Heavyweight Sprint Championship 2014, Rd.10

Heavyweights Qualifying Group One.

Sam Fisher and Fran Volpe traded fastest laps throughout the session with both then setting their fastest times on the final tour, Fisher getting the nod by just 0.117. Oliver Knights was third fastest with Michael Ballinger an impressive fourth having decided to follow Josh O’Hagan round hoping to pick up a few tips. The ruse worked as he pipped O’Hagan for fourth by just 0.006! Keith Mizen was next up followed by Adam Nakar, Gaetan Paletou, Roger Davis and Stuart Osborn rounding out the top ten and just beating Paul Crawford by 0.009!

Heavyweight Qualifying Group Two

Steven Bartlett had never raced at Rye and so elected to take part in the one hour test session held before the event. It paid off as he set the fastest lap on his first flying lap. Tim Hill used all his experience to take second having decided to let Bartlett by and follow him round. Nigel Proctor was next up, just ahead of his Endurance partner Darrell Lowe. Eric Mignon again qualified well but admitted later that he needed to transfer his qualifying pace into race results citing a need to work on his racecraft. John Corrigan, Martin Gurnett, Ricardo Sanchez, Robert Adlam and Dave price rounded out the top ten.

Heavyweight Sprint B Final One

Four to qualify then for the back of the first A final and for the second event in a row Paul Crawford sat on pole. Quite a feat. Roger Mullen was alongside with Peter Mills and Peter Kay on row two. Christopher Dean and Sam Brice on row three followed by Nick Pollicott and then the first of the super heavyweights, Ian Zumbhul. Super heavyweight championship leader Lennie Wood and Glen Beard rounded out the top ten.
Crawford led away from pole with Mullen and Mills in hot pursuit. Dean grabbed fourth from Kay into the hairpin with Brice also taking advantage. Elsewhere though it was predictable mayhem. Ian Zumbhul came off worst dropping fourteen places. Jamie Wheatley took full advantage on the opening lap to move up six places to ninth with Josh Lomas, having his first outing in Club 100, also making progress.
At the front though the leading four began to pull out a gap. It looked for all the world as though these four were going to keep it simple and just circulate to the flag. But it was not to be. Pete Mills decided second was there for the taking and put a move on Mullen for second at the hairpin. It didn’t come off and as he and Mullen ran wide Dean, following in fourth, gladly accepted the gift of second place. Mullen recovered quickly but Mills was in all sorts of trouble falling behind Brice and Kay. He did find a way back past Kay but was then swallowed up by the hugely impressive Jamie Wheatley, up ten places, and then falling behind Kay, Pollicott, Wood and Glen Beard. Mills was not impressed by the standard of driving after the race but then again, had he not made an unnecessary move for second he’d have made the back of the A final. Dean admitted after the race that he wouldn’t have challenged as he knew there was a decent gap to fifth. Still, Pete wasn’t to know that and it’s easy to be wise when you’re watching!

Heavyweight Sprint Final A

What a great race this turned out to be. Sam Fisher on the pole with Steven Bartlett alongside. Fran Volpe third with Tim Hill alongside followed by Oliver Knights, Nigel Proctor, Darrell Lowe, Michael Ballinger, Eric Mignon and Josh O’Hagan tenth. An unusually low starting spot for him.
Fisher led away from pole and most observers thought this was going to be another demonstration of his superiority. Knights got off to a flyer, quickly displacing Hill, Volpe and a slow starting Bartlett. Down the pack Keith Mizen, Adam Nakar, Ricardo Sanchez and Roger Davis were all first lap losers whilst Robert Adlam, Dave Price and B Final winner Paul Crawford were all making rapid progress. At the end of the first lap it was Fisher from Knights, Volpe, Bartlett, Hill, Lowe, Proctor and O’Hagan. And so it remained for the first five laps apart from Lowe muscling his way past Hill. As they entered the hairpin for the sixth time however it was all change as Knights decided to it was time to hit the front. Fisher lost out badly as he ran wide. Bartlett took advantage to promote himself to second ahead of Volpe whilst Lowe and Hill also found a way by the championship leader. A lap later O’Hagan also took Fisher, Sam later complaining that he felt as though the Kart had a deflating tyre. Knights looked comfortable at the front but Volpe was really getting into his stride and took Bartlett for second at Stadium on lap ten. Lowe remained fourth some distance ahead of Hill who was defending for all he was worth from the quicker O’Hagan. At the front Volpe was getting ever closer to Knights with Bartlett still in close attendance and as they ran down the main straight for the thirteenth time Volpe saw his opportunity taking Knights into the long right hander. Bartlett too was through. And that was how they stayed. Volpe put the hammer down over the last few laps to give himself a few Kart lengths cushion from the chasing Bartlett and Knights and setting fastest lap in the process. Lowe finished fourth well ahead of Hill who drove a superb race to keep O’Hagan behind. Fisher’s day got worse as Proctor took him for seventh. John Corrigan and Eric Mignon rounded out the top ten.
Volpe was naturally delighted to take his second win on the trot.
‘It was tough; they made me work for that one. When I slipped back to fourth I thought that was it. Ollie pulled away but I had a good Kart and managed to get myself back through. I caught Ollie and I seemed to have a bit more top end and managed to get him into Stadium. Really happy.’
And so he should be
Bartlett was happy with second. ‘I’m pleased with that. It’s my first time here. Shame I couldn’t catch Fran at the end but I’m pretty happy’
Knights was a disappointed but philosophical third. ‘Disappointed, but not a bad way to start the day.’

Heavyweight Sprint B Final 2

Two to qualify then for the second A Final. Mike Townley had pole from Josh Lomas, the ex Super One driver enjoying his first ever Club 100 outing and working himself gently up to speed. A bit too gently according to his Dad! Nick Pollicot and ShaneO ‘Neill shared the second row followed by Lennie Wood and Jamie Wheatley on row three with Peter Mills and Glen Beard on row four. Lomas got the jump on Townley at the start and drove off into the distance to take any easy win. Townley finished second and was never seriously threatened throughout the race. Behind these two though it was a different matter as the rest of the pack tried to keep in touch with the leaders. Wood made a great start to slot into third chased initially by Nick Pollicott and Jamie Wheatley. Glen Beard was looking increasingly feisty as the race ran down eventually finishing third after Pollicott was deducted four places. Wood had to settle for fourth, winning the Super Heavyweight class yet again with Peter Mills fifth.

Heavyweight Sprint A final Two.

And so to last race of the day. Fran Volpe on pole from Ollie Knights followed by Steven Bartlett and Darrell Lowe. Keith Mizen was next up alongside Robert Adlam with Josh O’Hagan and Adam Nakar next up. Sam Fisher and John Corrigan rounded out the top ten. Volpe led the field way from Knights, Bartlett and Lowe. Adlam got the better of Mizen to move into fifth whilst Fisher jumped ahead of O’Hagan and Nakar for seventh. The front four circulated as they were. Lowe was beginning to drop away but was well in front of the Adlam/Mizen battle for fifth. But for champion elect Fisher it all went wrong on lap five as Nakar, Corrigan and O’Hagan all had a run on him into hairpin one. Fisher ran wide but elected to keep his foot in and spun into the barriers. As he said later, ‘I drove like a nancy.’ Quite.
Volpe continued to lead but Bartlett was now intent on second and got a run on Knights just before half distance into the second hairpin to take the place. Mizen finally got the better of Adlam but was now too far behind Lowe to make an Impression. Adlam immediately began to fall away as Corrigan began to chase down Mizen.
As the race drew to a conclusion Volpe was having to work really hard to keep Bartlett behind whilst Knights was still close enough to take advantage of any mistakes by the leaders. Into the final hairpin for the final time Bartlett was right on the leader’s bumper and then as they exited Pylon he was alongside. But Volpe had the better line and held on to take the win by just 0.152. Knights followed them across the line in third whilst Lowe remained a lonely, but delighted fourth. Mizen and Corrigan took the next two spots well ahead of Nakar, Hill, O’Hagan and Gurnett rounding out the top ten.
Fran Volpe then took his third win on the trot and maximum points for the day. He was however a very relieved man
‘Talk about making it tough for me. Every time I looked round it was either Ollie or Steven straight behind me and I was just trying to press so hard I made a couple of mistakes and on that last lap I didn’t know whether to defend or not. Steven was right behind me coming out of hairpin two so I went a bit narrow into pylon thinking he might try for the inside and suddenly he was right beside me but fortunately I got a better run and was just able to hang on.’

Heavyweights.

Fran Volpe’s two wins gave him the overall win on the day and keep him in the hunt for the championship runner up spot. Steven Bartlett took second. A repeat of this result at Buckmore will give him the runner up spot. Oliver Knights took third. Lennie Wood once again took the Super Heavyweight class win.