Healey Sees First Win Stolen By Chain, Lisseter Takes First Win Since 2015

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Heat 1

Just ten runners in the Club’s Premier class the field having been decimated by holidays, injuries, illness and impending babies but whilst the field was small it was packed with quality and the top three in the standings were all present. Dan Healey led the field away with fellow front row sitter and Championship leader Joe Holmes tucking in behind. Third placed Brandon Williams lost out badly as the field swarmed round the first turn and into the first left hand hairpin dropping back to seventh by the end of the lap. Fourth placed Jonathan Lisseter slotted into third with a fast starting Ian Blake moving up from sixth to fourth ahead of Edward Barrs and Steve Brown. Tyler Mays and Daz Teal swapped places for eighth and ninth with Dan Truman in the final spot.

C10017R9 0056Healey continued to lead and was being given a bit of a breather as Holmes defended from a feisty Lisseter whilst Blake had his hands full fighting off the attentions of Brown who had fought his way by Barrs. Williams’s day was getting worse as he fell back behind Teal and Mays. Healey continued to edge away at the front despite the fight behind looking to have settled as Lisseter stepped down his attack on Holmes allowing them to build a cushion from Blake in fourth. But the fight wasn’t over. Healey was clear and duly took the win but Lisseter remounted his attack on Holmes and out dragged him up the straight to claim second. Blake hung on to fourth just a tenth up on Brown with Barrs next well clear of Teal. Williams was next. He finally managed to get things together after his early drama and set the fastest lap of the heat on the final tour. He was on the only driver to dip under the forty eight second mark and the lap established a record. Truman and Mays occupied the final places.

Heat 2

Blake on pole with Brown alongside and Mays and Teal behind. Blake got the better start and held his line as the field bunched through the first turns. Teal from fourth slipped ahead of Mays as Healey did the same to Truman whilst Championship leader Holmes remained in seventh ahead of Williams, Barrs and Lisseter. Two laps run and Blake continued to lead with Brown tight on his bumper but Teal was up to third as Mays spun to the back of the field. To add insult to injury he also received a one place deduction for knocking over a cone!

C10017R9 0277Truman was up to fourth now with Holmes in his wheel tacks as Healey dropped to sixth ahead of Williams. Half distance and Holmes demoted Truman with Healey also getting by a lap later and setting fastest lap in the process. And it broke Williams record from the first heat. With two to go the order was Blake, Brown, Teal, Holmes, Healey, Truman and Williams. But it was oh so close and as they streamed down the straight it was all change. Brown led over the line for the final time with Holmes now into second from Healey as Blake fell to fourth ahead of Teal, Truman and Williams. Barrs and Lisseter were next with the luckless Mays bringing up the rear.

Heat 3

The final race to settle the grid for the final. Barrs led the pack away from pole with fellow front row sitter Truman slotting in behind ahead of Lisseter and Teal. Holmes got off to a flyer moving up from seventh to fifth albeit with a contact warning for a tap on Mays who dropped in behind Williams. Blake moved up from the back of the grid to eighth with Brown dropping to the back of the pack behind Healey. Barrs was flying at the front and soon opened up a gap to Truman who was defending early on from Lisseter, Teal and Holmes. Williams was closing in setting the fastest lap of the race as early as lap three and once again being the only driver to break the forty eight second barrier.

C10017R9 0303It was a pace however that he couldn’t sustain and both Blake and Healey began to close him down. Barrs continued to stretch his advantage at the front with Truman looking ever safer in second as Lisseter was forced to defend from the pack headed now by Holmes who had found away by Teal. Unfortunately it was not without significant contact which would cost him four places at the flag. Also in trouble was Brown who had a coming together with Mays forcing the latter to a halt and getting himself excluded from the results. Barrs took the win from Truman with Lisseter third. Holmes was next across the line but demoted to eighth handing fourth to Teal from Blake, Healey and Williams. Mays was classified last, two laps down.

Final

Healey on pole from Holmes with Blake and Lisseter on row two. Barrs and Teal on three from Truman and Williams on four with Mays and Brown starting at the back. Healey led the field away and made the most of his advantage to hold the lead round the first couple of turns. Holmes on the outside lost out badly as Blake got alongside forcing the former to take the long route.

C10017R9 0455Lisseter too took full advantage to move up to third. Teal got ahead of Barrs as did a fast starting Williams whilst Truman dropped to ninth behind Mays with Brown still last. For a couple of laps it was as you were at the front whilst down the order Brown got ahead of Truman for ninth. Healey was beginning to stretch his lead at the front as the rest fought over second. Quarter distance and Lisseter was into second after getting the better of Blake in the run up to the top of the circuit. He didn’t get away though unlike the leader who was well up the road and heading towards his maiden win in the Elites after coming close at Ellough and having a great fight with Holmes. After nine laps he was almost four seconds to the good. Suddenly though there was the sound of an engine revving but not under any load. Chain off. And there was the sad sight of the leader coasting to a halt on the run down to the final turn. A cruel end to a fine drive.

C10017R9 0522Lisseter moved into the lead still pursued closely by Blake and Holmes with Teal and Williams also in attendance. Three from home and as they swept down the straight Holmes moved inside of Blake for second. Unfortunately contact was made and Blake was on the grass, losing traction and falling to sixth behind Teal Williams and Barrs. Lisseter hung on to take the win, his first for a couple of seasons, whilst Holmes crossed the line second only to be demoted four places for his move on Blake. Unfortunate this as Joe has driven very well and cleanly over the last few rounds. Perhaps the narrow confines of Red Lodge don’t suit his exuberant style. Teal was a delighted second from Williams, Barrs and Blake with the penalised Holmes in sixth. Brown took seventh from Truman and Mays. Healey was of course classified last. He was quite philosophical in the paddock at the end of the race whilst mum Jo was disconsolate. And who could blame her?
C10017R9 0547Podium & Standings

A fortuitous win then for Jonathan Lisseter but whilst he had a degree of sympathy for the luckless Dan Healey a win is a win. Just shows what a good night’s sleep can do! Daz Teal’s second place was his best result of the season and Brandon Williams’s third place was his best showing and just reward for some hard work throughout the day. It was also the day after his twenty first birthday so double congratulations to him. And wasn’t it great to see Dan Healey invited onto the podium? Certainly the moral winner at Red Lodge. His day will surely come. In terms of the Championship very little has changed. Joe Holmes still leads the way from Ian Blake and Steve Brown. Joe won’t have been too happy after Red Lodge. It was a tough day but then it was for all the top three in the running for the Elite prize.

C10017R9 2338Reflections

There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind as to who gets my Driver of the Day award. There’s no trophy but it still has to be earned. Take a bow Dan Healey. How gut wrenching it must have been to have such a huge lead in the Elite final only to lose out because of a very rare mechanical failure. Yet in defeat I think he gained so much. There were no histrionics, No toys out the pram just a quiet acceptance that fate had intervened. For a young man, indeed for anyone, to remain calm under those circumstances takes some serious self control when you are as dedicated to the sport as he is. His attitude humbled many and whilst he lost the race he has gained huge respect amongst his peers. I’m sure mum Jo is very proud of you anyway no matter what so I’m not going to say you made your mum proud. But you did! It was no surprise to see a few tears from her on Sunday. We all want our kids to do well and I’m pleased she was able to smile a little later. Dan’s day will surely come.

C10017R9 0081Hats off too to Mark Ridout. He too remained calm after the incident in the pre-Final took him out of contention. Again, no drama, just get back out there and get on with it.
Red Lodge certainly divided opinion. Yes it’s narrow. Yes it’s twisty and not the easiest place to overtake. But isn’t that part of the challenge? Does everything have to be fast, flowing and relatively easy?
A reminder too about the correct procedure after spinning off. Get your Kart back on the track and facing in the direction of travel. Then the pusher Kart can get square on to the rear bumper and there is no danger of being pushed across the track and causing a dangerous obstruction. Safety is paramount. Like putting your foot on the brake no one should really have to be reminded of this simple action.
I travel to most Kart events in my faithful old work car Monty the Mondeo. He’s travelled the neck end of 300,000 miles. When I get in it’s like putting on a comfy pair of old slippers. He is my mate. Like me he’s beginning to show his age but he never lets me down. Imagine the horror then when a tree jumped out in the car park at Red Lodge and whacked his rear bumper. Of course I remonstrated with the tree but it just stood there and refused to answer. Well, I thought it was a reasonable excuse to give my wife inspired by some of the excuses we hear at meetings. Didn’t cut any ice though. Dan Healey, Mark Ridout, Tim Hill and Darri Simms, I share a little of your pain..
Just three rounds left of this absorbing season. It’s getting exciting. See you all at Whilton!