Joe Holmes Catches Everyone By Surprise, But Particularly Steve Brown

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Heat 1

Dan Truman led the field away into Stadium for the first time but would they all get through? They did but Truman had been just a little too eager at the start and would be penalised two places at the end. As they steamed down to the hairpin for the first time with Truman still to the fore James Hatterseley became the first casualty. It was a feisty move down the outside and he almost made up several places but the outside of the circuit is a vulnerable place to be and as he turned in he just got tagged by Pete O’Connor and spun to a halt. Not a great start to his day. He had no complaints however dismissing the incident as one of those things.

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At the front Truman was really getting the hammer down but Ben Yarwood was falling back as Ian Blake moved up to second with Joe Holmes just behind having made rapid progress from eighth with some good, clean moves. He was soon pressing Blake for second and the two of them engaged in a great battle for the place all of which should have allowed Truman a bit of a breather. But not a bit of it. Behind these three Yarwood, Nijjar and Norris were having a great battle for fourth with Championship leader Brown looking to join the fun. Two from home and both Holmes and Blake made it by Truman and continued to race hard to the flag, Holmes finally taking the win by just over a second from Blake. Truman finished third on the road but was demoted to fifth allowing Brown and Norris into third and fourth respectively. A good drive from Norris having been third at one point before dropping to seventh and fighting his way back. Daz Teal came home sixth. He’d taken his chances to move forward but couldn’t close down the leaders. Jonathan Lisseter put in a shift and looked to be on good form as he held former Champion Nijjar at bay. Elliot and Yarwood completed the top ten with Daniel Healey setting fastest lap after an eventful heat saw him finish fourteenth. It could have been two places better but for a penalty for multiple contacts.

Heat 2

Tom Dix got a flyer at the lights to lead as the field streamed into Stadium. It all got a bit tight on the exit but the leaders made it safely through to head down to the first hairpin. But down the order Truman and Norris were both spinning to a halt. Both recovered and would still make it to the race end on without having the ignominy of being lapped albeit in second to last and last place. Dix continued to lead from Elliott who had also got ahead of Edward Barrs the latter now fending off the attentions of Hattersley who was intent on making up for his first heat drama. Mid distance and Hattersley took the place with a well executed move into the hairpin. Dix though looked in imperious form at the front and was stretching his advantage from Elliott whilst the latter was having to defend from the attention of Hattersley.C10017 R3 0141

Docker and Mays were fighting hard for fourth and back in sixth Stephen Hicks was beginning to close them down. Dix though was reeling off the laps comfortably clear of Elliott and duly took the win setting fastest lap for good measure on his final tour. Elliott came home second whilst Hattersley was third a scant tenth adrift of Elliott but well clear of Docker, Mays and Hicks who finished line astern. Blake made it up to seventh from fourteenth and reckoned another couple of laps would have seen him higher. Barrs finally finished eighth ahead of first heat winner Holmes who made up nine spots and was just ahead of Brown who had advanced from the rear of the field.

Heat 3

Brown led the field away from pole and into Stadium chased by Lisseter and O’Connor. As the pack exited the corner however a fast starting Hicks got forced wide into the following left hander and suddenly we had five Karts almost abreast of each other as they headed down to the hairpin. Hicks was marginally ahead but as he moved to his left he got tagged and was immediately sideways. It looked for a split second as though there would be the mother and father of all pile ups but as he slid to halt all bar Dan Healey passed safely by. Hicks felt hard done by but it was adjudged no more than a racing incident. I have some sympathy for how he felt as if he had stayed to the right he would have been swamped at the hairpin and lost much ground. Some you win. Some you lose. Mays and Williams both took advantage to move up the order whilst Hattersley lost out dropping from fifth, after a great start, to twelfth.

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At the front Brown continued to lead chased hard now by Lisseter, Teal and Holmes with O’Connor just adrift in fifth. Lisseter though was gradually cutting the gap to the leader and was clearly intent on first. A couple of times he almost made it too. He looked particularly clean through Pylon and with three to run it looked like only a matter of time but then he made a small error at Pylon and clouted the kerb hard. He lost momentum, only by a fraction, but it was enough to give Brown enough of a cushion to hold out for the win. Good drives from both of them. Teal came home third ahead of Holmes. But it was a close run battle which almost ended in tears at the last corner. Teal had never been quite close enough to challenge for the lead and bit by bit Holmes had hunted him down. Still, third looked secure but Holmes sensed an opportunity and took a dive down the inside at the final turn. It was optimistic at best. He quickly realised it wasn’t on and hit the brakes hard scrabbling over the inside kerb. Fortunately Teal was aware of his presence and left him some error room. A look behind and shake of the head said precisely how he felt. Holmes survived to finish fourth setting the fastest lap on lap ten. Williams and Mays were next up, the two of them having slipped by a fading O’Connor with three to run. Nijjar, Blake and Norris completed the top ten.

Final

Steve Brown on the pole with Joe Holmes alongside followed by Ian Blake and Jay Elliott on row two. Tyler Mays and Daz Teal on three followed by Jonathan Lisseter and Brandon Williams on four with Tom Dix and Pete O’Connor completing the top ten.

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Brown led the field away but it was Blake slotting into second at the expense of Holmes with Elliott fourth. Dix got a great start to move from ninth to fifth whilst Teal dropped back to tenth. With two run Holmes was back into second courtesy of Blake leaving the door open at the hairpin. A lap later and he was down to fourth behind Elliott with Dix in close proximity. Down the order both Mays and Lisseter had fallen to the back of the field the victim of an over enthusiastic Hicks who would suffer exclusion at the end of the race. A bad day at the office for him. At the front Holmes was beginning to press Brown hard for the lead. The two of them were by now running several lengths clear of the chasing pack still led by Elliott. Mid distance and Holmes finally got a run on Brown down the straight and moved into the lead. But he couldn’t pull away and Brown stayed right on his bumper for a couple of laps before slicing by at the exit of stadium. Meanwhile Blake made it by Elliott for third. Over the last few laps Brown eked out his advantage by just a few Kart lengths.

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Last lap and he looked to comfortable at the front. As they raced down the straight towards Pylon it looked to be all over. But into Pylon Holmes took the chance. Later on the brakes he dived down the inside to emerge in front. It was opportunistic and very brave and he would later admit that he was thankful that Brown didn’t defend too hard. It certainly needed the latter’s co-operation as it could so easily have ruined both their races a point that Holmes freely acknowledged. A fine win then for the Yorkshireman. He said later that after collecting so many penalties over the first two rounds he just wanted a clean days racing. For his part Brown admitted that he just didn’t expect Holmes to chance his arm there. Still second was good points for the Championship and he did have the satisfaction of fastest lap.  Blake came home third chased all the way by Elliott and Dix. Good points for them all.  Hicks finished sixth on the road but his exclusion promoted Teal into sixth. O’Connor placed seventh whilst Williams would have been next but for a four place deduction leaving Longman, Norris and Martin to complete the top ten.

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Podiums and standings.

Joe Holmes fine win not only gave him the big trophy but moved him up to second in the standings behind a rueful Steve Brown whose second spot nevertheless increased his overall lead. Ian Blake’s third place leaves him still third in the standings. It’s only quarter distance in the Championship but it’s shaping up nicely to be a vintage year.

Entertaining racing then in the morning session. Once again our thanks to all the staff and marshals who did a terrific job.

And the best bit is it’s only two weeks to Llandow!!