Premier Endurance Championship 2014, Rd. 9

October 11, 2014
Eddie Hall
With just three rounds remaining, the pressure is mounting for both Ministry of Speed and Just So Serious. Club100’s second visit of the year to Whilton – this time on the Zulu layout – was set to be a good showdown and the tricky wt/dry conditions made for an even more exciting prospect. Es Car Go took pole position late in the session from the flying Rocketcraft. Championship protagonists Just So Serious and Ministry shared the second row – despite Pete O’Connor getting most of his flying laps discounted for exceeding track limits. Overdraft Racing were an impressive fifth but Pure Racing, Tanked Up, Hartree and Slipstream all opted to change their karts after qualifying and start from the back of the grid. Es Car Go’s Stuart Symonds didn’t have any real expectations for the race and seemed relaxed on the grid. “It depends on the weather really. They are conditions that suit both of us so we should be in good shape. I got some bankers in early on and told Geoff to tell me where I was three or four minutes from the end. He told me I was third so I pushed, got a couple of good laps in and then chucked it off on the last lap. We’ve got nothing to lose because we’re really in no-man’s land in terms of the championship.” As the leaders got away at the front, there was contact further back and Alliance Racing found themselves in the weeds after a nudge from Pantera Racing. Just So Serious made a great start and jumped Es Car Go and Rocketcraft. Overdraft Racing also made up some places. Pure Racing had made lightning progress from the back of the grid and were up to third by the time the first fuel window closed. They had Chris Powell standing in for Jonny Goddard and he seemed to be working his magic. Unfortunately, Overdraft’s early race promise came to nothing and issues put them right at the back of the field. Hartree were struggling to make up much ground from the back of the field, which might have contributed to events that occurred after the race… The Serious Boys led for much of the early running but an uncharacteristic spin mid race dropped them down the order. Even better was the fact they were completely oblivious to it even after the resident race reporter informed them some 20 minutes later. Anyway, this put Pure Racing in the lead; the team having got past Es Car Go earlier on. Alliance were also making rapid progress and were up to fifth and chasing down Slipstream who were also well up from the back of the pack. Just So Serious weren’t the only championship contender getting themselves into trouble; Ministry of Speed picked up a black flag due to Parmveer Nijjar’s consistent cone abuse. To make matters worse, he then hit the fuel bowser coming in for his pit stop and was forced to do another lap. An even bigger incident later in the race dropped them completely out of contention for decent points. A combination of me doing four stints, coupled with being a terrible journalist, means I have no idea what the problem was. Back at the front and Pure Racing continued merrily on their way. Es Car Go weren’t far behind in second but they had a comfortable gap to Rocketcraft. Despite their earlier spin, Just So Serious were still fourth but now out of contention for a podium. Alliance were a handful of seconds further back in fifth and had got ahead of Slisptream. Tanked Up were having a lonely race with Hartree, Ministry, Top Guns and Overdraft making up the numbers. Over the last stint, Pure Racing continued to lead but Es Car Go were right behind them; the gap ranging from half a second to a second. It all came down to the final stop and Pure were the first to come in, stopping right at the start of the final fuel window. Es Car Go made a last lap stop but they hadn’t been lapping any quicker and the stop was a second slower, which wasn’t quite enough. As they emerged from the pit lane, Pure Racing sailed passed to take the chequered flag by a little over two seconds. Es Car Go were second and Rocketcraft an impressive third. There was more controversy after the race as championship leaders Just So Serious – who were fourth on the road – were disqualified for being underweight. Fortunately for them, Ministry had also suffered a problem late in the race and finished near the back. Hartree were also found to be cheating. So perhaps Just So’s secret to success has been blatant cheating. Perhaps they should have all their points stripped and redistributed to the other teams. What does everyone think? Anyway, Pure Racing’s Jon Maycock was delighted with a win, although he admitted he wasn’t driving at his personal best. “We unleashed our secret weapon in Chris Powell today. He pulled out a great lead and we just maintained it from there. It was a good team performance all round and we’re all fairly happy.”
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