one driver deciding to ignore waived blue flags. Not good. Still, all in all a great days racing and the discovery of a new CLUB100 star in Peter Knight. Definitely a young man to watch.
Onwards to Round Eight at Rye, Government willing.
See you at Rye and don’t forget to wear a mask!
WORDS: Steve Gray
PHOTOGRAPHY: John Patterson