Intermediate Endurance Championship 2013, Rd.6
With the season now at its halfway point, a quick look at the championship table suggests the KOKS have it made. They have won 3 out of the 5 races so far and have a healthy lead in the standings. However, the points don’t give a true reflection of the closeness so far and the ever improving Bookies Favourite and Akita MNR could well prove a thorn in the KOKS’ side come the end of the year.
Akita MNR claimed pole ahead of the on-form cLunge Racing. Championship hopefuls KOKS Racing were third with the ever improving Colin Riddy Racing and Bookies Favourite rounding out the top 5. Notable teams not having such a good qualifying session included Team Pikey Racing in 13th, Core.GB.com in 17th and Racewear and Lucid Initiatives in 27th and 28th respectively. In total, an impressive 34 karts lined up on the grid in what promised to be an exciting race.
The Akita boys were delighted with their pole position and seemed confident of being able to translate their qualifying performance into race pace.
“It felt really smooth and there is loads and loads of grip. I had a lot of input from Nikki yesterday so hopefully we can translate this performance into the race, unlike at Clay. We’ll also hopefully be over the weight limit this time too.”
Incidentally, any drivers wanting tuition from Nikki Richardson should get in touch with him. He offers track guides as well as one-to-one tuition so if you are looking to shave those valuable tenths of a second off your lap times, it’s worth doing.
So shameless plugging out of the way, it was down to business and the leaders got away cleanly at the front. Colin Riddy Racing lost out and dropped to 10th. Lap 2 saw cLunge Racing take the lead from Akita and these two teams remained in a close battle for the lead as they pulled away from the rest of the field.
Behind the leading duo, KOKS Racing were fending off a hard charging Loose Heads, or to put it another way, the KOKS were getting Loose Head. The Speed Muppets and Pixel Pirates were also getting in on the action. Further back, Racewear’s day was going from bad to worse. having changed kart prior to the start, Billy made up 9 places at the start before a rookie came up the inside and took him out.
A strategic early stop for saw the Bookies Favourite dive into the pits but it failed to gain them any places. After the first pit window closed, Akita MNR had extended their lead to over 5 seconds. cLunge Racing were still second and a handful of seconds clear of the KOKS, who had the Bookies Favourite and Loose Heads breathing down their necks.
Further down the order, Pixel Pirates and Parilla TT27 were next up with Colin Riddy Racing and Team Pikey Racing battling hard for the lower positions. Lucid Initiatives had made several places from the back of the grid but didn’t look like challenging for serious points. Racewear were also making progress up the order but the closeness of the field made it hard going for them.
By half distance, cLunge Racing had dropped back and it was the Bookies Favourite taking the challenge to Akita. The KOKS had also dropped back but were comfortable in third. Pixel Pirates, Team Pikey Racing and Parilla TT27 were all well up and looking on for some solid points. Loose Heads were behind this group with cLunge Racing but poor Colin Riddy Racing had dropped right down to the ranks of the mid-fielders.
With the Bookies Favourite on a charge, the pressure – or the 30 degree heat – got to Akita MNR and they went off at the hairpin with 2 other karts. This allowed the Bookies Favourite through. Further back, the KOKS were holding off Loose Heads for third.
Over the final few laps, the gap remained fairly constant at the front. Despite charging hard after their earlier incident, Akita were unable to make much of an inroad into the Bookies’ lead. With their path clear, the Bookies were able to cruise home to a relatively easy win, some 29 seconds clear of Akita MNR who finished a no doubt disappointing second. The KOKS strengthened their hold on the championship lead with a solid third. Parilla TT27 and Pixel Pirates rounded out the top 5.
James Pargeter was chuffed with a win that puts the Bookies Favourite in a solid second in the championship.
“There were no issues today. We qualified fourth, had perfect pit stops, no spins and won by half a minute. Akita went off and that helped us so all in all a very good day.”
The next stop on the calendar is Buckmore Park. Traditionally it rains there but will this unusually nice weather last until August? Either way, wet or dry, the second half of the season looks set to be an interesting affair.