Joe Holmes Holds Off Dan Healey For The Win, & Takes Over The Championship Lead

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Heat 1

Dan Truman led the pack across the line with Pete O’Connor alongside followed by Stuart Martin and Dan Healey. Truman got in a little too deep at the first turn and the following horde took full advantage. By the end of the lap he was down to fifth and struggling. He would eventually finish thirteenth. O’Connor led at the end of the lap with Martin and Healey tucked in behind and pressuring the leader hard. Tyler Mays was next up from Jonathan Lisseter. Down the order Daz Teal and Jack Harding were locked in battle with the latter in no mood to give any presents to birthday weekender Teal.

C100R517 0399O’Connor continued to lead but Healey was putting huge pressure on Martin for second and as the latter defended the leader was given a little a breathing space. But not for long. Healey quickly assessed the situation and settled down behind Martin and the two of them gradually closed back up to the leader. Down the order Harding was making steady progress. With the leaders running line astern Healey again decided he would rather be second but his attempt failed resulting in a grassy moment as Martin defended the place. O’Connor took the win by almost a second from Martin despite being nowhere near the quickest on the track. Harding took third. A strong drive this as he picked his moments to overtake well, finally relieving Healey of third on the penultimate lap at the pit exit hairpin. Lisseter was fifth across the line after what was at times a somewhat lurid performance. Exciting to watch though but all in vain as he was excluded for being underweight. So Teal inherited fifth with reigning Champion Steve Brown in his wheel tracks. Mays was next. After running fourth for half the race he fell away. Ian Blake and Jay Elliott were next up with Blake setting the fastest lap of the race whilst Brandon Williams completed the top ten.

Heat 2

David Longman led the field away with Championship leader Brown tucked into second ahead of Ben Yarwood. Second row starter James Hattersley was already struggling, dropping down to eighth by the end of the first lap behind Healey who had stormed up from grid twelve. Brandon Williams was into fourth ahead of Joe Holmes who was anxious to make up ground having failed to make an impression from his lowly grid slot in the first heat. Ian Blake had an awful first lap dropping from sixth to twelfth whilst Jay Elliott planted himself on Holmes bumper. Lisseter too was moving rapidly after his first heat disappointment, moving up from thirteenth to seventh. Sadly for him that was as good as it got. Harding was a first lap spinner. Having started last it would be a lonely run for him, to finish last. Good test session though. Longman continued to lead with Brown hard behind. Several times in the early laps Brown went for the lead but couldn’t make a move stick. So closely were they matched that they set identical times on the fifth lap. And Williams was running close ready to pounce on any mistake.

C100R517 0521Brown finally made it by into the lead and a lap later Williams was through into second and chasing the leader down with Holmes and Elliott close behind from a now fading Longman with Yarwood running in a comfortable sixth. O’Connor was closing in though and it looked like we might just have a squabble over the place as the race ran down. At the front Brown looked to have enough in hand but he reckoned without Williams tenacity. He had been gradually chipping away at the leader’s advantage and as they emerged onto the pit straight for the final time they were side by side. Williams dived to the inside for the lead forcing Brown wide. Holmes took full advantage as did Elliott who scrambled his way past both of them for second. Williams crossed the line ahead from Elliott, Holmes and a disappointed Brown with Longman almost alongside having made up ground rapidly over the last hundred yards as the leaders tussled. Yarwood held off the charging O’Connor who had the satisfaction of setting fastest lap.. Blake was next up having fought his way back after a torrid first lap. Lisseter came home next having dropped places to O’Connor and Blake whilst Healey completed the top ten.

Heat 3

Harding on pole from Elliott but it was the second row sitters Teal and Holmes who made the better start. There was some suggestion of loading at the start but it came to nought. It was however a very messy first lap which saw the chasing pack get really shuffled. Mays from fifth spun to the rear of the field whilst Blake, Lisseter and Williams starting sixth, seventh and eighth respectively found themselves at the back of the field. Healey was up from ninth to fourth ahead of Elliott with Harding third. Martin was up to sixth from eleventh with Hattersley into seventh from tenth. Teal crossed the line at end of the lap first but Holmes was looking particularly aggressive and moved ahead into the hairpin. Harding was third whilst Healey and Elliott were right behind and fighting hard over fourth swapping places several times over the next few laps but still keeping in touch with third placed Harding. Holmes was beginning to pull a gap and Teal was coming under serious pressure for second from Harding, Elliott and Healey. Heading down into the tight turn three for the fifth time ( turn three being the tight left hand hairpin on the new extension ) it all got a bit messy with Teal being forced wide. He was fortunate to escape without spinning but his loss of momentum saw him slipping back down the order. His lap got worse at the pit lane exit hairpin as a charging Brown made contact and spun him into the tyres. Brown would take a four place penalty eventually being placed twelfth behind the luckless Teal.

C100R517 0541Holmes meanwhile was unchallenged in first and took the win by nigh on five seconds from Elliott with Healey third. Harding was next having had a brief skirmish with Hattersley which saw the latter into fourth for a lap. He would ultimately be classified sixth behind Blake who staged a great recovery drive after dropping to thirteenth. Hattersley had dropped to seventh but benefitted from Williams receiving a one place deduction for cone abuse. Lisseter was next on the road but suffered a post race four place penalty elevating Truman to an excellent seventh in a drive which was a little overlooked with everything else that was occurring. Up seven places. Good stuff! Yarwood and Longman completed the top ten.

Final

With all the points added up Elliott was on pole from Holmes with Healey and Williams on row two. O’Connor and Blake on three from Brown and Harding on four. Elliott led the field down to the first turn from Holmes who had been worried that he would be vulnerable into the corner starting from the outside. But he held off Healey whilst O’Connor slipped into fourth at the expense of Williams. Blake and Brown were next whilst Teal moved in front of Harding for eighth. Two laps run and Holmes and Healey were through having caught Elliott napping at the hairpin. O’Connor was holding fourth from Williams whilst Teal was up to sixth with a recovering Harding right on his bumper ahead of Blake and Brown.

C100R517 0715At the front Holmes got the time honoured signal from Healey to work together and build a gap so that they could fight for the win unhindered in the latter stages. Elliott’s kart suddenly slowed with a broken chain and Teal was left with nowhere to go and hit him causing a bout of confusion amongst the following pack. O’Connor continued in fourth but in the course of a lap Blake moved from eighth to third with Williams fifth, Harding sixth and Brown seventh. Teal, for the second race in a row, dropped places dramatically falling from sixth to eleventh and then down to thirteenth two laps later. The following laps saw Williams dropping out of the running falling from fifth to tenth. Holmes and Healey continued to pull away at the front but Healey was now ready to put their pact to one side and began to put pressure on the leader. Several times he pulled out of the leaders slipstream only to be rebuffed. But could Holmes take the pressure? Behind, Blake continued in third with O’Connor on his tail from Harding.

C100R517 0818Interestingly O’Connor was taking a slightly different line to the rest of the runners through turn two. It seemed to be compromising his speed down into the very tight turn three. A good overtaking spot but one where you have to make the move stick or you get compromised along the straight and through the following flat out left hander. Several times Harding tried the move but never quite got it done. Until the third lap from the flag. He dug deep on the previous lap setting the best time of the race and he carried the speed into the next lap and took fourth. Last lap and Holmes led. Despite the best efforts from Healey he held on for the win. He would later be fulsome in his praise for his rival complimenting him on his efforts. ‘’It was’’ he said, ‘’ unbelievable pressure but I desperately needed the win for the Championship points’’. Down to turn three for the final time and Harding nipped out of Blake’s slipstream and was through into third. He would hold the place to the flag with Blake having to settle for fourth. But only just. O’Connor was just 0.050 adrift as they crossed the line. And let’s not forget Martin. He’d gradually closed in on the battle for third over the remaining laps. A good drive up from grid ten he was just 0.089 adrift of O’Connor at the flag. I wonder what another lap would have brought us? Brown came home seventh ahead of Williams and Longman with Teal tenth on the road but penalised four places. Not the greatest of birthday weekends for him…

The Championship

I guess it depends on your point of view as how you want to view the Championship. Our good friends at Alpha timing are now taking into account dropped scores so I’m using that standard rather than total points scored. Joe Holmes now heads the standings by just two points from Steve Brown. Ian Blake is third ahead of Jay Elliott and Jack Harding from Dan Healey who had a great day at Ellough taking his first Elite class podium. A fine drive in the final. On this form a win can’t be far away. Daz Teal is next from Pete O’Connor.

C100R517 0024Reflections

What a great days racing. The weather might not have been outstanding but it didn’t detract from a great event. Some fine drives, great sportsmanship and it was good to see family members getting behind their drivers in a good way. I wasn’t able to speak with the lightweight newcomers but I did catch up with two of the heavyweights. Nick Robinson put in great performance and is hoping to be back as is Mat Goodyer whose family were cheering him on from the grandstand. Brother Dan tells me he’s quicker that Mat and is hoping to compete when he loses a kilo or two. Wonder if Mat agrees?
Our thanks to all the staff at Ellough Park for running a fine venue and supplying first class marshalls. And thanks too to all the Club 100 officials who do such a great job. And lets not forget the Kart technicians whose hard work and dedication we sometimes forget. Kart preparation is second to none.
C100R517 0118Lastly our congratulations to Elite driver Ian Blake who gets married next weekend. All the very best wishes from everyone. Just don’t forget Ian that Club 100 comes first….

See you all at Clay !!