Welcome to Wales for a first visit for a few seasons to the picturesque and challenging Glan-y-Gors circuit.
First out in the morning it was the turn of the heavyweights. With all the heats run it was the experienced Gerard Moore who found himself on pole for the C Final alongside Shane Cotter followed in two by two formation by Damian Smith, Stuart Kirk, James Radovic, Tom Stalker, Jonathan McLeod, Lee Barrow, Tim Dore, Ben Wooten, Leon Du Preez, Cody Richards and Luke Elliott. Top four to qualify for the B Final.
Moore led the pack away but it was Radovic who caught the eye moving rapidly into second from Smith and Cotter. A lap later and Radovic slipped by Moore for the lead with Smith still third. Cotter was down to sixth behind Stalker and the impressive Wootten, up from grid ten.
Radovic continued to set the pace at the front with Moore in his wheel tracks. SHW Smith was falling back but holding off Stalker for third. Wootten and Cotter were still in the hunt but seventh placed McLeod was falling back and looked to be out of the hunt. Half distance and the top two remained the same but Stalker was up to third with Wootten fourth from Smith and Cotter. And that was how it remained to the flag with the top four running line astern and pulling clear of the pack now led by Richards but some seven seconds off the qualifiers. Sadly for Wootten he’d picked up a penalty and dropped from fourth to sixth promoting Richards into the final qualifying berth.
Luke Pullen claimed pole for the B Final with Simon Kavanagh alongside. Then in two by two formation we had Richard Newton, Darrell Lowe, Simon Lloyd, Dave Pethers, Mat Griffiths, Lennie Wood, Jack Cameron-Drayton, Josh Pettitt, Toby Sutton, Adrian Wray, Daniel Jenkins, Lawrence Cheah, Vijay Patel, Kham Bennett, Kai Crawford, James Antwis, Vinod Harani, Richard Neale, Stephen Netting, Dominic Vallance and then the four qualifiers from the C Final, Radovic, Moore, Stalker and Richards. Top two to progress to the A Final.
Pullen led the pack away and rapidly pulled clear crossing the line at the end of the first tour almost a second clear of Newton and the rest of the pack. Two down and Pullen set the fastest lap of the race pulling himself further clear of Newton. Kavanagh remained third but was dropping back as he held off a challenge from Lowe who almost got by on the line only to lose out in the first corner to a following Lloyd. Down the hill at the end of the lap Lloyd ran wide onto the grass and fell down the order. Pullen continued to run clear with Newton still second and clear of third placed Kavanagh. Pethers was up to fourth from Lowe and Wood. Quarter distance and Pullen was still powering away at the front with Newton now on his own in second as the pack squabbled over third. Pethers now had the spot chased by Kavanagh and Lowe. Half distance and Pullen was over three seconds to the good with Newton still second. But Pethers and Lowe had stopped fighting and were edging ever closer to Newton. Kavanagh was dropping away from the fight with Wood next. With Pullen running clear it was all about the battle for second. Once onto Newton’s bumper Pethers quickly attacked but Newton held him off and Pethers lost ground allowing Lowe into third. Lowe then put pressure on Newton down into the hairpin at the bottom of the hill. Both ran wide and Pethers nipped by into second. And there he stayed despite repeated attacks from Lowe and the following Newton. Pullen took the win over six seconds clear with Peters second and the second qualifier from Lowe and Newton.
Richard Allen claimed pole for the A Final with Chris Alcock alongside. Next up the two Holmes, Joe and Curt followed by Championship leader Anwar Beroual-Smith and the evergreen Tim Hill. Adam Wright and Alex Pritchard were next followed by Callan Sigafoos, Paul Williams, Steve Bosley, Steve Lindley, Lewis Ridd, Jacob Harris, Alex Lammin, Harrison Wedgbury, Mikey Nichols, James Bate, Miguel Hall, Sam Bensley, Andrew Cherry, Jonny Elliot, Andrew Ridd, Jonathan Riley and the two qualifiers from the B Final, Pullen and Pethers.
Allen led the field up to the line but it looked to be a poor getaway as both Alcock and Curt Holmes edged ahead. But round the first turn and up the hill they both lost out as Allen reasserted himself. By the end of the lap Allen led with Joe Holmes up to second from Wright, Beroual-Smith, Alcock and Curt Holmes. Second time around and Joe Holmes dived down the inside of Allen at the bottom of the hill to take over at the front as Beroual-Smith slipped by Wright for third. A lap later and Beroual-Smith nipped by Allen for second at the top of the hill. Fourth time around and Joe Holmes and Beroual-Smith were beginning to edge clear as Wright slipped by Allen for third at the top of the hill. Down into the hairpin Curt Holmes too nipped by Allen.
Half Distance and Joe Holmes still but was having to defend from Beroual-Smith. Both were losing time and Wright was edging closer. Curt Holmes, Allen and Alcock were running line astern and clear of Ridd, Hill. Pritchard and Bosley. As Joe Holmes continued to defend Wright and the rest of the pack were edging ever closer. With eight run he was on Beroual-Smith’s bumper and well in the hunt for the win. Ninth time around Beroual-Smith dived down the inside of Joe Holmes into the final corner. It was not without contact though but he was into the lead. Wright too almost made it by Joe on the line and then went ahead up the hill only for Joe to strike back down the hill. In terms of racing though that was it.
Beroual-Smith crossed the line first but was penalised for the move on Joe Holmes and dropped to fifth leaving the latter the winner. His first of the season and much needed. Wright fell away from the leaders towards the end but was placed second from Curt Holmes who consolidated his position at the head of C2. Allen was fourth with Alcock sixth from Ridd, Pritchard, Elliott and Nichols who took second in C2 Lindley third. James Bate took the C3 honours with Jonathan Riley second. Both drivers doing exceptionally well to qualify for the A Final. Third in C3 went to Richard Neale after finishing ninth in the B Final. SHW honours went to Kharn Bennett, Vinod Hirani and Adrian Wray.
Championship Round Up
Anwar Beroual-Smith remains at the head of the standings with Richard Allen second from Joe Holmes, Chris Alcock and Adam Wright. Curt Holmes has a healthy lead in C2 and is third in the overall standings. Steve Bosley is second from Mikey Nichols whilst the C3 runners are headed by Richard Neale from Tom Stalker and Ben Wooten. Adrian Wray leads the SHW class from Bill Taylor and Vinod Hirani.
Words: Steve Gray
Dodgy Photography: Admin