Dillon Davis Takes First Final Win of the Season, Dan Munro Moves to Narrow Championship Lead.
Hot off the back of the news and the return of Buckmore Park to the calendar for 2 rounds to end the season, YDC reconvened down the road at Sittingbourne for what is now the 2nd of 3 rounds at the venue. Pleasingly the weather was sunny again, but it was also pleasantly warm with a belated beginning of spring, almost appropriately matching the late start to the season.
As trailed in the first report, Super Lights again delivered with a new winner and reordering of the top 6 of what still looks like a fantastically competitive championship, perhaps the most interesting championship in the entire club in 2021. After starring at the first round, nominal championship leader Ralph King and, 2nd in the championship, Michael Burrows were relegated to the minor places, King picking up penalties in the Pre Final, an improvement in The Final would only net P6, a disappointing day after round 1, but loving the karting nevertheless. They were replaced by Dan Munro and Dillon Davis, the latter combining his weekend with a 24hr karting success in Milton Keynes, sharing a win and 3rd place each, after a cone penalty in Final 2 for Munro, sandwiching a brace of 2nd’s from Max Papworth, failed to stop Dan taking a narrow championship lead.
Dillon Davis won the Final to take the top step and the big trophy at days end. Ten points cover the top 6, there is no pecking order here, I can discern, and the next round at Whilton Mill could throw up more first time winners. There is a gap of 14 points from the top 6 to William Taylor and Dylan Brierley, and a further 13 to William Pemble and Kasper Marriott, rounding out the current championship top ten. Right now it’s hard not to think that the top 6, of Munro, Davis, Beau Sullivan, Papworth, Burrows and King contains, admittedly after only 2 rounds at Bayford Meadows, your 2021 champion. Time, as they say, will tell.
Dan Munro had led the way in practice with 53.67 ahead of Dylan Brierley and then into qualifying session Max Papworth set the first mark 54.083, but Munro had shown that would not hold pole for long setting 53.76 in an impressive string of 53.7s and .6s, that no one could touch, it was late in the session before Papworth was able to move Michael Burrows off the front row with a couple of sub 54secs laps of his own.
Daniel Ricciardo Series runner Brierley would join Michael on the outside of row 2, along with familiar names Beau Sullivan, Ralph King, Dillon Davis, Kaspar Marriott, with an excellent performance by Archie Johnson to qualify in the top inside of row 5 with William Pemble to his outside. Less than 1 second covered pole position to William Taylor and William Henn in 17th and 18th place respectively, in a field of 26 was fairly impressive, given how traffic and slipstreaming plays to a fast time.
At the start, Max Papworth reported the same grid 2 trepidation as you’ve read in the Lights report, it’s tough to hang on to the position when by pure necessity you have to wait for the pole man to go, and then struggle to get over into the racing line for turn 1 which is typically narrow at the start, particularly when grid 3, Michael Burrows is hard on the bumper of Munro, as he was. Coming through the ‘usual accident scene’ as Max describes turn 1 (surely not in Club100! – CS) he’d limit his losses to just the one position, but there was clear air ahead of him, fortunately Burrows was up on Munro’s bumper to stop him breaking clear into the distance.
Ralph King and Dillon Davis both made strong starts to go 4th and 5th at the expense of Beau Sullivan, as 3rd through to Dylan Brierley 13th flashed nose to tail across the line. Dylan’s dad Stuart reported on his start as, “Terrible, the guy behind him (probably Ralph King – CS) had sort of jumped the start, leaving Dylan wedged between two karts and by the time he was through turn 2 he was down to 15th, and into recovery mode from there on, I thought his recovery was fantastic.” Taking most advantage were Zach Berney, Tom Haffenden, Sami Butt and William Taylor making up the top ten. Demon starter Louis Robinson was 12th from grid 22, although he would pick up a 4 place contact penalty, possibly in the process.
After the initial sort out, the field settled into fast lappery, Papworth setting the fastest lap with 54.46 to close on Burrows for 2nd, Michael struggling to hang on to the leader Munro. With another lap in the books Munro started to break clear, breaking into the 53s on the next lap. Max was looking for his 2nd place back from Burrows. In behind Ralph King, now carrying a 4 place penalty for his clash involving Brierley, was holding off Davis and Sullivan, then 2.5secs behind Berney was 7th and being rapidly caught by Brierley who was now on a bit of tear to recover lost ground.
On lap 6 Papworth struck for 2nd place, Davis, King and Sullivan also getting by Burrows as Michael eas sent to the tail of what was a 5 kart train fighting over being the locomotive in 2nd place. While up front Dan Munro was gradually chipping tenths off his fastest laps, pushing his lead out to 2.7secs.
Over halfway Brierley had passed Berney for 7th place, to leave himself nearly 3secs behind Beau Sullivan in P6, and this might have been as far Dylan would get on track, the gap too big to bridge, but the battle between Sullivan, King and Burrows was burning brightly. Behind Dylan, Zach Berney had slipped off his bumper and was looking to hold off Enzo Tobias lo turco at half second to the finish, then a gap to William Taylor, and gaps to Jan Lopich and William Pemble who was towing through Louis Robinson, William Henn and Kaspar Marriott, the latter having slipped to 15th on the road.
A rare mistake from Munro, more than halved his lead over Papworth to 1.2secs, but he’d gotten away with his one mistake, and got his concentration back together and the last 4 laps saw him push his lead back towards 2secs before coasting into the finish line. Dillon Davis couldn’t make an impression or a pass that would stick on Papworth and he had to settle for excellent championship points and a better grid slot for the Final in 3rd. This left King, Burrows and Sullivan fighting over 4th place to the finish, Burrows getting back to the front of the group to be 4th, before the last two laps, where it reversed Michael falling back to Sullivan, then King, and Burrows, but by now Dylan Brierley had caught the group picking off Burrows for P6 on the last lap, promoted to 5th with King’s penalties.
Adjusted for penalties in the classification, King was classified 11th, his championship lead was gone, Burrows was classified 6th, Enzo Tobias lo turco, an excellent 7th, Zachary Berney 8th, Jan Lopich and William Taylor made up the top 10.
The start was nearly perfect, or should I say the 2nd start was, after the first attempt at the Final was red flagged. We won’t dwell on that. So 2 well ordered lines accelerating uniformly up through the hash marks towards the start, just John Vigor and Clerk of the course Nike Richardson like it. Well perhaps as far as the top 10 or so, they’d be mostly still running like it was another rolling up lap, only at full pace off to turn 2. Not so much in the midfield where 4 wide appeared into the braking zone. Sooner, in the midfield’s case, or later in the top 10’s case, there’s always a bunching up and a big squeeze, funnelling 2, sometimes 3 wide, through a one wide line, somewhere. It’s at these moments opportunity and/or calamity is created, and after a run through the infield like that, appearing from the bus stop, Dillon Davis, probably off the grid 3, his pace should’ve have qualified him for race 1, emerged with the newly minted lead. And very healthy lead of over a second from the pole man Daniel Munro, replacing Max Papworth, who came through in 3rd, from Beau Sullivan holding his station but with Dylan Brierley on his bumper, then William Taylor up from grid 9, Michael Burrows dropping a spot, meeting up again with Ralph King from his penalised grid 12, Zach Berney slipping off grid 7, and a fast starting Sami Butt making up the top ten from grid 15.
Davis was setting a hot pace, straight into the low 54s, to put another second into the chasing group. A group who were still arguing over who should lead the pursuit, Max Papworth took control from Sullivan as Munro slipped backwards and picked up the infamous/famous cone penalty, that attempts to protect our precious Club100 karts from unhealthy and unnecessarily heavy kerbage (that may not be proper a word, but it should be – CS). By now everyone was in the 54s, and even though the top 6 or so had moved into the high 53s, the pace of the leader and the chasing group was more or less the same and the gap settled at just under 3secs. Three seconds for the sprint format of YDC is a commanding lead, very workable advantage, that should not be lost. Munro moved Sullivan, and set about Papworth, getting on to his bumper and slipping through on halfway.
By now the chasing group was down to 4, Dylan Brierley having his best run of the season so far, looking for once like he was in the right place, and with the right group, pushing Sullivan back to 5th. 1.5secs behind Ralph King, who had repaired much of the damage of his penalty on lap 1 was also without a drafting partner to push or two him along and was struggling to bridge across to the group, but he was helping Taylor and Burrows with a tow. Sami Butt had moved up to 9th, bringing through the main pack, of Kasper Marriott, William Pemble, Tom Haffenden, Zach Berney fading badly, Archie Johnson, William Henn and Jan Lopich.
Finally in clear air, and stretching Papworth to stick with him, Dan Munro started to chip into Davis’ lead, and it was a case of Dan going faster, it wasn’t obvious if Dillon was holding back and pacing himself and being tidy, but the gap edged back to 2secs. I imagine a look over the shoulder with 3 laps to go, Davis pressed a little harder just to let Munro know he could forget about that, and with one more lap to go the gap was 1.8secs, the race was over. Davis kept it tidy. The race was his.
Munro had dropped Papworth, but I’m sure Max would’ve seen Dan’s number come up for his penalty, on the digi-board hanging over start finish so so long as he didn’t let Brierley get too close he was always going to inherit 2nd place back in the final classification. Brierley himself had been given something else to think about by Sullivan looking for a mistake just behind. Ralph King made no further impact behind and had settled for 6th after seeing off Taylor and Burrows. Kaspar Marriott and William Pemble rounded out the top 10, as Sami Butt had peaked and slipped off the front of the main pack a few laps from the finish. The Marriott-Pemble-Butt group, at the start of the main field finished 13secs behind the race winner.
Words: Chris Simpson
Pictures: John Patterson