Premier Sprint Championship 2013, Rd.3

Club100 returns to its spiritual home, Rye House, where it rocks.

The Premier Class is back at being the shiny pinnacle of Club100. The grids are healthy and full. Racing has been hard but fair. Nobody takes anyone out on purpose, but gives each other just enough room to race.

The strong competitive spirit is of course there – as it should be. But the Prem paddock is a pleasant place to hang out and chew the fat.

The Premier drivers arrived at the third round of the season in good spirits. First two rounds at Buckmore and Bayford had been surprisingly clean with good racing going on throughout the field.

The series has got a boost of life with a bunch of new faces joining the returning veterans.

Lighweight champion Peter Cole makes the brave jump straight to the Prems.

Light Clubman champion Andrew Johnson leads Geoff Saunderson, Shaun Hollingsworth, Alex Vincent and Scott Martin to the big boy league, with Jay Elliot back in the premier level after a five years hiatus.

Dan Underhill and Harry Landy move up from the Heavy Clubman to add to the great banter. The Easykart World Champion and 2012 Heavy Clubman runner-up Jamie Crease joins the top ranks. Heavy Clubman champion Trevor Randall back to where he belongs: The Prems.

The economic situation might be playing its part too, with people favoring Club 100 over owner racing. Jamie Crease has good insight: “I did the first 2 rounds this year in Easykart and quickly remembered how much of a pain running your own kart can be if it’s not going well”. Crease will probably do the rest of the year in Club100: “The drivers are just as good if not better in some cases.”

Whatever the reason, the field is strong, full, fair, and competitive.

The question was: would the peace and enjoyment hold the notorious hairpins of Rye House? Or would the good old adrenalin take the hold of cool heads and turn the grown men into raving idiots? The Club100 paddock would hold their breath and see.

Writing was on the wall straight from the first heat.

Twenty-seven karts on the track, heading to stadium and into the left kink bottleneck, roaring towards the first hairpin. Survivors coming out five abreast from hairpin one, fighting over the same piece of tarmac heading to the second one. Bang!

Talk of the paddock leading up to the race was Ian Blake sharing a hotel room with Dan Underhill. Asked if he would be doing Underpants or vice versa, Blakey replied: “Blakey’s always on top mate. Just like I’ll be top of the podium on Saturday and Sunday. Living the dream.”

Blakey was indeed drawn on pole for heat one, while Underhill found himself underneath Pete Cole’s kart.

Dan: “I was on the left hand side going up to hairpin two when the guys who were off track on the exit of hairpin one decided to fly back on causing Pete Cole to spin through the air into my knee. Very painful experience to say the least. “

To add to the drama Underhill decided to take a little nap on the track and an ambulance ride out from the hairpin two.

At the restart the 2009 Champ Jamie Jakins danced across the grass all the way from the back straight to the entry of the paddock – raising hairs in the approaching Arais.

Rest of the heats were spent in much the same fashion. Few laps of carnage followed by full speed procession with plenty of contact. Pole sitters Ian Blake and Jamie Jakins won a heat each.

Brian Trott – the championship leader with three wins from four – took pole for the Final 1. Brothers of Moulin filled the spots two and three with Oli Allwood in second and Ian Blake on third. Darren Teal, Jonathan Lissetter and Matt Brooks took the next spots. After a kart failure and taken out yours truly race reporter had clinched the back row slot to have a proper look at what was about to happen.

FINAL 1

In Final 1 Mutley almost got run over on the roll up lap. Brian Trott kept the lead from flag to flag with a big fight evolving directly behind him. Brian:“I knew the kart was raceable but wasn’t particularly quick. I thought it was probably gonna end up me holding up a gaggle of karts.” Darren Teal fought his way to second passing Allwood and Blake in the process. Darren was pleased with “the best race of the season so far”. Jay Elliot took his first ever Premier podium from seventh on the grid showing great pace.

Front row sitter Oliver Allwood dropped down to seventh behind Jonathan Lissetter and Parmveer Nijjar. Unsurprisingly Parm had collected a penalty, which dropped him down to tenth. In the end the results stood as: Trott, Teal, Elliot, Lissetter in fourth followed by Blake, Allwood, Chris Powell, Matt Brooks, Jamie Jakins and Parmveer Nijjar.

FINAL 2

With grid slots determined by lap-times, Chris Powell was sitting on pole for Final 2. The defending champion was sharing the front row with a prem new boy Jaime Crease.
Parm Nijjar, first final star Jay Elliot, another new boy Scott Martin, and Marc Marquez lookalike Peter O’Connor followed. Stuart Symonds was sitting 7th on the grid with a lap-time of 42.513, while first final winner Brian Trott was 19th with 42.595.

Chris Powell stormed from flag to flag to take his first victory of 2013. Indeed, every single heat and final were won from pole, showing how important it is to have an initial break at Rye.

Jonathan Lissetter had a great race climbing from ninth to second. Lissetter capitalised from Jamie Crease hitting Scott Martins stationary kart on lap 2 at the first hairpin. His view: “Parmveer was 2nd, Scott 3rd, me 4th. Scott went up Parm’s inside, I followed him but he then backed out, spun it round and I had nowhere to go but straight into him, race over.”

Lissetter hunted down Parmveer Nijjar and overtook him on lap 8. Stuart Symonds stormed from seventh to the podium upsetting Johnny Goddard in the process. Goddard came home fifth, but was later excluded having a bust up with Symonds after the flag had dropped.

Parm kept his nose clean and came home fourth. Chris Hanson had a strong race coming home 6th after starting down from 11th. Jay Elliot, Peter O’Connor, Brian Trott and Oliver Allwood filled the top ten. Allwood sent his warm greetings to Parm. Shaun Hollingsworth showed improving pace.

Rich Higham was having his “worst day in sprints”. Scott Martin, Jamie Jakins, Jaime Crease, Tim Clark and Andrew Johnson were the other victims of Final 2.

Pete O’Connor had deep thoughts on his multiple contact penalty: Absolute tosh.

OTHER QUOTES

Mr. Randall: “What can I say? I got stuck behind Matt Brooks who rolled me a cigarette before the race. And I had no breaks and was thinking I don’t want to take him out. Final 2, got taken out.”

Ian Blake was being modest. “Yeah, Final 1 I was behind Trott and I could have won but I couldn’t be arsed so I dropped back to fifth! That was shit! Second Final was going alright but then there was this Finnish guy behind me and he could keep up with me so I must have been really slow. Then thankfully got involved in some banditry and at least I beat my teammate. Oh no! Allwood beat me.”

In the end, Premier drivers were all happy to survive the Rye House battlefield with a few bruises and sore necks.

Although the racing was messy it was hardly malicious.

Everyone was happy to walk away and head into 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