First Win Tyler Mays, 6th Win James Small, Russell Endean Outscores Rivals

Clubman 1Mays 2Endean 3Cowell scaled

Graced by Club100 royalty, with talk of 2016 comeback, if rumoured format changes come to pass, 6 times sprint champion Marc Craddock, a genuine (small ‘L’) legend, joined by his erstwhile enduro team mate Graeme Coombes and further swelled with both Jennings Bros dropping down from Premier Class, Clubman Class took to the track as a very healthy 23. Heat 1 saw Oliver Knights and Tyler Mays on the front row, but Tyler couldn’t hold Andy Cowell into the chicane giving Oliver a very healthy lead into the hairpin, and releasing Cowell to run him down. Russell Endean had been forced to drive around the outside of Mays in the hairpin. Remarkable to pull it off, but he had. Mays would fight tooth and nail with everyone else who attempted to pass, Ed Barrs tried and failed, but he’d be back and through eventually. Cowell wasted no time catching Knights into the Horseshoe for the lead and Oli knew the score gesticulating for Andy to push on and not worry about him on his bumper. Knights wanted Cowell to tow him clear of Endean although he couldn’t hang on his bumper to get the benefit and quicker by half a second per lap, Russell was on his bumper coming off the Horseshoe by halfway to execute a textbook pass into the last corner. There was nothing Oliver could offer in return. Cowell ran out the winner by 2secs.

Clubman Sprints START (2Small)On the reverse grid in Heat 2, Steve Townsend converted pole position into the first chicane ahead of David Longman on the front row, somewhere between Keith Mizen and Stuart Osborn on the 4th row, Marc Craddock had tried insert himself maybe the karts were wider than he remembered, spinning out he collected Justin Buck and Stephen Jennings in the wood chippings, Knights and Mays spun in sympathy. Start 2 was much better for everyone but Townsend, Longman led out of the chicane, James Small tipping in over Steve into the 2nd chicane, Myles Sharman ran Daniel Truman wide off the hairpin to go 4th, Rhianna Purcocks picking up 5th, while poor Daniel was swallowed by the pack. At the end of lap 3 Longman over shot the last corner running wide on the exit, James Small cruised through to the lead, then Townsend got through inside into the Horseshoe and Purcocks moved on to David’s bumper, but he had Steve’s draft and was back into 2nd into the last corner, a move Purcocks would repeat on Townsend the next lap. Two laps later she’d run another down the inside Longman for 2nd, side by side through the corner she’d be a second off Small on to the penultimate. She’s pretty quick for a physicist, but not fast enough to run James Small down, especially with Stephen Jennings set to rabid running up from 11th through the pack (some entertaining video to follow) and diving inside at the hairpin on the last lap for 2nd. Longman and Townsend rounded out the top 5, and would’ve been gobbled up by Craddock had the race gone the scheduled distance.

SC100Lydd-5516o the Pre Final, James Small had run up to 9th from 20th on the grid in the first heat, that more than his heat 2 win gave him pole position for the Pre. And we could almost stop there, (a) god (who allocates the Staff Kart & the Rockets – not Jel Dart, he is just channelling his power) willing and indeed Endean settled for James’ bumper into the first chicane, Ed Barrs and Graeme Coombes playing nice as well for fear of losing ground. The knockabout beginning into chicanc 2 with Craddock going inside Stephen Jennings but he was having none of it and Longman would demote Craddock for trying. The four upfront exited the Horseshoe Small pulling clear, Endean was untidy and Barrs was coming through, Coombes nearly getting 3rd over start finish. It all meant Small was out of drafting range and he built his race winning lead at 2 or 3 tenths per lap thereafter, as Barrs and Endean diced over 2nd place and Coombes lost touch. Craddock moved passed Longman for 6th, which would become 5th after Stephen Jennings’s dice with Coombes eventually fell back into Craddock, almost like Graeme and Marc were working together (No!). Purcocks got her revenge on Jennings for the previous race with a well executed tough nut cracking pass into the last corner with 3 to go and then held off a line of attention from Jennings, Longman, Paul Jennings, Oliver Knights, Steve Townsend, Tyler Mays through to Stuart Osborne to the finish. James Small won by 5secs.

C100Lydd-5142Andrew Cowell secured pole position for the Final with his fastest lap from Heat 1 but like Pethers in Heavies he did not have the perfect kart he’d need on a power circuit (sans infield hairpins), his cause not helped off the start by an obvious jump start by grid 2, the recently unencumbered championship leader Danny Hurlock. Danny tipped in over Cowell into the first chicane for the lead, Andy knew it, I could see it. One, possibly 2 hefty love taps later Andy wrested the lead back to start lap 2, and it was probably just as well, as that was the justification given to Cowell for why Hurlock didn’t get a penalty for his start. Small sliced deep inside his championship rival into the hairpin, only for Hurlock to take it back on the exit, Endean, Barrs, Mays and Simon Young piled in behind into the Horsehoe to leave James 8th as Graeme Coombes arrived late to the party into the last corner. Andy managed to maintain a 0.6secs lead until Endean passed Hurlock and then could set about running him down, almost under the radar Mays was working his way up the line through Youngs, Barrs then Hurlock into the hairpin. Somewhere around half distance I suspect that Tyler, like the rest of us, realised he could win this final, moving up to Endean’s bumper just as he was drafting into leader Cowell. Russell shot first for lead into the last corner, Cowell coming back under on the exit to hang on into the chicane. Small’s kart expired from the 12 kart crocodile points for 5th, he might need them at season’s end to take the title. Endean tried again into the last corner, squeezed tight to the inside by Cowell, Andy ran wide mid corner and Tyler got on to Russell’s bumper, Cowell took a lunge up the inside to recover 2nd into the hairpin it had the look of the last desperate act of someone who knew he did not have the ultimate pace, no contact or anything, but his momentum was gone coming off the corner and so were Endean and Mays. Andy managed to hold the group up behind long enough to give Tyler Mays a clear run and he’d keep 3rd place for himself to the finish. On to the final lap Russell fluffed the 1st chicane forcing him to cover up into the hairpin, this opened him up to a pass inside of the Horseshoe and left him with the big lunge up the inside into the last corner, Russell took it on and went almost gravel trap deep allowing Tyler to turn inside him mid corner and on to the best final/win of the day.