Lightweight Sprint Championship 2013, Rd.3

Club 100 returns to its spiritual home, Rye House, where it rocks.

Despite heavy criticism, Rye House is a nice little technical challenge, and one of the less kart dependable tracks on the calendar. Downsides are the tight hairpins and the general lack of space that often creates messy racing. Qualifying in Lightweight category should remove a lot of arbitrary racing incidents and we were looking forward a good day of hard but fair racing.

Lightweight is traditionally the category where the quality trickles through to Club100. The series organiser John Vigor on the incoming drivers: “What is noticeable is some of the lads are young. Fifteen or sixteen. Many of them are coming from Junior Clubs like Brentwood, Buckmore and Sandown. Instead of buying their own karts they are coming to Club100. This is changing the landscape of the club. The club is getting younger and this is a good thing.”

Club100 is indeed taken seriously as an alternative to owner racing.

It is good to get new blood into the club. Walking the paddock on Sunday morning you get the feeing that we have a good bunch here. Among the juniors are veterans Glen Beard and Keith Segal rolling back the years.

Qualifying has been a good addition to the Lightweight category. Races are sometimes slightly processional – but qualifying gives everyone a chance to race the people they should be racing. Racing is much more smooth and fluid. It is a move towards more serious racing from the arbitrary heats of the past.

Qualifying should also play in the hands of quick youngsters who haven’t yet grown big bad elbows. Quick guys are free to race at front. Luke Cousins and Sam Sheenan took the first blood of the day in the qualifying heats.

B FINAL 1

With the twenty quickest drivers qualifying straight to the A-Final, Rhys Terry found himself on pole for the first final of the day, B Final 1. Regular top ten driver Oscar John Cooke was at the front of the grid showing the quality of the series. Miguel Hall and Aaron McClure followed. Tom Lee and Mike Bruford shared row six.

Top four would qualify for A-Final 1. It is essential to get the top-four-result. This can be a nervy time.

Oscar John Cooke handled it well and stormed the Final. He took the flag by some margin over Rhys Terry. Miguel Hall picked himself up a penalty and dropped from third to fifth and out of the A-Final. Anthony Harrington came close from 11th on the grid but wasn’t quite able to make it. With Hall’s penalty, Tom Lee took the final qualifying spot.

A FINAL 1

Sam Sheehan had qualified pole for the first A Final. Luke Cousins, Jamie Armstrong, Glen Beard, Frederick Gallagher and Kenan Vedat followed. Rob Swindells and Greg Aaron filled the top ten grid slots.

Sam Sheenan made a strong start with Luke Cousins dropping behind Jamie Armstrong. James Bailey had an awful first lap – dropping down to eighth. Glen Beard had the fate of being the notable first lap victim of Rye banditry.

Luke Cousins made it past Jamie Armstrong on lap 2 and started to hunt down Sam Sheenan. He got the job done on lap 6 and never looked back. Sheenan came home second with Armstrong third. James Reveler stormed to fourth from 13th on the grid with stunning lap-times in the bag. Reveler had been disappointed with his qualifying but truly turned his day around with a great first final performance.

Richard Ward and David Longman made good progress from row six to break into the top ten, with James Bailey next on the road. Bailey must have been disappointed after a strong qualifying.

Daniel Truman finished 11th after a good drive. Rob Swindells , Kenan Vedat and Laurent Lesourd were next. Eric Mignon dropped to 15th with a two place penalty.

B-Final winner Oscar John Cooke was best of the B-Final qualifiers on 16th. Rhys Terry led up Aaron McLure and Tom Lee over the line, but had got a two-place penalty on his name and dropped to 20th in the standings. Tom Powell, Harrison Darwill and Daniel Becker came home next.

Luke Cousins was the fifth winner in five finals. Would the amazing streak of fresh winners continue or could Cousins make it two in the row? We would see.

B FINAL 2

The grids for the second finals were determined by the fastest lap times leading up to the race. This time the top two would go on to qualify for the second A-Final. That had to be the objective of the leading drivers.

Anthony Harrington showed great progress throughout the day. He was on pole and stormed the final crossing the line with a margin of the main straight. Behind him things were less straightforward. Chris Penny and Miguel Hall were second and third on the grid with Roger Jenkins having a fight on his hands starting in fourth. Mike Bruford had a great start from fifth and was up to second. Jenkins was up to third and challenged Bruford on the second lap. Jenkins held on to the precious second spot despite being chased hard by front row starter Chris Penny. Sebastian Laundon had a good final and came home fourth from tenth on the grid. But this time only the top two, Harrington and Jenkins, would qualify.

A FINAL 2

With his stunning drive in Final 1 – James Reveler qualified on pole for A Final 2. Glean Beard lined up second. On his day Beard is one of the quickest drivers at the club. Jamie Armstrong and Sam Sheenan were next. Final 1 winner Luke Cousins and Greg Aaron shared row three. Fredrick Gallagher, Oscar John Cooke, Daniel Truman and David Longman filled the top ten. John Corrigan was eleventh with Aaron McClure feeling “brilliant” at twelfth.

James Reveler shot away from pole. Beard, Armstrong and Sheehan followed. Richard Ward went wild into the Hairpin 1.

Further back veteran Keith Segal is under fire from Tom Powell.

In the mid pack four karts go side by side into Hairpin 2. They get themselves sorted, just. Luke Cousins emerges ahead of David Longman, John Corrigan and Oscar John Cooke.

A bit further back James Bailey and Roger Jenkins battle hard on the early laps, Jenkins having made a brilliant start from the back of the grid.

This is really heating up!

Kenan Vedat shows signs of frustration.

Anthony Harrington has got a good start after winning the B-Final. There is a lot of bumping and banging from Harrington, Laurent Lesourd, Rob Swindells, and Belgium representative Eric Mignon.

At the front James Reveler has built a comfortable cushion. Greg Aaron goes deep into Hairpin 1 and pushes Glen Beard wide. Aaron pays the penalty and drops down to fifth.

As Rye House standard goes, there is plenty of Hairpin 1 banditry going on.

Johnny Goddard joins the commentator team.

Johnny, what has been your favorite corner of the day?
“I think hairpin one provides the most excitement. Lots of crashes. Lots of ABCs. Lots of pile ups.”

Its legendary. No world peace can last at those hairpins.

By now James Reveler has disappeared into the distance. Glen Bread comes under increasing pressure from Sam Sheenan but the old fox knows how to make his kart eleven miles wide and tough to pass.

Sheenan is giving it his all. Into Stadium they go and Glen is still holding on to second. Second place becomes now a four way fight with Jamie Amstrong hot on the heels of Sheenan. Greg Aaron follows their every move.

Final lap. James Reveler is long gone. Four karts are fighting for second, bumper to bumper.

To the final hairpin, Sam Sheenan defends his third instead of attacking Beard. Sheenan gets into trouble himself going into Hairpin 2. Into Pylon they roar side by side. James Reeves wins. Glen Beard is second. Sheenan holds onto third from
Jamie Armstrong and Greg Aaron. Fredrick Gallagher, Luke Cousins and Daniel Truman follow.

There’s a big battle for tenth. Oscar John Cooke and John Corrigan have been fighting hard for the last couple of laps. They come to the finish line side by side. Corrigan gets it by half a kart’s length. Great finish for the day!

We have six winners from six finals! After three rounds and six finals, Sam Sheenan is leading the championship from Greg Aaron and James Reveler. Fredrick Gallagher and final one winner Luke Cousins follow close with veteran Glen Beard sixth. With six different winners the championship is impossible to call. Lightweight is an epic championship. Consistency is surely the key. Sheenan takes the lead into the summer, sun, and wider tracks. Club100 rocks!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Club 100 racers Dyll Davies, Peter Cowan, Rob Nash and José Soler are making heroics to support Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. To find out and support more go to https://www.justgiving.com/Dyll-Davies

To relive the action Buy Chris Simpsons video to live it out to the full. http://www.coolthinking.co.uk/

To see all the photos go to http://www.photoboxgallery.com/club100

http://jammotorsportphotography.co.uk/gallery/28th-april-club-100-sprints-round-3/