Matt Wileman Has Arrived.

untitled shoot 1342 1 scaled

Rocking Rye is looking might look a bit jaded nowadays but it’s still a great layout although it does divide opinion. It’s tight and twisty but there are overtaking spots and from a spectator point of view you can see the whole circuit. We are getting into the meat of the Championships next as the season approaches the half way point. Could anyone halt Jack O’Neill’s run of victories in the lights and Joe Holmes similar domination in the heavies? The weather forecast was a fine day and so it turned out.

Now we knew the Lightweight result, that had gone to Jack O’Neill. So it was into the afternoon, ding-ding round 2.

The Road to the Finals

untitled shoot 1232

Matt Wileman kicked off the afternoons proceedings with a somewhat fortuitous first place in the first heat. Sean Brierley led for most of the race chased by Wileman but then lost the win after clipping a cone. Adam Wright trailed them home in third followed by Steve Lindley and Tom Fuller.

Joe Holmes comfortably won the second heat lead from pole to flag with Kevin Coombes second, a place he occupied almost from the start. Anthony Ridd was right on his bumper at the end but couldn’t displace Coombes whilst fourth went to Mikey Nichols with Dave Pethers fifth. 

The third heat resulted in a well judged win for Jordan Salter. Starting from grid five he picked his moments to rise into second behind poleman Vijay Patel. Salter took a couple of laps to get by but once ahead he eased away to take the win with Patel second from Richard Allen. Anwar Beroual-Smith took fourth after battling his way up from grid eleven. Lewis Ridd claimed fifth.

untitled shoot 1248 2

Alex Pritchard opened his account for the day with a lights to flag win in the fourth heat chased all the way by Miguel Hall. Next over the line was Mathew Hale but he was hit with a six place penalty after spinning out the luckless Lennie Wood. Lennie is having some serious bad luck this year. Talking to him before the race I said his luck had to change at some time. Think I should have kept quiet. No sooner had he got going than he got spun out again by Mat Griffiths! With Hale penalised Simon Kavanagh was promoted to third from Mike Bodnar and Lee Henderson.

Jonathan Elliot claimed the fifth heat and beat Joe Holmes in straight fight. No mean feat. Elliott led from pole with Holmes working his way through from grid seven to second on the opening lap. But despite his best efforts Elliot held the Championship leader at bay to take a very fine win. Richard Allen ran third for most of the heat but fell to sixth after an incident with Dave Pethers. Chris Dixon took third with Pethers fourth over the line but three penalties saw him lose twelve places to be classified last. Jason Bear and Bradley Parrett completed the top five.

untitled shoot 2109

Anwar Beroual-Smith took a comfortable win in Heat Six. Starting from the second row he was into the lead after two laps and then pulled steadily away from second placed Simon Kavanagh with Miguel Hall third from Harry Melvin. Chris Alcock took fifth after a strong drive up from grid eleven. 

Matt Wileman made it two wins from two heats in Heat Seven. Starting from grid eleven he worked his way up to second by half distance but trailed Oliver Moss by over two seconds. But he gradually reduced the gap and took over at the front on the penultimate lap. Steve Lindley was third but over six seconds adrift of Wileman and Moss. Alex Pritchard took fourth with Matt Hale fifth.

untitled shoot 2191

Richard Newton led the majority of Heat Eight from Lewis Ridd, Mikey Nichols and Kieran Chidgzey but three laps from home it all went pear shaped as Ridd and Nichols went by. Over the final two laps he fell to ninth leaving Ridd with the win from Nichols with Jordan Salter third from Chidgzey and George Hatto.

Sean Brierley led almost all the ninth heat from pole chased hard by Matt Wileman. But over the line at the start of the final lap Wileman was almost alongside. Brierley defended but Wileman slipped by to take his third win of the day and secure pole for the A Final. Simon Kavanagh was next over the line but he took a four place penalty after an earlier incident with Tom Fuller. Adam Wright was the grateful recipient of the extra point moving up to third from Richard Lavender and Miguel Hall.

untitled shoot 2289

Chris Alcock took his maiden HW win in Heat Ten. He’d finally given in to his rapidly expanding waistline and moved across from the lights. His Endurance team mates claim he’s pot hunting! He made no mistakes however claiming the victory by over three seconds after starting from pole. Anwar Beroual-Smith was second taking valuable points. Third place went to Anthony Ridd some seven seconds adrift of second place with Richard Allen fourth from Mathew Hale.

The penultimate heat resulted in a second win for an on form Lewis Ridd. It was hard fought though as Steve Bosley held him off until the final lap. Oliver Moss took third with Jordan Salter fourth from polesitter Paul Walliams.

untitled shoot 2346

The final heat of the day resulted in a fortuitous first place for Jonathan Elliott. Bradley Parrett led the pack for most of the race and crossed the line ahead of Elliott but he’d punted Kieran Chidgzey out of the way on the second lap and was hit with a four place deduction handing the win to Elliott. Joe Holmes was handed third after working his way up from grid twelve. Valuable points putting him on the front row for the A Final. Steve Lindley was fourth with the penalised Parrett fifth. 

The Finals

C Final

(All drivers in C3 unless otherwise noted).

C2 driver Richard Masterton on pole with Andrew Hicks alongside. Lawrence Cheah and C2 Jeremy Deeks were on row two. Samuel Bensley and Elliot Taylor shared row three followed by Luca Staccini Anzanello and Mat Griffiths on row four. Tim Hill was shown as a qualifier on row five but his day was over as a result of a back injury. We wish him a speedy recovery. Marcus Naris and Leon Du Preez shared row five followed by Adam Hyland and Jack Bebbington. SHW Vinod Harani and Blake Temperley were on seven with Joel Arguelles and Mathew Batter on row eight. Row nine saw Chris Solomon line up alongside Chris Warton followed by Zac Booth, David Wilson and Martyn Robinson. Top four to qualify for the B Final and a trophy for the winner. 

untitled shoot 2113

Masterson led the pack away with Cheah getting the better of Hicks to move into second. Bensley got ahead of Deeks but a lap later Deeks was back in front and holding the final qualifying spot. Quarter distance and Masterson was a few lengths clear of Cheah with Hicks half a second back but just over half a second clear of fourth placed Deeks. The top four were pulling clear of fifth placed Taylor and on course for easy qualification. Half distance and Masterson had the gap at the front out to over a second. Cheah remained second with Hicks still third from Deeks whilst Taylor had managed to get the gap down to under two seconds to fourth. But as long as they didn’t start squabbling the top four were safely going to be through for an extra race.  So what did they do? You guessed it, they started to squabble.

untitled shoot 2486

Over the line to start the tenth tour Hicks got inside Cheah round Stadium. Cheah defended and Deeks closed in on them both keeping to the inside on the run into Hairpin one. Deeks forced Hicks wide, Cheah slowed to avoid getting caught up and Taylor swept by as they rounded Hairpin two. Over the line at the end of the lap and Masterson was over four seconds clear with Deeks into second. But up flashed his number on the digi-board. A four place penalty for forcing Hicks wide. He would not be getting a free race. Hicks was running third from Taylor with Cheah fifth but also carrying a penalty for cone abuse. He now needed third. The following lap Hicks tried an impossible move on Deeks into hairpin two putting himself momentarily on the grass and allowing both Taylor and Cheah to move ahead.  And as they fell over each other Staccini Anzanello had closed in giving himself a real chance of a top four finish. Final lap and Masterson was almost five seconds clear with Deeks running second from Taylor and Cheah. Down into Hairpin one for the final time and Cheah moved to the inside taking Taylor for third with a clean move.

untitled shoot 2572

Masterson took the win and set the fastest lap with Deeks second over the line but losing eight places due to penalties. Cheah was next over the line but second became third after his cone penalty promoting Taylor to second with Hicks fourth after holding off a spirited late race challenge from Staccini Anzanello who then found himself penalised two places down to seventh for excessive kerbing. Bensley was promoted to fifth ahead of Batter with Bebbington eighth from Du Preez and the penalised Deeks. Masterson set the fastest lap of the race with Cheah fastest in C3, and establishing a lap record, with Harani the fastest SHW.

untitled shoot 1253
C Final Winner – Richard Masterson

B Final

(All Drivers in C2 unless otherwise noted)

Richard Lavender on pole from Jason Bear with SHW Richard Newton and Kevin Coombes on row two. Alexander Lammin and Tom Fuller shared row three followed by SHW Lee Henderson and Mike Bodnar on row four. Row five saw Lee Witney alongside Paul Williams with row six occupied by Rory Severn and Tim Williams. Wayne Dunham and Harry Melvin were on row seven followed by C3 debutant Karolis Koncikas and Dave Pethers on row eight. C3 Daniel Hollinshead shared row nine with Lennie Wood followed by two C3’s Luke Philips and Jaeden Cadogan. Row eleven had C1 Barry Luetchford alongside Vijay Patel followed by the four qualifiers from the C Final, Masterson, Taylor, Cheah and Hicks. Top two to qualify for the A Final and another trophy for the winner.

untitled shoot 2134

Masterson led the field away but it was hold your breath and hope for the best as the field piled into Hairpin one. Paul Williams and Wayne Dunham were early spinners. By the end of the lap Lavender was half a second clear with Lammin up to second and Bear down to third. Henderson was up to fourth whilst Newton had dropped to fifth. Coombes fell to eighth whilst Severn was up to seventh. Second time around and the field had settled down. Lavender still led but Lammin had cut the gap to a couple of lengths. Bear was very much in the running but couldn’t quite get close enough to challenge Lammin for second. Henderson was dropping back but was comfortably ahead Coombes. Down the order Wood was again in the wars being knocked aside by Luetchford who already had a cone penalty. He would soon pull in to retire, whilst Wood would suffer yet more misfortune later in the race after being knocked into a spin by Paul Williams. Sadly I didn’t witness the after race conversation. Half distance and Lavender still held the advantage whilst Lammin kept a wary eye on Bear.

untitled shoot 2587

Barring incidents Henderson looked to be out of the running for a top two finish whilst Coombes was beginning to steadily cut the gap to Henderson and pulling Tim Williams along with him. Eleventh time around and Lavender set his fastest lap thus far but Lammin responded the following lap to ease himself ever closer to the leader. Bear was still with them both but he now needed to win on the road as he was carrying a cone penalty. Henderson too was out of the running and coming under increasing pressure from Coombes and Williams. Witney was next but some two seconds back. Over the line at end of the twelfth tour and Coombes was almost alongside Henderson as they headed towards Stadium. Henderson defended into the hairpin and Coombes went wide allowing Williams to get by and immediately put pressure on Henderson. Over the line at the end of the lap he was just 0.013 adrift. Henderson couldn’t hold him off and was again coming under threat from Coombes. But he held him off. An entertaining battle but costly as the leaders pulled further away.

untitled shoot 2710

Lavender took the win just a few lengths clear of Lammin. Bear was next over the line but his penalty dropped him to fourth and promoted Tim Williams to third. Henderson crossed the line fifth but he too had a cone penalty and dropped to sixth. Valuable points though in his quest for the SHW crown. Coombes was promoted to fifth with Severn next across the line. But he too had a cone penalty and dropped to eighth promoting Witney to seventh with Pethers and Newton completing the top ten. Karolis Koncikas claimed the C3 honours from Luke Philips and Daniel Hollinshead. Top drives from all three. Tim Williams set the fastest lap of the race with Henderson the quickest SHW and Jaeden Cadogan setting the fastest time in C3 which also established a record.

untitled shoot 1250
B Final Winner – Richard Lavender

A Final

Matt Wileman’s three heat wins put him comfortably on pole with Joe Holmes alongside. Lewis Ridd and Anwar Beroual-Smith shared the second row with two C2 drivers, Jonathan Elliot and Jordan Salter on row three. Excellent performances from them both. Miguel Hall and C2 Alex Pritchard were on row four followed by Sean Brierley and C2 Steve Lindley on row five. Row six had Oliver Moss alongside C2 Anthony Ridd followed by two more C2’s Simon Kavanagh and Richard Allen on row seven. Chris Alcock and C2 Mikey Nichols shared row eight with C2 George Hatto alongside Chris Dixon on row nine. Adam Wright and SHW Bradley Parrett were on row ten with C2 Steve Bosley alongside Mathew Hale on row eleven. The penultimate row was occupied by two SHW’s Kieran Chidgzey and Bill Taylor with the two qualifiers from the B Final, Lavender and Lammin on the back row.

untitled shoot 2630

Wileman led the pack away with Holmes tight to his left legitimately squeezing Ridd to prevent him getting by. As the field streamed down into Hairpin one Anthony Ridd speared off to the right onto the grass but didn’t spin. Surprisingly no one spun in the corner but places were lost and gained down the back half of the grid. Brierley, Moss and Lindley all fell back whilst Dixon and Alcock made big gains to run in the top ten. Wileman remained in the lead from Holmes with Lewis Ridd third but his hopes of a podium took a dive as he was hit with a cone penalty. Holmes took a look up the inside of Wileman at Pylon. But it was not without contact and Holmes immediately backed out of the move. But a lap later he was challenging again. Down into hairpin one He moved to the left. Wileman gave him the squeeze and both went wide. Wileman went off and round the tyres as they exited the corner. Ridd had a better line and had his nose in front as they headed for Hairpin two with Holmes second and Wileman just a few inches back in third as he regained the circuit. Beroual-Smith was right behind ready to seize the moment. Into the right hander they were three abreast. Ridd had the worst line and went wide allowing Beroual-Smith up the inside. Wileman too ran wide on the apex forcing Holmes to run wide as he couldn’t turn. Out of the corner and Beroual-Smith was inches ahead of Wileman with Elliot third after having the advantage of an uncompromised run round the corner. But it was only by inches from Ridd who was in turn just inches ahead of Holmes. Wileman and Holmes both had better exit speed out of the corner and Beroual-Smith found his line into Pylon compromised with Wileman on the inside. As they turned in Wileman was back in front with Holmes almost attached to his rear bumper and following him through. Holmes had very little room to work with and brushed the tyres on the inside. It was enough to earn him an unfortunate cone penalty. Round the following right hander Holmes had to give space to Beroual-Smith and the latter moved into second.

untitled shoot 2456

Over the line with six run Wileman led by just 0.094 from Beroual-Smith with Holmes a tenth back from Elliot, Lewis Ridd and Hall with Alcock closing in and well clear of Pritchard in eighth. Down into Hairpin one Holmes had a look at Beroual-Smith for second. Beroual- Smith defended and sent Holmes round the outside. Holmes went to the right of the tyres and although he had the better line through and out of Hairpin two he waived his rival back through. Half distance and Wileman remained at the head of the pack chased by Beroual-Smith, Holmes, Elliot, Lewis Ridd, Hall and Alcock with all seven covered by just 1.8 seconds. Pritchard was next but almost three seconds back with Dixon in his wheeltracks. Tenth time around and Holmes dived down the inside of Beroual-Smith into Hairpin one. Beroual-Smith fought back down the straight and into hairpin two but had to give best. For lap after lap the top seven circulated in line but Wileman wasn’t to be beaten taking the flag for his first win with Holmes crossing the line second but penalised down to third and promoting Beroual-Smith into second.

untitled shoot 2487

Elliott was a brilliant fourth and took the C2 honours with Lewis Ridd next over the line but penalised down to sixth behind Hall.  Alcock took seventh with Dixon eighth followed by Pritchard who took the runner up spot in C2. Wright was next after a strong drive through the field but he too had a cone penalty and dropped a spot promoting Richard Allen to tenth. Allen was also third in C2. Parrett, Taylor and Chidgzey took the SHW honours. Holmes set the fastest lap of the race with Elliot fastest in C2, his time setting a class record, whilst Taylor was the fastest SHW.

Round up

Joe Holmes defeat at Rye still leaves him in command of the title race whilst Anwar Beroual-Smith moves into second ahead of Matt Wileman and Adam Wright the latter not having the greatest of days at Rye.

untitled shoot 1353 1
A Final – Winner Matt Wileman, Anwar Beroual-Smith, Joe Holmes

The C2 runners are headed by Jonathan Elliott who was superb at Rye with Alex Pritchard second from Richard Allen.

untitled shoot 1322
Class 2 Winner – Jonathan Elliot

The SHW’s are led by Lee Henderson from Richard Newton and Bradley Parrett. Bradley took the win at Rye despite being given a two place deduction in the overall results for ‘pinching’ the fuel pipe. This is purely my personal opinion but I don’t think the penalty was severe enough. Exclusion from the Final would to me have been more appropriate.

untitled shoot 1298
Super Heavyweight Winner – Bradley Parrett

Samuel Bensley leads the way in C3 followed by Luke Philips and Martyn Robinson.  

untitled shoot 1282
Class 3 Podium – Winner Karolis Koncikas, Luke Phillips and Daniel Hollinshead

Reflections

I’ve seen much of what has been said on social media. There were way too many penalties on Sunday. Blaming the track configuration doesn’t cut it with me. Drivers have two feet and two pedals. The one on the left makes the kart stop. If you don’t use it you will hit the kart in front and get penalised. It’s not rocket science. And it’s no good whingeing to the race control. Race control is out of bounds to drivers. Twice on Sunday drivers came in during the heats wanting to appeal. There are no appeals during the heats but neither driver wanted to take no for an answer until they’d had their say. The officials were trying very hard to concentrate under difficult circumstances with the heat and the noise but being distracted by whining drivers just makes matters worse. And neither driver had a case. Enough said.

Onwards and upwards to the seaside! Well almost. Ellough isn’t far from the crystal blue waters of the North Sea.

See you there!!

Words: Steve Gray

Photography: John Patterson