Premier Endurance Championship 2014, Rd.8
Club100 made a welcome return to the popular Forest Edge; a real favourite of the drivers. The two title protagonists found themselves on the front row together with Ministry of Speed taking pole from Just So Serious. Es Car Go and Alliance Racing were on row two. It wasn’t the best session for Pure Racing and Tanked Up, who only managed thirteenth and seventeenth respectively. After a podium last time out, it was back down to earth with a bump for Overdraft and they only managed 26th. Having said that, the entire 35 kart grid was covered by barely a second, once again showing how close Club100 is and how brilliantly prepared the karts are. Ministry made the most of their pole and led away. A bit of jostling behind saw Alliance Racing sweep round and snatch second at the first corner. Unfortunately, whether it was due to his son not letting him get any sleep the night before, sheer surprise at running second, or the fact that he is fundamentally shit, the pilot of Alliance forgot how to drive and didn’t hit a single Apex for the first four laps of the race, holding up the entire field and allowing Ministry to build a substantial lead of a second per lap. When Es Car Go and Just So Serious eventually got past, they began to hunt down the leaders. Pure Racing had made a good start and got themselves into the top six early on before the pit window opened and all the karts started filing in one by one. Unfortunately for Overdraft, their race ended on lap two when they were taken out at the notorious chicane; the hazards of starting near the back of the grid. Ministry retained a good six second lead after the first round of stops and now had Pure Racing behind, who were having a close duel with Es Car Go. Just So Serious were further behind and would have been seriously unhappy about seeing their championship rivals dominating at the front. Tanked Up were next up and battling with Alliance and a few Clubman teams. However, as is becoming a common theme this year, both teams’ days would end in disappointment; Tanked Up being tanked off at the chicane and Alliance losing a chain. More surprising was the almost disaster that befell championship leaders Just So Serious. Dicing with Es Car Go, the latter tried dry-humping them and damaged Just So’s exhaust flex. They entered the pits for repairs and were allowed to jump in a spare kart and went on their merry way without losing too much time. It all remained fairly calm at the front. Ministry of Speed had opened up a gap of some eleven seconds over Pure Racing with Es Car Go a few seconds further back in third and all running at the same sort of pace. The demise of Tanked Up and Alliance and the exhaust issues for Just So Serious saw Hartree fourth; these guys having a rather average day. Just So were seriously fired up and closing them down, having already despatched Top Guns. Rocketcraft were having fun and games in the midfield. Nothing terribly exciting happened in the second half of the race. MInistry continued to slowly build on their lead, extending it to over eighteen seconds from Pure Racing who maintained a gap of a few seconds to Es Car Go. It was only in the last phase of the race that Es Car Go closed on Pure Racing. With just one more stop each to make, they had narrowed the gap down to under two seconds. Es Car Go had a slightly quicker stop and this was enough to get them out in front of Pure Racing with a few minutes to go. With the pressure on, it was a defensive game right until the end. Behind these two, Just So Serious had got past Hartree but were too far behind to pose any sort of threat to the podium. Ahead of these battles and completely untroubled all race, Ministry of Speed crossed the line to take their third win of the season. Es Car Go just about held on to second from the charging Pure Racing, beating them by seven-tenths of a second. O’Connor was modest in victory… “It was all down to the first two drivers and our third driver from Alliance Racing. Jordan didn’t really have a lot to do after that so it was a pretty easy win.” That’s really great Pete and you can pay me back by buying a copy of my second book. Anyway, with Just So Serious only managing fourth, Ministry’s win now puts them equal on points as we go into the last three races. This is where the dropped scores come into effect and my maths is almost as mad as my driving but I think it’s fair to say it is a two-horse race for the championship.