Under Pressure Pagano Wins On Old Stomping Ground To Lead Title Rival Neale

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Heat 1

A multiple off at turn two led to restart in this one and a race shortened to seven laps. Moral? Races aren’t won on the first lap. Keep it on the tarmac and get more track time. James Martin got the jump on Luke Hornsby to lead at the end of the first lap with Simon Lloyd and Peter Harris third and fourth. Championship leader Jack Bolton was tucked nicely into fifth ahead of Harrison Darvill whilst Shaun Hollingsworth was already beginning to slip down the order. He would retire after just three laps the victim of a very rare technical problem. Down the pack Justin Buck, resplendent in his new helmet, was on a charge moving from twelfth to seventh on the opening lap. At the front Lloyd was in no mood to hang about and moved himself up to second at the expense of Hornsby who soon found himself down to fourth behind Harris.

C100R517 0226A lap later and Lloyd was at the front ahead of Martin. The two of them then began to pull clear of the battling Harris and Hornsby. And closing in on these two were Bolton and Darvill. Martin began to pressure Lloyd hard for the win and time after time he would pull alongside into the pit exit hairpin but Lloyd was positioning his Kart with precision and holding onto the lead. He crossed the line a tenth to the good but Martin was adjudged to have jumped the start and would find himself relegated to fourth with Hornsby and Darvill second and third. Harris took fifth ahead of Christopher Murray who had battled hard up from grid ten demoting Bolton on the final lap. Harry Neale was next up after a fine drive which saw him move up five places. Another lap and he just might have made it ahead of Bolton. Buck was next with Pietro Pagano ( can there be a more mellifluous name in Club 100 at the moment?) completing the top ten.

Heat 2

Buck led the field way from Harry Neale with Pagano third from Stefan Scully ( who had set the fastest lap in the first heat ) with Rob Moore, Chris Dixon and David Whitehouse in hot pursuit. Miles Sharman and Christopher Powell got a little too intimate and spun to the back of the field. Sharman would retire after a couple of laps whilst Powell continued to pound round at the back and would eventually set the fastest lap of the race on the final tour. Buck continued to lead but Pagano was up into second now at the expense of Neale. Scully continued in fourth. He never got quite close enough to mount a serious challenge for third but was keeping just out of reach of Moore and Whitehouse who were fighting hard over fifth.

C100R517 0445Buck meanwhile was continuing to lead from Pagano and Neale but with four to run Pagano finally made a move stick and was through. Could Buck respond or would he have to settle for second and fight off the advances of Neale? Down into the hairpin for the final time he took the chance and it paid off. A well judged move and despite Pagano fighting back the win was his. Neale took third ahead of Scully whilst the Moore/Whitehouse battle went the way of the former. Mike Townley was next up after a race long fight with Hornsby whilst Championship leader Bolton completed the top ten.

Heat 3

Thomas Glyde led the field away from pole with Townley tucking into his slipstream but second row starters Murray and Martin Theodorou lost out to the fast starting trio of Frankie Hedges, Powell and Stuart Osborn. Sharman spun away his chances. Glyde and Townley immediately began to pull a gap at the front whilst Hedges spun under pressure from Powell and would eventually get going again a lap down. Osborn lost fifth to a recovering Murray and would gradually fall steadily down the order. Glyde and Townley continued at the front but Powell was now coming under pressure from Chris Dixon who had rocketed through the pack after starting on grid twelve. He also set the fastest lap with just two to go. Murray had settled into fifth with Bolton close at hand.

C100R517 0645Glyde and Murray still ran one and two as the race wound down but Dixon was closing rapidly and with one to go he was right behind Townley. The latter had no resistance and Dixon was into second on the final lap. Glyde though was too far away and duly took the win with Dixon second from Murray third and Powell fourth but well adrift of the front three. Bolton took fifth with Whitehouse next from Pagano who had fought his way up from grid eighteen. Murray and Moore were next up with Neale completing the top ten after a strong drive up from grid twenty.

Final

Pole for Pagano with Dixon alongside from Neale and Championship leader Bolton on row two. Moore and Darvill on three from Whitehouse and Hornsby on four. It took an age to get the race underway as some drivers struggled to get their Karts started. And it’s driver error not the fault of the Kart. Don’t keep jumping up and down on the accelerator. Be gentle, caress the pedal with your foot. Half throttle is enough. We then had one Kart stall on the rolling up lap as he waited for the field to pass him rather than drive round and catch the pack. Fortunately he was starting at the back anyway.

C100R517 0873When the race finally got underway it was Pagano into an immediate lead with Neale second having got the better start from Dixon and take the better line on the inside of turn one. Moore likewise got the better of Bolton but two laps in he got tagged by the Championship leader into the pit exit hairpin. Moore would resume at the back of the field whilst I felt Bolton was fortunate to escape without a penalty. Also gone from the fray was Townley, spinning out of tenth. Pagano, Neale and Dixon continued at the front and were already beginning to pull away from the pursuing pack now led by Bolton with Darvill close behind. Hornsby briefly rose to fifth but soon began to fall away as Lloyd and Buck moved forward. Three quarter distance and still Pagano led from Neale and Dixon, the three of them now well clear of Bolton in fourth. Darvill remained fifth but Buck was putting serious pressure on Lloyd and duly slipped ahead at the final hairpin.

C100R517 0969And that was almost it. Murray lost it at the pit exit hairpin and took awhile to get going but when he did he wasn’t far in front of the leaders. He didn’t respond to the blue flags and almost tripped up the leader as they headed towards the line but Pagano had just enough in hand to take his first win of the season by three tenths from Neale, who set the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate lap, with Dixon just a few lengths back in third. Good drives from all three and a very happy podium. Bolton came home fourth ahead of Darvill with Buck and Lloyd sixth and seventh. Harris was next having worked his way up from grid fourteen with Whitehouse and Scully completing the top ten.

The Championship

Pietro Pagano’s win takes him to the top of the standings whilst Jack Bolton slips to fourth. Harry Neale is up to second with Justin Buck third. Shaun Hollingsworth and James Taylor are level on points. Half distance at the next round and it’s shaping up to be a great fight for the Championship.

C100R517 0469Reflections

What a great days racing. The weather might not have been outstanding but it didn’t detract from a great event. Some fine drives, great sportsmanship and it was good to see family members getting behind their drivers in a good way. I wasn’t able to speak with the lightweight newcomers but I did catch up with two of the heavyweights. Nick Robinson put in great performance and is hoping to be back as is Mat Goodyer whose family were cheering him on from the grandstand. Brother Dan tells me he’s quicker that Mat and is hoping to compete when he loses a kilo or two. Wonder if Mat agrees?
Our thanks to all the staff at Ellough Park for running a fine venue and supplying first class marshalls. And thanks too to all the Club 100 officials who do such a great job. And lets not forget the Kart technicians whose hard work and dedication we sometimes forget. Kart preparation is second to none.
Lastly our congratulations to Elite driver Ian Blake who gets married next weekend. All the very best wishes from everyone. Just don’t forget Ian that Club 100 comes first….

See you all at Clay !!